Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review of Male' City in a Different Angle - Male' Maldives

When it comes to online blogs, you usually see the general information such as what you can do & where to stay but not about other facts. I am going to talk about points of tourism as well, but in a different angle.

Male’ is really a beautiful city, a place I still miss. It is relaxed even for expatriates & for tourists;  since you don't have much to do, for most of the time you can chill.

Male’ is the world’s smallest island city fully commercialised, business runs for double shifts, shops are open from 7am to 11pm & a city that uses the US dollar as their unofficial main currency. More than the locals themselves, you can see expatriates from all over the world here.

In Male’ the standard of living is very expensive since about 99.99% of commodities are imported. Unfortunately the country has to fully depend on other countries for all their needs, however on the plus side the Maldives’ main business is tourism & exporting fish.

I have never tasted fish like Maldives fish. In Sri Lanka you will never find fish that tastes like fish produced from the Maldives & when it comes to tourism you will never find fine resort islands like those in the Maldives.

Let's discuss some interesting facts about the Maldives subject by subject:

People in Maldives or Maldivians
Sadly the young generation is spoilt by drugs. You can see everywhere young drugged-up boys & unfortunately girls too. Drugged-up generations are not only in Male’ but also in domestic islands nearby. For tourists it's harmless, yet I have seen lots of expats who have experienced sexual abuse, stealing, beating etc. I am not saying all locals are like that, as I have seen and met some wonderful & innocent people. As a tourist you are still safe when walking around with a resort guide or your tour operator appointed guest guide. The older generation & people hailing from islands are very kind & innocent.

Male' Maldives Fish Market
This is an awesome place to buy fish. You can buy most varieties here; mainly you will get tuna & reef fish and you also have the option of buying fish alive. I have never seen a fish-cleaning process like they do in the Maldives. The people here are nothing short of experts and what ever fish type you give them, they will skin them in a min, as fast as machines. This is a must see!
Local Market in Male' Maldives
You can find 100% local and island products here, mixed with vegetable shops. Behind this local market you can find dried Maldives fish (umbalakada) market.

Fishing Trip in Male’
One of the best experiences you can have here is fishing. What do you think about have a fishing trip in a big local fishing boat and having your catch for bbq? Whilst you can go fishing in the resort, the fishing experience in Male’ is a different experience.

Submarine Dive in Male' Maldives
I was in Male’ for 9 years but never got time to have the submarine experience. I have seen photos & based on my friends’ experiences, I can say it is pretty cool!

Maldive Island hopping
Around male you will find many small islands. If you like to see the lifestyle of islanders for yourself, you should definitely go island hopping. I have been to an island called “Koddipparu” such a lovely tiny private island, and also “Kuda Bandos” is one of the famous islands near Male, ideal for picnics, office private parties and the like.

Guest Houses in Male', Maldives
For sleep-overs, there are guest houses with good standards, but some of the guest houses are of very bad quality. If you are really concerned about security then guest houses are not what you are looking for.

Hotels in Male’, Maldives
Why do you need a Hotel in Male? If you are on a business trip or an overnight stay only, I can recommend male' hotels. Maldives is one of the best holiday destinations, however it does not mean Male' hotels. I recommend only Traders Hotel & Hulule Hotels. There are new hotels in Hulu Male but I can not name any since I have not seen them personally.

Kuda Bandos Maldives

Kuda Bandos Maldives

Fishing equipment selling shop in Male' Maldives

Kuda Bandos Island Hopping Maldives

Having Fun at Kuda Bandos Island Maldives 

An Apartment in Male' Maldives

Artificial Beach in Male' Maldives

Jetty Number 1 Male' Maldives or Presidential Jetty

View of Male Intentional Airport from Male' Maldives

Male City

Arrival Jetty Male' Maldives

Thursday, November 27, 2014

First Fully Solar Powered Maldives Luxury Resort - Gasfinolhu Island Resort

We had a family holiday to this resort, before the renovation. It was a lovely place. Food was great, the chefs were very friendly. there weren't any swimming pools, but we went to the beach,shallow waters and we even got water-sports for free!

New Gasfinolhu Island Resort

Read the Full News

Gasfinolhu Island Resort when went for holiday in 2011 March

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do you have to use Social Media for Branding?

Writing this post
I was reading some marketing articles/blogs on flipboard when I was going today to office and decided that writers are either confusing you to make money, or their knowledge is, in fact limited.

Some say that the use of social media for branding has immense potential, whilst on the contrary some others say brands are wasting time and money on Facebook and Twitter. Or sometimes, the very same writer contradicts his/ her own post.

The way I see it, from business to business, country to country & audience to audience it differs. Talk to your marketing staff and see what they are capable of with social media; be frank with them and say ‘I have a few questions. I read something in an article recently. Do you think it is effective and would it be worthwhile to apply to our business?’ Talking to your staff & taking decisions is one of the best things boss can do. Not only does nobody else understand what’s best for your business better than your own staff, they might also have hidden ideas & input that you have never discovered.

All in all it's a good idea to have social media for all businesses. You can generate some great traffic & quality conversions. Do be careful when it comes to utilizing time & money effectively.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Top 5 Kids Friendly Maldives Resorts

Over the weekend (it’s still Sunday) I was trying to spend some time with my kids but that didn’t go according to plan. I was at home compiling the  #HoneyDoList, after which I had to go to a lunch invitation in Negombo.

When I got back home later that night, I really felt bad for my kids because I wasn’t able to even talk to them properly.

My daily life with my wife & kids goes something like this. After waking up for subah prayers at 4:30am, I  then go to the mosque and pray with Umar & Abdullah. From then on, like a machine my wife and I get them ready for school & I prep for office. We do not have time to smile at each other; I go to office & kids will go to school.

I come home at around 8pm/9pm (if there’s no meeting at office) and by the time I’m home, the 3 eldest will be sleeping whilst youngest 2 are getting ready to sleep. I then pray on my own before hitting the sack.

When thinking this over, I felt ‘Alhamdulillah Allah is great & I am so blessed to see family; even though I can't spend time with them’.  On observation, most people’s lives are somewhat similar, but some of them only see their families after a week, perhaps months or even  years.

At the end of the day we do all of this for family & to keep our homes happy. Better (and relaxing)  solution would be to spend your vacation in a place like Maldives. For me this is the one of the most relaxing destinations where you will have nothing, but a real family holiday.

I have been in the Maldives travel industry since 2006. It has been almost 8 years to date. As I always say, I love data: It will help you analyze, forecast, understand & will help you make strong decisions. As per my study for Maldives, about 60% are coming Maldives Resort for a family holiday. I trust my recommendation of the Maldives for family (like mine) to spend some quality time together.

I thought of sharing my personal thought about child friendly resorts as a parent; being in Maldives travel industry for so long, I hope I can definitely help you find the best resort for your family holiday. At the end of the trip what we are all looking for, is some quality time with our kids & of course with your sweetheart.

Maldives is one of the best destinations for couples who wants to have some quality time alone. The resorts with ‘kids’ club’ facilities will add a great opportunity for your kids to have a good experience. Do not settle for ‘kids’ club’ where they will just have some toys in a park or room. 

As a parent I can advise you to look for a place where your kids will have some new experiences, such as water sports, external sports, cooking programs, green activities, kids swimming pool & etc. My kids are glued to their computers & iPad when we go on a trip. Ensure you do not allow them to bring  technological gadgets to the resort. Let them spend some real time in the real world.

Here comes my experience in travel field; I just want to name the best 5 Kids Club where I would like to take my kids for a great experience in Maldives.

One of the best place to have experience with family, Can have a wonderful experience at Suneva Fushi with your kids, they even have a package called Family Fun Package with a cool activities with kids & you. Children explore a pirate ship, two swimming pools, a children's mocktail bar, lego room, dress-up area, cinema, library, learning area, sound-proof music room filled with instruments, the Tunnel. A 14-metre channel clad in roots, branches and hidden surprises, organic gardens filled with flowers, swings and nests tucked into the trees. Father & Son Picnic and Mother & Daughter Spa, Cooking class for children and families, Family Dolphin Cruise, Gourmet Dining experience, include chocolate and wine, mocktails for children, cheese and meat tasting with selected fine wines. The Den Fach Sheet

For the youngest, Le Carrousel offers a range of cultural, playful and sports activities: children yoga, submarine pictures safari, treasure hunt and many other memorable experiences. Outdoors, a pergola protects children from the sun allowing them to play as much as they please. A large water slide sitting on top of a special pool tops this universe dedicated to the pleasure of little ones.For teenagers, Le Paddock offers an entirely dedicated space opening onto a garden: billiard, table football, table tennis, a multimedia station as well as many other experiences from a subaquatic hike to observational astronomy sessions. PDF Fact Sheet

I really like the name “Tender Hearts”, this is newly refurbished luxury resort. Small library, board games, bicycles, dedicated & well-trained and creative team, Junior Certification Program, Painting and Drawing, Crab Race, Movies, Sandcastle making, Dance Party, Running Race , Balloon Race, Make your own Sandwich, Musical Chairs, Treasure Hunt, Tour of the Resort, Babysitting

Educational activities, beach-based activities, Young Pirates of Villingili, Jungle Discovery, Crab Hunting & Racing, Underwater Adventure, Nature Arts & Crafts, Island Fitness, Young Adventurers Mailing List

5. “Majaa Kids” at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island