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Shameem Ali’s pioneering work at JOALI Maldives raises the bar for marine conservation

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The Maldives, a tropical paradise known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, is home to a dedicated and passionate individual who has made it his life’s mission to protect and restore the delicate coral reefs that surround these idyllic islands. Shameem Ali, Senior Marine Biologist at JOALI Maldives, has come a long way since his humble beginnings at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s marine lab. Today, he leads the marine conservation efforts at JOALI Maldives, starting with the JOALI Reef Restoration Programme (JRRP), a groundbreaking initiative that reflects the resort’s commitment to coral restoration in the Maldives.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean and its incredible biodiversity,” says Shameem. “Working in the field of marine biology has allowed me to combine my love for the environment with my passion for science and research. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m proud to be the first and only local senior marine biologist in the Maldives.”

The JRRP is centred around the concept of “fragments of hope” – tiny corals that are planted in the resort’s own nurseries. Once these corals reach an appropriate size, they are outplanted onto the existing house reef to help it regenerate. This innovative approach to coral restoration has already shown promising results, with 70 grown colonies planted around the Arrival Centre since the outplanting phase began in November 2022.

Shameem explains, “Our goal is to assist in the natural recovery of our island’s surrounding reef by nurturing these coral fragments in our nurseries. We’ve developed a unique system that uses Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT) to enhance coral growth. By applying a low-voltage current, we can promote the accumulation of calcium carbonate – the mineral that forms the skeletal structure of corals – and help them grow faster.”

The MAT nursery can hold up to 113 fragments on each of its 24 tables, which means a minimum of 2,712 fragments are grown every year. After 10-12 months in the nursery, the coral fragments are ready to be outplanted onto the house reef.

In addition to the MAT nursery, JOALI Maldives also features spider frame and Christmas tree nurseries, which are planted by guests as a way to collaborate with the JRRP and be a part of the reef recovery effort. Through 2022, nine additional spider frames were created, holding 310 coral fragments.

“Guest involvement is a crucial aspect of our programme,” Shameem emphasises. “By allowing guests to participate in the planting process, we’re not only raising awareness about the importance of coral restoration but also creating a sense of ownership and responsibility for the health of our reefs.”

Despite some initial challenges, such as 10% of the coral fragments in the spider frames bleaching due to the adjustment phase and shallow waters, the JRRP team has adapted and moved the frames to slightly deeper waters in the same area.

Shameem’s dedication to coral restoration and his innovative approach to marine biology have made a significant impact on the Maldives’ underwater ecosystem. As the first and only Maldivian senior marine biologist, he serves as an inspiration to others in the field and a testament to the power of passion and perseverance.

“I believe that we all have a role to play in protecting our oceans and the incredible life that calls it home,” Shameem concludes. “Through the JOALI Reef Restoration Programme, we’re not only helping to restore our island’s surrounding reef but also inspiring others to take action and make a difference in their own communities.”

As the JOALI Reef Restoration Programme continues to make strides in coral restoration, Shameem Ali and his team are constantly exploring new methods and technologies to further enhance their efforts. With a focus on innovation and collaboration, the JRRP is poised to become a leading example of sustainable marine conservation in the Maldives and beyond.

“One of the most exciting aspects of working in marine biology is the opportunity to discover and implement new techniques that can help us better understand and protect our oceans,” says Shameem. “We’re always looking for ways to improve our coral restoration efforts and share our knowledge with other organisations and researchers.”

In addition to the ongoing expansion of the JRRP’s nurseries and outplanting efforts, Shameem and his team are also working on developing educational programmes for local communities and schools. By engaging with the next generation of Maldivians, they hope to inspire a lifelong passion for marine conservation and empower future leaders to take an active role in protecting their country’s precious coral reefs.

“We believe that education is a key component of our mission,” Shameem explains. “By teaching young people about the importance of coral reefs and the threats they face, we can help foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility for our environment. Our goal is to create a ripple effect that extends beyond JOALI Maldives and inspires positive change throughout the Maldives and beyond.”

As the JRRP continues to grow and evolve, Shameem Ali’s unwavering commitment to coral restoration serves as a beacon of hope for the future of the Maldives’ marine ecosystems. His pioneering work in the field of marine biology has not only made a tangible impact on the health of the country’s coral reefs but also inspired countless others to join the fight for a more sustainable and vibrant underwater world.

As Shameem puts it, “The ocean is a vast and mysterious world that still holds many secrets waiting to be discovered. By working together and embracing innovative solutions, we can help ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the wonder and beauty of our planet’s most precious resource.”

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Gear up for ride of your life with Siyam World’s first go-kart track in Maldives

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Get ready to rev your engines and satisfy your need for speed at Siyam World Maldives with the grand opening of the 205m² Speed Racers Circuit – the first-ever go-kart track in the Maldives, adding an electrifying twist and high-octane experience to the ultimate island getaway.

Siyam World, known for breaking the mold of traditional Maldivian holidays, is paving new ground with the launch of a state-of-the-art go-kart track, the Speed Racers Circuit, that comes fully equipped with 18 sleek electric go-karts and a rugged off-road course. Spanning 205m² of heart-pounding twists and turns, the track is designed to ignite your inner racer and unleash the adrenaline junkie within.

But that’s not all, with speeds of up to 35km/h, racers feel the rush of the wind in their hair as they zoom around the exhilarating course.

And when the race is over, the party’s just getting started! There is a fully stocked bar, the perfect pit stop to refuel and celebrate a victory with friends and fellow racers. After all, every great race deserves an epic after-party!

“Siyam World is all about redefining what it means to holiday in the Maldives,” said Sara Siyam, Director of Marketing. “We’re not just offering relaxation and the traditional means of a Maldivian holiday, we are committed to delivering unforgettable adventures. Our new go-kart track is just the beginning of a series of exciting, fun-filled activities that set Siyam World apart from the rest.”

Siyam World has tailored four adrenaline-pumping go-kart racing packages to suit every level from 12 years and up:

Quick Sprint Package

  • Get your adrenaline fix with 3 lightning-fast laps for just $25 per racer (up to 5 racers).
  • Perfect for those who want a quick burst of excitement and friendly competition!

The Triple Challenge Package

  • Take on 5 laps of non-stop racing action for $80 (up to 5 racers).
  • Push the pedal to the metal and test your skills with this ultimate challenge!

Family Package

  • Treat the whole family to a thrilling ride with our fun-filled package for $350.
  • Enjoy 3 lap races for families and friends, creating unforgettable memories together!

Private Championship Package

  • Go for glory with an exclusive racing event for $550.
  • Compete in a private series with 3 lap qualifiers, 5 lap heats, and a 7 lap final – complete with scorekeeping, timekeeping, and awards

The addition of the go-kart track is part of Siyam World’s commitment to provide guests with a diverse range of activities, extraordinary adventures ,and pioneering experiences that go beyond the mainstream. Whether you are a seasoned racer or a first-time driver, the go-kart track promises a rush of excitement as you zip through tropical paradise. The electric go-karts are eco-friendly and perfect for healthy competitions among family and friends.

It’s time to buckle up, hold on tight, and experience the thrill of a lifetime at Siyam World Maldives’ Electric Go-Kart Track. Book your race now and get ready to unleash your inner speed champion!

Siyam World, Maldives is located in the popular Noonu Atoll, a mere 40 minutes’ direct seaplane ride from Velana International Airport, and also accessible via a 30-minute domestic flight to Maafaru Airport followed by a 10-minute speedboat trip.

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Join Ifuru Island Maldives’ exhilarating ice, bubbles challenge

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Are You Ready? The Ice & Bubbles Challenge awaits your arrival at Ifuru Island.

Are you ready for the ultimate chill thrill of indulgence and adventure? Then put on your explorer hat and jet off to Ifuru Island for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge! Imagine: you’ll be basking in the breathtaking Maldives scenery while putting your might to the test with a 6-minute polar plunge, clutching a flute of bubbly like a boss. Once you conquer the challenge, you’ll savour the delicious bubbly and feel like a true champion!

Picture yourself lounging poolside, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, while also pushing your endurance to the limit. And as a badge of honour, guests are gifted with a trendy Ice Bath and Bubbles Challenge t-shirt to flaunt their fearless spirit. The current record for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge is a brave 22 minutes, and we’re daring you to beat it!

Cold-water immersion can speed up your muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. Plus, you’ll feel like a true hero after conquering the challenge and basking under the warm Maldivian sun.

So, what are you waiting for? Rally your friends and come join us on Ifuru Island Maldives for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to create magical memories that will last a lifetime!

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Six Senses launches Mermaid Courses in Maldives

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Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura in the Maldives are making waves with the launch of an enchanting underwater experience – PADI Mermaid courses.

Now, guests aged six and above can embark on a magical journey guided by certified PADI scuba dive instructors. Aspiring mermaids and mermen will be equipped with a monofin, a type of swim fin that mimics the movements of dolphins, and colorful fabric tail, mirroring the hues of the ocean. Catering to various ages, interests, and skill levels, both resorts offer a range of courses from discovery to advanced. A professional photographer is available on request to capture personal fairytale-moments.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this fun new experience to our range of underwater offerings,” says Judith Scheibelberger, PADI trainer and resident mermaid expert at Six Senses Laamu, an IHG Hotels & Resorts property. “Our mermaid courses are not only a source of fun and excitement for kids but also invite adults to tap into their imagination and reconnect with their inner child. Beyond the entertainment aspect and capturing Instagram-worthy memories, participants will also gain valuable underwater skills and learn about the awe-inspiring secrets of the sea.”

Mermaid courses join a plethora of underwater experiences available to guests at both Maldivian Six Senses resorts, including snorkeling with turtles, vibrant coral reef explorations, and exhilarating diving adventures. The resorts boasts state-of-the-art dive centers that provide comprehensive services and expert guidance.

For young adventurers, both resorts also offer the PADI Seal Team programme, catering to junior divers aged eight and above. This program allows aspiring divers to explore the underwater world safely, through the five ‘AquaMissions,’ where participants can delve down to four meters, or the introductory PADI Bubblemaker experience, tailored for children aged eight to nine, allowing them to dive down to two meters.

“These experiences not only offer a glimpse into the mesmerising underwater world but also provide an opportunity for young divers to develop their confidence and diving skills while exploring the diversity of Maldivian reefs,” says Anne Hospital, Dive Manager of both resorts.

The brand’s Grow With Six Senses programme offers all of the dimensions of wellness, providing kids with opportunities to reconnect with nature and engage with their surroundings. Through immersive experiences in local culture, wellness, sustainability and social interactions, children spark their curiosity and gain valuable life skills. At the heart of this programme are the dedicated kid’s clubs known as ‘The Den’, which serve as hubs for exploration and discovery.

At Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura, one standout offering is the Mermaid course, which invites children on an underwater adventure amidst stunning turquoise panoramas. On land, the activities are equally diverse, ranging from enlightening garden tours to innovative waste-to-wealth workshops and interactive junior cooking classes. These experiences are designed to provide children with valuable life skills through hands-on play, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching journey for young guests at the resorts.

Prices for the PADI Mermaid Courses start from USD 150 for a 45-minute discovery session. For bookings and further information, please visit sixsenses.com or contact reservations-maldives@sixsenses.com.

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