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Art festival at JOALI Maldives draws on all senses



JOALI Maldives, the Maldives’ very first art-immersive resort, announces its annual Art Week with the April 2023 Imagi-Nature Art Festival. To host the Imagi-Nature Art Festival, JOALI Maldives has collaborated with respected art consultant Tatiana Gecmen-Waldek. Guests are invited to revel in the creative spirit of nature and engage in creative dialogues between international art forms, impressive installations and local influences at JOALI Maldives.

From April 14-18, guests can experience this innovative project first-hand, harmoniously blending art and sustainability and offering creative collaborations with celebrated artists worldwide, including Aurelie Hoegy, Studio Mameluca, Maja Rohwetter, Barbara Veiga, Jeanne Susplugas, Le Petite Chef and Hajja and Joule. Channeling the natural splendour of JOALI Maldives, each immersive installation is created to engage, ignite and free the imagination. Guests of all ages are invited to interact with eco-conscious artwork across the beautiful island. What’s more, special events await guests on World Art Day (April 15). More on each artist is included below.

JOALI Maldives will serve as a gallery in itself as the resort will become a Sculpture Park, housing four permanent installations from the Imagi-Nature Art Festival. Hoegy’s fluid art piece, “JOALI Hammock,” inspired by natural movement and transcending boundaries between art and design; Studio Mameluca’s vicennial installation of the Maldives’ “One Egg, One World”; Jeanne Susplugas’ virtual reality experience, “Daydreaming” and Rohwetter’s multisensory augmented reality app, “Contingencies,” will permanently join the resort’s collection. Embodying movement through her collections of furniture, Hoegy was inspired to create “JOALI Hammock” by the curves of the island, sumptuous white sand and the movement of the Indian Ocean. The ocean motif continues in Studio Mameluca’s “White Tern’s Bird’s Nest,” made with natural resources with ocean life in mind and accompanied by ocean sound customisation. Guests will also be able to dive into the brain’s activity with Suspulugas’ installation, where they can navigate among neurons and synapses through eye movement, and continue their virtual experience through Rohwetter’s expanded dimensions of reality.

To gastronomes’ delight, Le Petite Chef will be redefining the culinary arts with its installation, which will be available in Saoke, the on-site Japanese restaurant designed by world-renowned restaurant architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu, for six months. Guests will be able to memorialise this creativity-inspiring experience with scarves created by Rohwetter, which will be available in the JOALI Art Studio and La Maison de JOALI boutique.

With a network that includes internationally renowned galleries, collectors, auction houses and artists, Gecmen-Waldek has worked as a consultant with greats such as Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Etro, Roger Vivier, Maison Kitsuné Vhernier, Huawei and ACNE. Now, as a valued JOALI Maldives partner, Gecmen-Waldek is poised to bring an extraordinary selection of works by contemporary artists to the resort in the form of exhibitions, performances, limited editions and permanent installations. Born in Austria and raised in Paris, Gecmen-Waldek is passionate about fostering creative collaborations and producing cultural content that inspires the inner artist within each of us. This is embodied through her slogan, “experience art instead of seeing art.”

As a female-owned and connected retreat, JOALI Maldives is committed to gender equality and the development of talented women. Through the resort’s Women in Arts program, JOALI Maldives offers local women a platform to convey their message through the arts by helping them hone their artistic skills with on-site trainings and workshops, which are facilitated by the resort’s resident artist. The artworks and local crafts are then displayed in the JOALI Art Studio for guests to purchase. The Imagi-Nature Art Festival will put female artists at the front of the curation, with highlights including Veiga, whose live performance of “Earth Layers” will give visibility to planet conservation; Suspulugas, whose work offers a reflection, not devoid of humour, derision and cynicism, on the ills of society; Rohwetter, whose cross-medial approach blurs the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds; and local Maldivian sisters Hajja and Joule, who will be collaborating with Hoegy to create pillows and embroidery with guests.

JOALI Maldives not only showcases its engagement with the arts and the local community but also with sustainability through actions in honour of World Oceans Day (June 8). The resort has always been committed to environmental protection and the local population through various initiatives, including the Olive Ridley Project, protecting sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research and education. Although each piece of art throughout the retreat is unique, they are all united by a commitment to sustainability. Many pieces are made from recycled waste, clay or other natural materials and inspire a more sustainable lifestyle. At the Imagi-Nature Art Festival, Parley for the Oceans and Utöpia will be presenting a collaboration with contemporary artist Jeppe Hein, a limited-edition flowing flag in the ocean titled, “We Are All Interconnected,” in support of Parley for the Oceans’ Global Cleanup Network. The installation is made with ocean plastic, a premium material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, waters and coastlines by Parley for the Oceans, and 100% of the proceeds will help fund JOALI Maldives’ programs for plastic interception, education, communication, material science and eco-innovation.

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An Insider

Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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Fan Club

A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives



The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.

For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.

Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.

The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.

Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.

As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.

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Amari Raaya Maldives opens its gates to paradise



In a grand celebration of luxury and nature’s wonders, Amari Raaya Maldives resort has officially opened its doors, welcoming its first guests to experience a slice of paradise in the Maldives. The exclusive event was attended by the resort’s management team, as well as Atul Chordia, Chairman of Panchshil Realty, the developer behind this magnificent project.

Nestled on a pristine natural island in the heart of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, Amari Raaya promises to be a sanctuary for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape amidst the archipelago’s breathtaking beauty. From the moment guests arrived via Manta Air seaplane, they were greeted with warm hospitality and a taste of Maldivian culture, as they were presented with traditional cultural items and treated to mesmerizing Maldivian dances.

Atul Chordia, the visionary behind Panchshil Realty, and Yuthachai Charanachitta ONYX Hospitality Group’s CEO marked the official opening of the resort by cutting the ribbon, signifying the culmination of a labor of love and dedication to creating a unique haven for luxury travelers.

With 187 villas offering a variety of luxurious experiences, Amari Raaya ensures that every guest’s stay is truly exceptional. Visitors can choose from an array of accommodation options, including the Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas, and interconnecting Family Beach Villas, perfect for creating cherished memories with loved ones.

For those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, the Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas provide panoramic views of the azure waters teeming with marine life. Sunset enthusiasts can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldivian dusk from the privacy of their villas, opting for the Sunset Ocean Villas or Sunset Ocean Pool Villas, promising an unforgettable experience.

Amari Raaya Maldives goes beyond offering captivating villas; it has curated an extraordinary culinary journey for its guests. With eight distinct dining options, visitors can embark on a gastronomic adventure that caters to every palate. From the signature Amaya Food Gallery, serving famous street food and hawker delights, to the rooftop bar Ampers&nd, where guests can savor sunset snacks and cocktails, the resort promises to delight all epicureans. Poolside Italian favorites, freshly caught seafood infused with Maldivian and Asian flavors, and the fun and playful experience of enjoying mobile snacks and drinks served from a bus all add to the culinary magic of the resort.

In the evenings, guests can find a sense of community and immerse themselves in the local culture through live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and regular cultural events and festivities, making every moment at Amari Raaya Maldives an enriching and memorable one.

Amari Raaya Maldives is developed by Panchshil Realty, a name synonymous with excellence in luxury real estate in India. The resort is managed by Onyx Hospitality, renowned for its exceptional and personalized hospitality experiences.

With its official opening, Amari Raaya Maldives invites travelers from around the world to discover the allure of the Maldives in unparalleled comfort and style. As guests arrive at this oasis of luxury and natural splendor, they are sure to find themselves enchanted by the timeless beauty of the islands and immersed in an experience that will linger in their hearts forever.

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