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Coca-Cola announces first lucky winners in UEFA EURO 2024 promotion

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The excitement continues as Coca-Cola Maldives reveals the latest winners of its UEFA EURO 2024 promotional campaign, offering football enthusiasts the chance to experience the Finals live in Berlin, Germany. Since 1988, Coca-Cola has partnered with every UEFA European Football Championship, providing fans with unforgettable experiences.

The lucky draw was conducted live on ICE TV, with the prizes presented by Amit Saini from Coca-Cola Maldives. These winners will enjoy the ultimate football experience, witnessing the UEFA EURO 2024 Final Match in Berlin with Coca-Cola’s renowned hospitality.

  • Couple Ticket Winner #1: Moosa Jamil collecting on behalf of Aminath Shaheema
  • Couple Ticket Winner #2: Ahmed Naseem

In addition to the couple ticket winners, Coca-Cola Maldives also handed out four smartphones to the first four winners, further adding to the excitement and celebration of the campaign.

Launched on May 1, 2024, this campaign celebrates Coca-Cola’s official partnership with UEFA EURO 2024. Featuring football-themed packaging, customers can participate by finding the six-digit code under the Cap (for PET bottles) or Tab (for cans) and sending it to 2626. The more codes sent, the higher the chances of winning.

Six couples will win a trip to the UEFA EURO 2024 final match, while others can win smartphones every other day and branded Premia daily. The campaign runs from May 1st to June 15th, 2024, with live draws on ICE TV which started from May 11, 2024.

Fans are encouraged to stay engaged and participate in the ongoing promotions for a chance to witness European football’s pinnacle event live.

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Utheemu Ganduvaru: Portal to Maldives’ national freedom

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The Maldives, often celebrated for its sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, also offers a rich tapestry of history and culture waiting to be explored. Among the islands of Haa Alif Atoll lies Utheemu Island, home to Utheemu Ganduvaru, a historical treasure that invites travellers to delve into the storied past of the archipelago.

Utheemu Ganduvaru, the ancestral home of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, stands as a poignant reminder of the Maldives’ fight for independence. Thakurufaanu, revered as a national hero, led a successful campaign against Portuguese occupation in the 16th century. His childhood home, Utheemu Ganduvaru, offers a rare glimpse into the life and times of this legendary figure.

In 1558, the Portuguese invaded the Maldives, killing the Sultan in battle and establishing their rule. Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his brothers, Ali and Hassan, left for Minicoy to prepare a campaign to liberate their country. The boat they built, Kalhuohfummi, was crucial to their efforts. Thakurufaanu and his brothers fought the Portuguese for eight years, landing on different islands under cover of night to evade capture, and departing before daybreak. Eventually, they landed in Malé and defeated the Portuguese leadership in the capital. Freed from Portuguese rule, the people chose Muhammad Thakurufaanu as their Sultan.

Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu ruled the Maldives for 12 years until his death in 1585. He is remembered as a considerate and just ruler, concerned for the well-being of even the poorest citizens. He is also credited with establishing the country’s first formal military unit.

Back at Utheemu Island, visitors are immediately struck by the island’s tranquil beauty and its lush, green landscape. The journey to Utheemu Ganduvaru is a step back in time, where the echoes of history are palpable. The residence itself, a traditional wooden palace, is meticulously preserved, showcasing the architectural ingenuity and cultural richness of the period.

As you enter Utheemu Ganduvaru, the simplicity and elegance of the structure are apparent. Built from timber, the palace is a fine example of traditional Maldivian craftsmanship. The intricate woodwork, with its detailed carvings and polished surfaces, speaks volumes about the artisanship that flourished during Thakurufaanu’s time.

The main hall, with its open layout and cool, shaded interiors, offers a sense of serenity and reflection. It was within these walls that Thakurufaanu spent his formative years, and each room tells a story of his early life and the influences that shaped his destiny. The residence includes living quarters and storage spaces, all arranged in a manner that reflects the daily life of a prominent Maldivian family in the 16th century.

One of the most compelling aspects of Utheemu Ganduvaru is its connection to the larger narrative of Maldivian resistance against foreign rule. Guides at the site often recount tales of Thakurufaanu’s daring exploits and strategic brilliance. His knowledge of the archipelago’s intricate waterways and his leadership in naval battles are celebrated as key factors in the successful expulsion of the Portuguese in 1573.

Beyond its historical significance, Utheemu Ganduvaru offers visitors a deeper understanding of Maldivian culture and heritage. The site is a testament to the resilience and unity of the Maldivian people, embodying values that continue to inspire. For travellers, a visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru is an opportunity to connect with the soul of the Maldives, experiencing the essence of its history and the spirit of its people.

While on Utheemu Island, visitors can explore other points of interest, such as the island’s beaches and vibrant local community. Engaging with the locals offers additional insights into Maldivian traditions and hospitality, enriching the overall experience.

For those seeking a journey through time, Utheemu Ganduvaru in Haa Alif Atoll is a destination that should not be missed. It is a place where the past comes alive, where the legacy of a hero continues to resonate, and where the true essence of the Maldives can be discovered. As you walk through the halls of Utheemu Ganduvaru, you are not just a visitor; you are a part of a historical journey that defines the Maldivian identity.

So, when planning your next visit to the Maldives, venture beyond the beaches and dive into the rich history of these islands. Let Utheemu Ganduvaru be the highlight of your cultural exploration, offering a meaningful and memorable connection to the heart of Maldivian heritage.

Cover photo: Andreas Faessler

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Amilla Maldives teams up with NGO to protect turtles

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In celebration of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2024, Amilla Maldives, a haven nestled within the breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, announced a new and exciting partnership with the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC), a local NGO dedicated to marine conservation. This collaboration allows guests to actively participate in protecting these magnificent creatures and their vital habitats.

Founded in Lhaviyani Atoll in 2012, the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC) has become a vital force for sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Their mission extends far beyond rehabilitation of hatchlings once kept as ill-advised pets. AMC actively rescues and rehabilitates adult turtles entangled in fishing gear or stranded on beaches. Their dedication extends to restoring coral reefs, raising awareness within the local community, and educating future generations through engaging school programs. This partnership with Amilla Maldives marks AMC’s first venture outside their home atoll, signifying the growing importance of collaborative conservation efforts across the islands.

As a proud member of The Conscious Travel Foundation and an EarthCheck silver-certified resort, Amilla Maldives goes beyond offering luxurious accommodations. The resort prioritises sustainable practices and actively engages guests in environmental initiatives. To celebrate World Turtle Day, Amilla curated a series of unforgettable experiences that allowed guests to learn about and contribute to sea turtle conservation:

  • Turtle Discovery Excursion: Witnessing the magic of turtles in their natural habitat through a guided snorkelling adventure.
  • “Turtle Tales”: Educational talks by marine biologists, demystifying the lives of sea turtles and the threats they face.
  • “Adopt-a-Turtle” Programme: An opportunity for guests to directly support AMC’s vital conservation efforts by symbolically adopting a turtle patient recovering at the centre

Amilla Maldives’ dedication to environmental responsibility extends far beyond World Turtle Day. The resort has implemented a series of ongoing initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future:

  • Harnessing the Power of the Sun: A significant investment in solar panel installation has drastically reduced the resort’s reliance on diesel fuel, minimising its carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Amenities: Amilla Maldives has partnered with socially conscious brands to provide guests with refillable, eco-friendly toiletries packaged in PCR materials.
  • Combating Plastic Waste: The resort has replaced single-use plastic water bottles with reusable Rolla Bottles for all guests. Partnering with Rolla Bottle ensures that a portion of the proceeds goes towards funding ocean plastic pollution clean-up solutions.
  • Supporting Sustainable Fishing Practices: Amilla Maldives actively participates in the Blue Marine Foundation’s “Maldives Resilient Reefs” initiative. This program financially rewards local fishermen for adopting sustainable fishing practices that protect fragile coral reef ecosystems.

By choosing Amilla Maldives, travellers can indulge in luxurious comfort while contributing to vital marine conservation efforts. The resort offers a unique opportunity to combine an unforgettable vacation with the chance to make a positive impact on the environment. Let Amilla Maldives show you how luxury and sustainability can coexist beautifully.

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Jumeirah Olhahali Island hosts heartwarming celebration for local community on Children’s Day

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In recognition of Children’s Day, Jumeirah Olhahali Island has hosted a group of 20 special guests from Southern Community Empowerment Association of Maldives (SCEAM) for a day of exploration and inspiring experiences on 11 May 2024.

SCEAM, an umbrella NGO dedicated to the empowerment and engagement of local communities, works across the Southernmost atolls of the Maldives to support in building resilience and fostering collective growth.

“We are delighted to collaborate with SCEAM and welcome these wonderful children to our blissful island,” said Mohamed Ashraf, General Manager of Jumeirah Olhahali Island. “With over 57% of members hailing from the Maldives, we believe in the importance of supporting neighbouring institutions and organisations while prioritising the well-being of our future successors. This event was a fantastic opportunity to create lasting memories and spread smiles on Children’s Day.”

The day commenced with a warm welcome ritual from the resort’s management team and the friendly members of its Kids Club. The children then participated in a hands-on cake decoration activity with the resort’s talented chefs, crafting delicious treats to share with their families. Following a delightful lunch at the poolside all-day dining restaurant, GLOW, the little guests engaged in a creative crafting session guided by artists from the island’s MURACA Art Studio. As the day unfolded, the children had the opportunity to explore the resort’s contemporary beachside villas and indulge in some splash fun in the private infinity pools. Concluding the visit, each child received a special gift and a certificate of participation to cherish as part of their Olhahali Island memory.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jumeirah Olhahali Island for organising this delightful event in celebration of Children’s Day,” said Shimla Ahmed, Co-Founder & President of SCEAM. “The experience brought immense joy and happiness to the children, and we are excited for future collaborations to continue spreading positivity and building a brighter future for our younger generation.”

With consistent educational programmes and regular outreach to nearby islands, Jumeirah Olhahali Island remains committed to supporting local initiatives and fostering meaningful connections with the community. The all-villa resort strives to make a positive impact and create timeless experiences for guests and residents alike.

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