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A taste of success: Ahmed Azzam on creating memorable F&B experiences at Le Méridien Maldives



Imagine starting as a humble waiter and working your way up to leading the food and beverage team at the luxurious Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. That’s exactly what Ahmed Azzam has accomplished through his passion, dedication, and hard work. In this heart-warming interview, Azzam shares his incredible story, what drives him, and offers some words of wisdom for young Maldivians dreaming of a career in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Back in 2004, Azzam embarked on his hospitality journey at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa as a waiter. Over four exciting years, he sharpened his customer service skills and delved into the fascinating world of food and beverage. Azzam fondly remembers, “I was always eager to learn and grow, and I knew that the hospitality industry offered endless opportunities for those who were willing to work hard.”

In 2008, Azzam’s hard work paid off as he was promoted to F&B Supervisor at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. Here, he managed a team of F&B Assistants and oversaw the resort’s dining operations, laying the groundwork for his future success in the industry.

Azzam’s career soared to new heights when he joined Jumeirah Dhevanafushi Maldives (now Raffles Maldives) as an F&B Supervisor in 2013. In this role, he played a vital part in training new hosts, ensuring guest satisfaction, and upholding the resort’s exceptional service standards.

In 2014, Azzam joined Centara Hotels & Resorts, where he quickly climbed the ranks from Assistant Restaurant Manager to Senior Restaurant Manager and eventually Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. During his tenure at Centara, Azzam was responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the overall operation and administration of the restaurant, ensuring excellent standards of service and efficiency.

Fast forward to May 2021, Azzam’s dedication and perseverance led him to become the Food and Beverage Manager at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. In this prestigious position, Azzam leads a talented team to create unforgettable dining experiences for guests. “My focus is on creating memorable moments for our guests while maintaining the highest standards of quality and service,” Azzam says with a smile.

When asked about his motivation, Azzam shares, “I am driven by my passion for the hospitality industry and my desire to create unforgettable experiences for our guests. I believe that success comes from a combination of hard work, dedication, and a genuine love for what you do.”

Azzam has some heartfelt advice for young Maldivians aspiring to join the tourism and hospitality industry: “The hospitality industry offers a world of opportunities for those who are willing to work hard and learn. Be open to new experiences, embrace challenges, and never stop learning. With determination and passion, you can achieve great things in this industry. Remember, success is not a destination, but a journey. Embrace the challenges, learn from your experiences, and never stop striving for excellence.”

As a leader, Azzam emphasizes the importance of teamwork and communication. “I believe that a successful team is built on trust, open communication, and a shared commitment to excellence. I encourage my team to share their ideas, learn from each other, and work together to achieve our common goals.”

During your stay at Le Méridien Maldives, indulge in a variety of exceptional dining experiences. Tabemasu, the resort’s Japanese restaurant, offers breathtaking views and a relaxed atmosphere, with a Teppanyaki experience that is not to be missed. Waves Café, a hidden gem, focuses on organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, providing a peaceful spot for mindful dining. Inspired by the bustling boulevards of southern Spain, Riviera Tapas & Bar is a beachside playground where infinite ocean vistas are fused with warm Catalonian style. The newly enhanced restaurant brings authentic Spanish-style dining to the shores of Maldives. Riviera Bar, an adults-only haven, boasts stunning sunset views, poolside service, and a lively atmosphere with a DJ on select days.

Latitude, located within Le Méridien Hub, serves as a social spot for coffee, tea, and small bites, transitioning from a relaxed café to an evening apéritif destination. Velaa Bar & Grill, a favourite among guests, offers a laid-back setting with sea views and a diverse menu of international dishes with a Maldivian twist. Finally, Turquoise, the resort’s main restaurant, caters to guests on a half-board package with buffet-style meals and daily changing special dishes based on a theme.

From casual cafés to fine dining, Le Méridien Maldives offers a range of culinary experiences to suit every palate, ensuring a memorable and satisfying stay for all guests. Azzam and his F&B team are there to ensure that every dining experience at Le Méridien Maldives is a memorable experience.


The Nautilus Maldives welcomes Christopher Terry as Executive Chef



The Nautilus Maldives has announced the appointment of Christopher Terry as their new Executive Chef. Chef Terry brings a wealth of experience and a global flair to the resort’s diverse dining experiences.

A native of Antigua and Barbuda, Chef Terry’s culinary skills encompass a wide range of cuisines, including Mediterranean, French, Caribbean, European, and Asian. This makes him a perfect fit for The Nautilus, which is known for its eclectic and unique dining options.

Throughout his 15-year career, Chef Terry has honed his craft at some of the world’s most prestigious luxury resorts, including Aman, Rosewood Resorts, and Sandals Resorts. His exceptional talent has been recognized with numerous awards, such as the Artisan Award at the Antigua & Barbuda National Youth Awards and Young Chef of the Year by the Antigua Hotel’s and Tourist Association.

Chef Terry believes in using the finest ingredients, with a focus on fresh, local produce. His culinary philosophy aligns perfectly with The Nautilus’s commitment to providing exceptional experiences and unforgettable taste journeys for its guests.

Under Chef Terry’s leadership, guests at The Nautilus can expect to explore the following:

  • Zeytoun: Offering a focus on the aromatic herbs and spices of the Mediterranean.
  • Ocaso: Blending Japanese cuisine with a modern Latin American twist.
  • Thyme: Featuring comforting international cuisine, with flavors ranging from Asian to Mediterranean.

Chef Terry’s creations promise to be a reflection of pure, high-quality ingredients, thoughtfully paired for a delicious dining experience.

Equipped with a degree in Culinary Arts and a Wines and Spirits certification, Chef Terry brings a spirit of curiosity and a passion for culinary innovation to The Nautilus. Inspired by the Maldives’s rich natural bounty and pristine ingredients, he aims to elevate The Nautilus’s menus with his signature Caribbean-infused creations.

To discover the epicurean journeys available at The Nautilus Maldives, visit

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Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort appoints Thaaif Ahmed appointed as Director of Sales & Marketing



 Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort, part of Minor Hotels, has announced the appointment of Thaaif Ahmed as the Director of Sales & Marketing, effective 1 May 2024. 

Thaaif brings nearly two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, with a significant portfolio  of roles within Minor Hotels. His career includes serving as the Director of Sales at NH Collection  Maldives, where he played a pivotal role in driving revenue growth and fostering strategic  partnerships. 

Throughout his tenure, Thaaif has demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities and a profound  understanding of the industry landscape. His strategic prowess and collaborative approach have  consistently delivered outstanding results, making him a respected figure within the organisation. 

In his previous capacity as Cluster Director of Sales, overseeing Anantara Dhigu Resort Maldives,  Anantara Veli Resort Maldives, and Naladhu Private Island, Thaaif contributed to the success and  growth of the brand.  

As he assumes the role of Director of Sales & Marketing at Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort, Thaaif is  poised to leverage his wealth of experience and expertise to drive brand positioning, enhance  revenue streams, and elevate the overall guest experience. His appointment underscores the  resort’s commitment to excellence and innovation in the hospitality sector. 

Please join Stuart De San Nicolas, Cluster General Manager of Anantara Kihavah, Avani+ Fares and  NH Collection Havodda plus Riaan Drever, General Manager of Fares in congratulating Thaaif on his  well-deserved promotion. We also express our gratitude to Paul Counihan, for his support during our  pre-opening and opening stages. Paul will transition to focus on Anantara Kihavah, our sister  property in Baa Atoll, while Thaaif assumes leadership at Avani+ Fares Maldives. 

Set on the natural tropical island of Fares and surrounded by the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve’s deep  blue hues, the resort offers an abundance of aquatic adventures as well as pristine sandy beaches  for pure relaxation. With 176 stylish villas, pavilions, and studios, Avani+ Fares welcomes couples  and honeymooners, as well as families and groups, with a focus on multi-room accommodation. 

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Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives appoints Warren Moore as Executive Chef



Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives has announced the appointment of Warren Moore as the resort’s new Executive Chef. 

Chef Warren Moore hailing from South Africa, brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise,  having earned his Culinary Degree at City and Guilds Culinary Institute. With over 25 years of  distinguished service in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry, Chef Warren is poised to elevate the  culinary offerings at Seaside Finolhu to new heights. 

In his previous role, Chef Warren served as Executive Chef at Jawakara Maldives, where he showcased  his culinary prowess and leadership skills. Prior to that, he spent seven years honing his craft within  various properties of the esteemed Crown and Champa Resorts Group. His culinary journey has taken  him across continents, including stints in South Africa, Mozambique, London, and the United States. 

As the Executive Chef at Seaside Finolhu, Chef Warren will oversee all culinary operations, ensuring  the highest standards of hygiene and food quality are maintained. His responsibilities include  supervising daily kitchen operations, managing food production, and leading kitchen staff with a focus  on excellence and innovation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Warren Moore to our team at Seaside Finolhu,” said Steven Phillips  General Manager of Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives. “His extensive experience and passion for  culinary excellence will undoubtedly enhance the dining experience for our guests and further solidify  our reputation as a gastronomic heaven in the Maldives.” 

With Chef Warren Moore at the helm, Seaside Finolhu looks forward to delivering unforgettable  culinary experiences that celebrate the rich flavours of the Maldives and beyond. 

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