Tourism promotion concerts will show the world the true Malé: Adeeb

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb has told local media that performers are being invited to the Maldives in order to promote tourism, and that they have nothing to do with religion.

“While the entire world has started to see Malé City as a lair that harbours members of the Islamic State or extremist militants, foreign artists performing here will show the world what the situation here is truly like,” he was quoted as telling Haveeru.

“Maldives does not belong to the Islamic State,” he continued.

Adeeb’s comments follow continued criticism of music concerts held in the Maldives’ capital, with US R&B singer Akon set to perform in the national stadium on Thursday (January 8).

A scheduled performance from Jamaican dancehall singer Sean Paul, as part of the ‘Tourism Arrival Countdown Show’, was cancelled following an online death threat. Indian artists Salim and Sulaiman Merchant stepped in at the last moment to headline the New Year’s Eve show.

After a statement from the Adhaalath Party yesterday expressed concern that such concerts are defying Islamic teachings, the party’s only MP Anara Naeem today tweeted that the government should rethink its policy.

“The current government should deeply consider stepping out of the musical universe,” wrote the Makunudhoo constituency MP.

Islamic minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed today refused to comment on the upcoming appearance of Akon, though his ministry previously expressed concern at the singers’ planned appearance in Malé in 2010,which was eventually cancelled due to technical and security concerns.

Following the online threat against Sean Paul – dismissed as a hoax by the government – religious groups spoke out against the holding of such concerts, while Shaheem himself called them “unacceptable”.

The President’s Office moved quickly to assure the safety of the Maldives for visitors, despite signs in 2014 that the capital has become less safe for locals.

President Abdulla Yameen warned of adverse impacts on tourism from threats against tourists and urged Maldivians to leave aside political differences to assure a safe and secure environment for investors and tourists alike.

Adeeb – who has today been appointed acting defence minister – told Haveeru that the concerts were intended to promote the Maldives as a brand. Last week’s show concluded with the announcement that the country had received 1.45 million tourists in 2014.

He explained that the government had not paid any money for the artists to appear, as well as suggesting that the Maldives should focus on national happiness instead of just economic development.

“Where else are such famous artists seen performing for free? We should not just focus on GDP but on ‘growth development happiness’ as well,” Adeeb told Haveeru.

The concept of gross national happiness has been made famous by Bhutan, which is the only country to use the measure as its official yardstick for development. The UN also began compiling a World Happiness Index in 2012 though the Maldives has yet to take part in the survey.

Related to this story

Adhaalath Party concerned that concerts are defying Islamic teachings

Sean Paul cancels New Year’s appearance, citing security concerns

President Yameen warns of adverse impacts on tourism from threats against guests


10 thoughts on “Tourism promotion concerts will show the world the true Malé: Adeeb”

  1. clean the street of filth. nazeem went for holiday now you go.two out makes a difference

  2. It will take more than one or two appearances by foreign artists to show me and the world that Maldives is a haven of peace and tranquility free from the worst type of religious bigotry that has become Maldives' trade mark,

    During the brief period that Mohamed Nasheed and MDP occupied the Presidential Palace, a distinguished individual who is now Vice President came out with a manifesto condemning Mohamed Nasheed providing purely religious arguments.

    So we have an accredited Islamist as high on the political ladder as the post of Vice President. This holy and pious Vice President must have been instrumental in propelling his President Yameen on a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina to establish Yameen's Islamic credentials.

    In a land where Islam rules OK, the blatant message is obvious. If the Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed (MDP) is to enjoy the slightest possibility of becoming president come the next presidential election,Nasheed better hurry to Mecca and Medina too, prefereably with his future running made the Vice President holding his hands.

    This visit to Mecca and Medina will be more important for another reason. With Maldives' political customs in mind, I think there is a likelihood that Nasheed will not be allowed to become a presidential candidate anyway. So this proposed pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia will set the political winds blowing in his favour.

    This pilgrimage will at least make it more difficult to debar him from standing for election as president.

  3. I think wahabi and salafi (strict interpretor of Islam) getting more ground in future we might see strict sharia law in Maldives include segregation everywhere, women face covering,beheading, flogging ect.I don't understand why so many thing coming across to arrange a simple concert.if the government don't do the right thing now Maldivians will have to pay for it.because they don't have oil like Saudi.tourism can't be flourished without better integration with the rest of the Maldivian civil society can play an important role on this.please take the island forward rather than backwards or middle age.

  4. Growth development happiness is an ideal thing. And a famous artist's performance is only a minor step in the right direction. Give people an affordable way to call a place their own home and provide security on the streets. The youth of this nation wants a secure future.

  5. Just ask yourselves .. which world do you want to live in ??.. Is it the new world or is it the world from the ''dark-age''..

  6. At last some voice of expressing human reality in the Maldives rather than the deepening oppression and depression.
    The continued ambiguous and hypocritical demands forced upon Maldivians versus a people's choice is festering a potentially dangerous reaction.
    My international friends and relatives are deeply concerned about the erosion of the MALDIVES PARADISE image.

  7. Mr. Adheeb. I gave you my finest soldiers and the best military advisers the caliphate could afford to ensure that Maldives becomes a colony state of the Caliphate.

    You will pay respect to the caliphate, or else.

  8. I'm afraid the ideologies festering in the mind would not be wiped by a foreign artist performing in the overcrowded Male'.

    Promote tolerant Islamic values. Get the preachers to endorse these values. Government must make the Islamic value their official stance. Not just hosting a music show.

    A people more in hardship, and deprived and lacking would turn to solace from the spiritual religious leaders. When they do make sure it's the right one.

  9. @Logal

    So, if we end poverty and hardship, we end the power of the filthy preachers, is that it?

    Very well.

  10. @Maldivian

    You failed to grasp the gist of it. The rich the poor no matter you class could go bend into fanatical set of ideals. The truth is living in a more stress free environment would give people more time to think, and ponder, it will certainly reduce such inclinations.


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