2022 has been a difficult year for German tennis star Alexander Zverev. Suffering from a severe ankle ligament injury in a match again Rafael Nadal in the Roland-Garros French Open earlier this year, he encountered a further setback in September from issues associated with a bone injury. Finally able to embark on full-court trainings once again, Zverev has just announced that he will be taking part in the World Tennis League in Dubai this December, a highly anticipated return that fans around the world are eagerly looking forward to.
As part of his recovery journey, the Olympic medallist chose to spend time at JOALI BEING, the first wellbeing retreat of its kind in the Maldives. He also took the opportunity to invite hotel guests and children from neighbouring islands to participate in tennis workshops with his brother and fellow tennis player, Mischa Zverev. While not able to participate in the workshop himself due to injury, he was there in person to inspire the children and to see how he might be able to continue to support these communities going forward.
It wasn’t just a random decision that led Zverev to JOALI BEING. He was looking for a place that combined training and fitness facilities with the space to recharge, relax and recover. “At JOALI BEING I found the perfect balance for recovery,” says Zverev. “One can’t train well without recovery, and all aspects of life go hand-in-hand here.”
JOALI BEING’s fitness and wellbeing facilities at CORE played a key role in Zverev’s stay. “It’s equipped with the latest technology, covering skills to performance training, and even has a cryo-chamber which is perfect for muscle recovery,” he says.
Zverev also enjoyed spending time surrounded by vegetation on the Discovery Sound Path, with its nine meditative musical instruments. “It’s relaxing and beautifully designed, and it’s extremely cool to play the different instruments,” he says. But there was once place that resonated even more with the athlete. “My absolute favourite place is the Meditation Deck at the Ocean Sala. It’s the perfect place to end your day with sunset, and a quiet spot for yoga and meditation.”
While Zverev chose JOALI BEING as a place to relax and recuperate, he also wanted to become involved with the local community and inspire children from neighbouring islands. “I want to share my passion for tennis with children around the world, especially those who are not able to access sports. Connecting with the local children and inspiring them was a true honour, especially in a destination which is so close to my heart,” he says.
Ten children from neighbouring islands took part in the workshop, some of whom are diabetes patients. “As a type 1 diabetic myself, I want to encourage children with diabetes never to give up on their dreams, no matter what others might say to you,” he says. “The only limit is the one you set yourself. After all, I was told I wouldn’t be able to play professional tennis, and here I am, doing exactly that!”
The tennis player has just launched the Alexander Zverev Foundation to provide insulin and life-saving medicine to children in developing countries and those in need. The foundation also supports children with type 1 diabetes, and aims to help prevent type 2 diabetes by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles. “I met local type 1 diabetes patients here to better understand their needs and struggles, and in collaboration with JOALI BEING I am looking forward to further helping patients with the disease, and to creating more awareness in the long term,” says Zverev.
The life of a professional athlete is demanding, not just from a physical level, but from a mental level too, and there are great expectations from all sides. For Zverev, his time spent at JOALI BEING allowed him to create space to relax and focus on the basics. “As a professional athlete, you spend most of your time being very focused and under immense pressure to perform well on a daily basis. When you step out onto a court, no one asks how you feel. It is expected that you perform,” he says.
At JOALI BEING, the resort’s philosophy of “Joy of Weightlessness” resonated with Zverev at every level. “It’s about finding the perfect balance,” he says. “Once your life and daily routine are in balance, you will feel light and weightless.”
Rates: JOALI BEING has villas from $2,146 (this is subject to taxes) per night based on two persons sharing an Ocean Pool Villa on a B&B basis. Immersion Programmes start from $1,665 per person based on a five-night JOALI BEING Discovery Programme. For further details and booking, please visit joalibeing.com.
Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives
When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure, cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences.
Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and more.
The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their hearts long after their journey ends.
Discover the roots at the Kendhoo
Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes, Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab, and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets,
indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar.
Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo
On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats, and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging.
Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo
Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations.
Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir of their tropical getaway.
Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu
At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe.
Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo
Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.
To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at firstname.lastname@example.org and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit www.thenautilusmaldives.com.
InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024
After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.
The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.
The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”
This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.
The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.
For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.
The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.
Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth
In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.
More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.
As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.
Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks @oneluxury.de & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.
Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.
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