Latest From Lalumi Travels

First InterContinental Resort in Maldives opens

InterContinental Hotels Group has signed a management agreement with Hotel Properties Limited (“HPL”) to open a new InterContinental resort on the island of Maamunagau in the Maldives.
The 83-room InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort will mark the brand’s entry into the Maldives.

With the signing of InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort, the company now has 13 resorts in its development pipeline which will open within the next five years.

This is the third resort that IHG has in partnership with HPL. The Singapore-based property owner and developer also owns Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.

Maamunagau island is located at the southern point of Raa Atoll (North Maalhosmadulu Atoll). International travellers can take a seaplane directly to the resort from Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

The resort’s bar and restaurants include an all day dining restaurant, the InterContinental Planet Trekkers Menu for children, and a Club Lounge.

Jan Smits, chief executive officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), IHG, said: “Tourism in the Maldives has been a major contributor to its economy, contributing more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP last year, and sentiments are positive as the country continues to be one of the world’s most highly sought after travel destinations. It is a great time to be bringing our InterContinental brand into the Maldives.

“In growing our brands’ presence it is always important we look for the right partner and we are delighted to be working with HPL to bring our luxury brand, InterContinental into the country.”

Stephen Lau, chairman, HPL Hotels & Resorts Pte Ltd, said: “As part of our growth strategy we continuously seek the right opportunity to expand our portfolio across the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region. We see huge potential to grow our resorts business in the Maldives and Maamunagau island is the perfect setting to develop a luxury InterContinental resort.

“We’ve been working with IHG for almost seven years and they have been excellent partners. We look forward to bringing another great resort to life, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort, in partnership with IHG.

The Maldives Wins ‘Best Island’ At The Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2016

Maldives wins three awards at the 2016 Condé Nast Traveller, Readers’ Travel Awards in London reaffirming its position as one the world’s preferred destinations.

Maldives was selected as the winner of the “Best Island” category at the Condé Nast Traveller, Readers’ Travel Awards, seeing off stiff competition from the Greek Islands, the Balearic Islands and the Seychelles.

The ceremony was held at the Ham Yard Hotel in central London on August 30, 2016. The prestigious award was accepted by the Maldives High Commissioner to the UK, H.E. Mr. Ahmed Shiaan. After accepting the award, Mr. Shiaan said, “We are honored that the readers of the Condé Nast have chosen the Maldives as their favorite Island Destination. As a small Island Nation with only 350,000 inhabitants, these awards prove that the Maldives continues to provide the world with the best beaches, best hotels and the clearest waters in the Indian Ocean. We feel extremely proud of this recognition.”

The One & Only Hotel in Reethi Rah in the Maldives also won the “Best Hotel SPA and the Runner Up in the preferred overseas holiday hotel in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean.

The Condé Nast Traveller is one of the UK’s leading luxury travel magazines and its Reader’s Travel Awards, which are voted for by Condé Nast Traveller readers who are some of the most widely respected in the travel industry. The UK travel market remains buoyant for the Maldives. So far nearly 60,000 British people travelled to Maldives in 2016 which represents an increase of 10% compared to the same period of last year.

Upon hearing about the awards, the Maldives Minister for Tourism Hon. Moosa Zameer remarked: “The United Kingdom remains one of our most important markets and it is gratifying for the Maldives to receive such a prestigious prize in the UK. The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, with the full support of the Maldives High Commission in London, have done lots of work to promote Maldives in the UK, and this award is a fitting recognition of this hard work. We are elated to retain our position as one the world’s safest and preferred destination.”

OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo

OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, opened on 15th July 2016, has captured the imagination of one & all worldwide and within just a matter of few days into operations, the resort would be hitting an overall Occupancy of 90%! Truly an incredible achievement!
OZEN at Maadhoo offers a unique & exclusive Luxury Holiday plan – The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™. The Exotic 90 villa resort presents its guests with an all-encompassing Luxury Beach holiday experience with all elements of the perfect luxury holiday in the Maldives, fully taken care of, upfront. As the key Tagline of the resort states “No Shocks. No Surprises. No Hidden Costs…JUST BLISS!”

Located just 35-minutes by a Luxury speedboat from Malé International Airport, on the idyllic island of Maadhoo in South Malé Atoll, OZEN brings a complete hassle-free lifestyle holiday offering, to those seeking a tranquil escape from the daily grind. The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™ plan even includes an exquisite fine-dining experience within the first Underwater restaurant in Male` Atoll – M6m (Acronym for Minus Six Meters!), at NO extra charge. This is certainly a FIRST in the Maldives.

Mr. Venkata Giri, General Manager of OZEN states, “Today is a very special day as we welcome our first guests to OZEN by Atmosphere. It is gratifying to see all our hard work come to fruition and our vision coming to life. My team & I are fully excited & prepared to take care of our discerning guests during the coming weeks. We look forward to welcoming many more to our home away from home during the coming months and create lasting memories!”

OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo is the third resort within the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts portfolio. After the successful launch of Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives in December 2013, the brand opened a wonderful & extremely popular four star superior resort – OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli in November 2015.

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts intends to expand their portfolio with another two resorts during the coming year!

Maldives Wins 2 medals at Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge!

Maldives has won 2 medals in the Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge. The FHA Challenge was held on Singapore and Maldives won 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal.

The Silver Medal was won by Abdul Rasheed in Dress the cake category and the Bronze medal was won by Abdulla Sabah, the sues-chef of Soneva Fushi Maldives. These 2 chefs have achieved medals in the previous International culinary Challenges.

Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) Challenge began in 1978 and is now one of the prestigious culinary competitions in Asia. This challenge has attracted more than 800 talented chefs from all over the world. The FHA Challenge has served and estimated 48,000 trade visitors from 90 countries/regions. This has allowed them to present a formidable purchasing power to boost their business for the Asian market.

Source: Maldive

TMA launches its first air-conditioned luxury seaplane

Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has launched its first luxury air conditioned sea plane. This comfortable seaplane can accommodate up to 8 passengers with comfortable leather seats. TMA has stated that the luxury seaplane is known to be the first of its kind and will contribute to the satisfaction of the passengers.

The event was held in the TMA Terminal building and was attended by the key partners, staffs and government officials. Mr. Adil Moosa, Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited was the chief guest of the event. Fawzy, CEO of TMA has stated that the launch of this new luxury aircraft is a demonstration of commitment to innovation. The ceremony was concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the launch of the Seaplane by the Chief Guest of the event.

Trans Maldivian Airways started in 1989 and is known to be one of the oldest air service operator in the Maldives. The company has now grown to become one of the largest seaplane operators in the world. TMA has won several awards such as the World’s Leading Seaplane Operator Award, Indian Ocean’s Leading Seaplane Operator Award, etc…

Source: Maldive

Maldives wins prestigious awards at World Travel Awards 2016

Maldives wins prestigious awards at World Travel Awards- Indian Ocean Category 2016

Maldives wins the prestigious position of the Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination at the 23rd edition of the Annual World Travel Awards; Africa and Indian Ocean held on 9th April evening in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Maldives once again secured the prestigious position as the Indian Ocean’s leading Destination after having won the title also in 2015 after fierce competition with Indian Ocean’s top tourist destinations including Seychelles and Mauritius.

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the “Travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s”
the World Travel Awards are the most comprehensive and most prestigious awards program in the global travel industry. It was established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. The Indian Ocean category was introduced in 2003.

Since then, the Maldives had won prestigious positions in various categories over the years. 2016 Award series is yet again another tremendous year for the Maldives as a tourist destination. Being a winner of most awards in the most prestigious categories truly bench marks the destination profiling at the highest level. One of the main events of Visit Maldives Year 2016 includes the Maldives hosting the World Travel Awards Grand Finale of 2016.

The winning categories for Maldives in 2016 are;

  • Indian Ocean's Leading Destination

  • Indian Ocean's Leading Dive Destination

  • Indian Ocean's Leading Beach Destination

  • Indian Ocean's Leading Honeymoon Destination

  • Winning Other Winning categories for Maldivian Tourism Industry

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport – Ibrahim Nasir International Airport

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Resort – Constance Moosfushi

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Family Resort – The Sun Siyam Iru fushi

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel Suite – Royal Island Suite @ JA Manafaru

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Leisure Hotel – Hulhule Island Hotel

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Water Villa – Ocean Pavillion @ PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading MICE Hotel – Kurumba Maldives

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort – aaaVeee Nature’s Paradise

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Seaplane Operator – Trans Maldivian Airways

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency – Vermillion International Maldives

  • Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort – Baros Maldives

For more information about the awards, please visit

Maldives wins ‘Best Stand Design’ award at WTM Africa

Maldives’ stand won the award for the Best Stand Design at WTM Africa 2016. The award was received by the Acting Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation, Mr. Haris Mohamed. Other awards given at this fair included Best Stand Personnel, Most Innovative Stand, Best stand for doing Business and Most Responsible Stand. After receiving the award, Mr. Haris Mohamed gave an interview to the WTM organizers and Media.

MMPRC, together with 5 companies from the industry are representing Maldives at the WTM Africa, 3rdEdition held in Cape Town, South Africa. Maldives’ is an active stand showcasing the Maldivian culture and beauty in its theme. While Maldives is participating in this fair for the first time, it is a great opportunity to promote Maldives as a tourist destination whilst creating new business networks and ties in the South African market. The biggest promotional campaign of the year, the Visit Maldives Campaign 2016 is also widely promoted throughout the fair with additional advertising on billboards.

Prizes were given out after a raffle draw with more than 200 entries. The prizes were generously sponsored by Adaaran Resorts Maldives and Beach Wood Hotel, Maafushi Island.

In 2015, the number of tourists from South Africa increased by 39.9% with a total of 4,170 visitors, contributing to 0.3% of the market share. With the right promotion, the market shows great potential for growth.

Chinese world champion TT player in Maldives

Table Tennis Association of Maldives has organized a 24 hours Table Tennis marathon to celebrate World Table Tennis Day, on 6th April 2016 at Rasfannu. The “World Table Tennis For All Day 2016” marathon was joined by China’s Table Tennis Pro and World Table Tennis champion Jiang Jialiang.

China being our top market in terms of arrivals to Maldives, the participation of Jiang Jialiang at this event, will be a great exposure for Maldives in China and this is part of the Visit Maldives Year campaign.

Oberoi Group Signs MOU to open a new resort in Maldives

One of the prestigious global hotel company, Oberoi Group has unveiled plans to open a new luxury resort in Maldives. Recently, the company has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indian Construction company, Subramanya Construction & Development Company (SCDC) and the Maldivian government for the creation of the new resort.

This property is Oberoi group’s first property in Maldives. Details of the new resort has not been disclosed yet. Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, the Managing Director of the SCDC has mentioned that the luxury resort in Maldives requires a world class expertise in design and operations. He also mentioned that he looks forward to working with the Oberoi Group on this extraordinary project as this will make a major contribution to the long-term relationship with the Oberoi group. The Executive chairman of the Oberoi Group has added that they are extremely pleased to assist the SCDC group in design and management of the proposed luxury resort project.

The Oberoi Group was found in in 1934 by an Indian hotelier Mohan Sign Oberoi. The company is known to have more than 30 properties all over the world including Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, UAE, etc.. The group also is involved in travel and tour Services, car rentals, etc…

Source: Maldive

Maldives takes part at WTM Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa

Maldives is currently participating in the World Trade Market Africa Edition, held at the heart of Cape Town, in South Africa from 6 -8 April 2016. The Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC) together with the tourism industry sums up to a total of 5 co-exhibiting companies and 9 industry participants. The Maldivian delegation representing The Sunny Side of Life at the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) will be headed by the Acting Managing Director of MMPRC, Mr. Haris Mohamed.

WTM Africa is a vibrant, culturally diverse, must attend business-to-business travel and tourism event, presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to South African, African and International travel professionals. Mirrored on well-known flagship events WTM in London and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai - WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. The Maldivian stand at WTM Africa will help to build Maldives as a destination while generating new leads and increasing the business network. 

Maldives is being showcased in a stand area of 60 sqm, which portrays the uniqueness of our destination in attractive images. This is the 3rd year of WTM Africa, and Maldives is taking part for the first time. In addition to the Maldivian stand, extra promotional billboards have been credited to advertise Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign in this significant exhibition. 

Africa is a growing market to the Maldives. The African continent recorded a growth of 39.9% when compared with the results of the previous year. The arrival figures recorded in the year 2015 shows that 4,170 individuals visited Maldives from South Africa. This country in particular accounts to 0.3% of the whole market and experienced an increase of 33.2% in the tourist arrival figure from 2014 to 2015.

Maldives wins two national awards at Marine Dive Fair 2016

Maldives won the first prize for the Reader’s Choice Dreaming Area award and the second prize for Reader’s Choice Best Diving Area, Overseas award at the Dive and Travel Awards 2016 which took place at the Marine Dive Fair 2016. The Maldives Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, joined this opening ceremony representing Maldives at the Marine Dive Fair 2016.

Marine Dive fair is an annual scuba diving and beach resorts fair that takes place in Tokyo Japan, targeted towards the consumers and trade in Japan and Asia. This year marks the 24th edition of this annual event and went off successfully.

The Japanese market was once among the top 5 markets in terms of arrivals to Maldives. While the market has dropped over the year, they still remain among the top 10 markets and show potential for growth. The Japanese enjoy their travel to tropical destination and is a huge market for the dive segment of the destination. This gives Maldives an advantage over other destination as Maldives offers free visa on entry and easy connections between Japan and Maldives.

Maldives embassy in Japan represented Maldives at Marine Dive Fair this year, Maldives presence was well covered at the event. Through right promotion and exposure at this event, expect a positive growth with increasing arrivals from the Japanese market once again.

Saudi Arabia- Fly direct to Maldives

The Saudi Arabian Airlines has started direct scheduled flights between Riyadh and Maldives effective from March 30. There will be two weekly flights between the Kingdom and Maldives.

The first flight to the archipelago landed at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) on Wednesday morning.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation President Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, who is also chairman of the board of General Organization of Saudia; Saleh Al-Jasser, director general of Saudia; and other senior officials will attended the ceremony to receive the first flight landing at Maldives airport on March 30.

\According to an official of Saudia, the airline will operate two weekly flights to the Maldives beginning Wednesday. To celebrate the occasion, Saudia offers fifty percent discount for tickets to Saudi Arabia, Europe and the United States.
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