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Exploring the cosmos: A culinary journey with citizen astronaut Sara Sabry at COMO Cocoa Island



Imagine sitting down to an exclusive dinner at one of the most luxurious and breathtaking resorts in the Maldives, surrounded by pristine turquoise waters and a sense of tranquility that only a paradise like COMO Cocoa Island can provide. Now, add to that the presence of a remarkable individual who has ventured beyond our planet’s atmosphere, pioneering not only in space exploration but also in breaking barriers for her homeland and gender. This captivating scenario became a reality as I had the privilege of attending an extraordinary space-themed dinner with none other than citizen astronaut Sara Sabry.

Sara Sabry’s journey to becoming a citizen astronaut is nothing short of inspiring. A young and accomplished engineer, Sabry has dedicated her life to pushing the boundaries of human potential and advocating for increased accessibility and diversity within the space industry. Her accolades speak volumes – she proudly holds the titles of being the first Egyptian astronaut, the first Arab woman in space, and the first woman from the African continent to venture into the cosmos.

As the sun dipped below the horizon and the stars began to twinkle in the velvety night sky, a sense of anticipation filled the air. The exclusive dinner, designed by Executive Chef Kadek to celebrate Sara Sabry’s remarkable achievements, was no ordinary culinary experience. It was a symphony of flavors, each course meticulously crafted to represent the five great elements of matter – Ether, Water, Air, Earth, and Fire.

The journey commenced with the Ether course, aptly named “Black Hole.” A canvas of black ink aioli adorned with crispy black brioche and an array of assorted fritters welcomed our palates. The presentation was reminiscent of the mysterious allure of a black hole, drawing us into a realm of culinary wonder.

Transitioning to the Water course, “Hydrosphere” emerged as a delicate broth infused with umami, cradling poached local lobster and accompanied by crispy kelp and dancing bonito. This course celebrated the beauty and vitality of our planet’s oceans, a fitting tribute to the life-sustaining element that covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface.

The Air course, aptly named “Aurora,” followed suit, offering a delectable flatbread adorned with dehydrated nuts and seeds, accompanied by a velvety chickpea hummus and a crunchy cauliflower salad. This course encapsulated the ethereal nature of Earth’s atmosphere, with flavors that seemed to dance on the taste buds like the elusive Northern Lights.

“Earth” was the theme of the fourth course, affectionately known as “Meteor.” Free-range chicken ravioli delicately enveloped an egg yolk, bathing in an exotic mushroom sauce with a drizzle of chicken jus and a shower of shaved parmesan. This course paid homage to the solid foundation of our world, with each bite offering a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

As the dinner progressed, the final course, “Fire,” aptly named “Flare,” set our taste buds alight. An almond sponge and passionfruit ice cream lay beneath a dramatic dome of fiery meringue. The dessert not only satisfied the senses but also symbolized the intense energy and warmth radiating from celestial bodies and stars in the universe.

Complementing each course were cocktails and mocktails that seamlessly wove the theme of space and the cosmos into every sip. From ethereal galaxy-inspired concoctions to sparkling celestial mocktails, each beverage further immersed us in the enchanting world of space exploration.

Beyond the remarkable culinary journey, the evening was a unique opportunity to engage with Sara Sabry herself. As she regaled us with tales of her adventures in space, her passion for promoting inclusivity and diversity within the space industry shone through. Her unwavering dedication to breaking down barriers and inspiring the next generation of astronauts, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to share the evening.

The exclusive space-themed dinner with citizen astronaut Sara Sabry at COMO Cocoa Island was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that transcended the boundaries of gastronomy and storytelling. It was a celebration of human achievement, a tribute to the elements that shape our world, and a testament to the power of inspiration. As the night concluded and we bid farewell to the shimmering stars above, the echoes of Sara Sabry’s remarkable journey lingered on, igniting a spark within each of us to reach for the stars, both in our aspirations and our culinary adventures. The event was also curated by Christina Korp, the founder of Space for a Better World. Korp is a passionate advocate for using space technology to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, and she saw this dinner as an opportunity to inspire guests to think about the future of space exploration and its potential impact on society.


Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) holds its 34th Annual General Meeting



The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) held its 34th Annual General Meeting at Kurumba Maldives today, with a total of 100 members in attendance. 

The day’s events began with a welcome address from the Chairman of MATI, Mr. Mohamed Umar, who also presided over the session. The agenda included an address from the Secretary General, Mr. Ahmed Nazeer, the review and approval of the minutes of the 33rd AGM, the review and adoption of the Annual Report and Financial Reports for 2023, the approval of the 2024 budget, the appointment of auditors for 2024, the welcoming of new members and election of executive board members to the two vacant positions (by-election).

In the member discussion session, the following topics were covered: the Government’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2023 and renewable energy generation in the Tourism Industry, new terminal of Velana International Airport and developments, employment challenges, the Industrial Relations Act and trade unions, environmental conservation and the significance of creating and executing efficient management plans for protected areas like the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).

Following the official proceedings, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Ibrahim Faisal and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Hon. Mohamed Saeed joined the forum. The Ministers provided remarks and engaged in a Member Q&A session. This session provided members with the chance to directly engage with the Ministers and delve into crucial industry topics. The queries focused on the Economic Outlook, forthcoming development plans and  immediate challenges and issues affecting the Tourism Industry.

A video presentation was also showcased that delved into the extensive work undertaken by MATI in 2023. The video also touched upon the Tourism Industry’s performance over the past 5 years, as well as the current and projected human resource capacity of the sector.

In his closing remarks, the Secretary General highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing industry challenges and called for greater unison amongst industry stakeholders, ending with an acknowledgement of the promising start to the year in terms of arrivals.

Executive Board Members elected to the 2 vacant positions (by-election):

  1. Ibrahim Shareef, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited
  2. Renato De Olivera, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands and representative of Marriott International
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Unlocking power of travel storytelling at Travel Creators Exchange 2024



Join us for the Travel Creators Exchange 2024, taking place on February 1, 2024, at the Hotel Jen in Male’, Maldives.

This dynamic event provides a platform for networking and collaboration among Maldives-based travel creators, fostering connections, idea-sharing, and the establishment of lasting partnerships to expand opportunities and monetise content.

Our lineup of distinguished speakers includes:

  • Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of MMPRC, will present on “Power of Digital Storytelling: Collaborative Strategies for Destination Promotion.” MMPRC actively markets the Maldives globally, utilising a comprehensive approach that includes travel trade shows, roadshows, digital marketing, and more.
  • Amjad Thaufeeg, Commercial Director of Kuda Villingili Maldives Resort, brings over 23 years of hospitality industry experience. He will discuss “The Role of Content in Tourism Marketing,” drawing on expertise in revenue, customer service, sales & marketing, and human capital development.
  • Suresh Dissanayake, Assistant Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Heritance Aarah & Adaaran Resorts, with nearly two decades of experience, will shed light on “What does a Sales and Marketing Director Do?” He brings extensive luxury hospitality experience and a proven track record in sales, distribution, and marketing.
  • Vishal Amir Ahmed, a versatile cinematographer and content creator, will explore “Who is a Content Creator.” Currently associated with Various Arts Studio, he specialises in providing multimedia solutions to various clients.

Organised by Maldives Insider, Maldives Virtual Tour, Travel Trade Maldives, and Hotelier Maldives, this collaborative effort aims to empower Maldives-based travel content creators and elevate the Maldives as a premier destination for captivating travel storytelling.

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Acclaimed contemporary artist Ana Pušica explores perpetuality and community at Patina Maldives



Ana Pušica Kramer, an internationally  acclaimed contemporary artist, joins Patina Maldives for an exclusive  art residency in the now infamous Fari Art Atelier. From January 22 to  February 22, 2024, Ana Pušica will grace the shores of the Fari Islands,  weaving a vibrant narrative of colour and emotion across her larger  than-life canvases. 

Her artistry transcends boundaries, melding abstraction and figuration into awe-inspiring masterpieces. Having exhibited globally, from New York to Beijing, Ana’s paintings are a physical, intuitive act rooted in movement.  Described as a “beautiful fluorescent thunderstorm,” Ana’s art explores light and colour, capturing the energy of life itself. 

The Fari Art Atelier which has previously hosted the likes of Daniel Arsham, Chris Stamp and David Nott, will be transformed into Ana’s studio and gallery showcasing her enthralling artworks—a mesmerising journey through poetry, memory, and the vibrant interplay of colour. Guests at Patina are invited to delve into Ana’s world, where each stroke reveals layers of meaning, evoking sensations of intense lightness and boundless interpretation. 

At Patina Maldives, Ana will immerse herself in a month-long residency, inviting the Patina Malidves community or guests and team to witness her artistic fervour firsthand. Guests will have the rare opportunity not only to observe her creative process but also to engage with and create art alongside this luminary.

Experience artistry at its most exclusive

Art Exhibition
Experience Ana’s captivating exploration of colour and emotion in her spellbinding artworks displayed at the Fari Atelier.

Art Workshops: Message in a Bottle
As part of a collaborative artwork, Ana invites Patina guests to participate in short workshops, actively contributing to the creation of a permanent installation at Patina Maldives.

Open Studio Session
Join Ana for an exclusive open studio session, offering guests a behind the-scenes look at her creative process.

Ana Pušica residency package
Discover a world where creativity knows no bounds as Ana Pušica, the maestro of contemporary art, transforms Patina Maldives into an immersive canvas of inspiration.

Book now to secure your experience.
For more information and reservations, please visit Patina Maldives or contact

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