Maldives ministers welcome first visitor at start of 40th anniversary tourism celebrations

The Maldives’ defence and economic chiefs joined Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Ahmed Adheeb in welcoming the first visitors to the country since the commencement of 40th anniversary of tourism.

Local media has reported that Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and Economic Minister Mohamed Ahmed were on hand at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) in Male’ this morning to welcome the day’s first tourist arrivals.

Hong Kong resident Sing Kok and his family were met off the plane by officials and presented with a free holiday in the country for being the Maldives’ first visitors as 40th anniversary celebrations began.

Adheeb told the Sun Online news service that a number of commemorative events would he held in the country up to September 27 next year; ranging from presenting awards, hosting major local and international events and providing sessions at the country’s National Museum, detailing Maldivian culture and artefacts.

Following February’s controversial transfer of power, an unidentified group attacked and destroyed artefacts representing the country’s pre-Islamic heritage kapt at the museum.

The US later provided financial assistance totalling US$ 20,000 (MVR 308,400) to help try and restore artefacts placed in the museum.