Push for mid-market tourism starts in Laamu Gan

The Maldives first resort-style tourist guest house to operate on a local inhabited island opened yesterday on Laamu Atoll Gan Island, the Maldives largest island (six kilometres squared) and three times the size of capitol Male’.

President Mohamed Nasheed attended the opening of Reveries Diving Village along with over 600 island residents, several government officials and a few representatives from neighboring resort Six Senses Laamu.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Nasheed said the guest house would benefit the island by providing jobs and boosting local industrial activity and income.

At the moment, a majority of the guest house is staff is Maldivian. “They are a very friendly group, not terribly experienced but very willing,” said Reveries Manager Boris A. Salam.

President Nasheed elaborated that industrial expansion on islands is directly proportional to government priority. To support development on all islands, the government is obliged to provide clean water, efficient sewerage systems and durable roads for its people, he said.

Reveries Diving Village was designed by a Maldivian architect and developed by BISON Maldives Pvt Ltd; it is owned by BISON Chairman Abdul Majeed. The President pointed out that Reveries is part of a larger push to expand tourism to inhabited islands and incorporate local businesses in the nation’s leading industry.

Re-inventing the Maldives’ traditional “one island one resort” theme, Reveries encourages guests to explore the local side of Gan through sight-seeing excursions, picnics, fishing trips and meals at local cafes, while maintaining a variety of standard resort services including a spa, conference facilities, PADI certified dive school and water sports facilities.

The location will also likely attract an ambitious surf community–famous surf points Yin Yang, Isdhoo Bank and Refugees Lefts are easy to access.

Offering 25 guest rooms and one villa for under US$200 per night (Rf 3000) and compliant with Shariah-based regulations, Reveries aims to serve the needs of vacationers, business folk and backpackers alike–foreign and Maldivian.

“The island life and serenity of Laamu Gan, added with the unique features such as a mythical freshwater lake that is estimated to be 60 meters deep and old Buddhist Temple ruins add distinctive value to any traveler,” reads a press release.

Manager Salam said he had received positive feedback about the guest house’s humble intent. “People said that from the outside the building doesn’t look like much, it could be anything. But when they come in they’re very nicely surprised, the design immediately makes you feel cozy,” he said, observing that the public beach area in front of the house adds a neighborhood feel.

Reveries is part of a string of recent developments on Laamu Gan, which is connected by causeways and bridges to three other islands in the atoll forming a total land area of approximately nine kilometres. The domestic airport on nearby Kadhoo island affords easy transportation to and from capital Male’, located 250 km to the North.

Harbours and a hospital developed by the French Red Cross have improved the economy and lifestyle of Laamu residents, and an international school is also expected to open this year.

The addition of Reveries appears to please Laamu residents. Reveries Manager Boris A. Salam said “people are curious, they’ve been popping in during the development stage to see what’s happening.”

According to a press release one lifetime resident, Hussein, said, “this is the happiest I have been after the opening of the airport. It will create a lot of jobs and opportunities for small business to grow. The success of Reveries will surely bring more investments to the region.”

Reveries plans to develop a second property in Laamu Gan later this year with Amin Construction Pvt. Ltd. The property will offer 20 rooms in 6 villas, along with a swimming pool and other food and beverage facilities.


15 thoughts on “Push for mid-market tourism starts in Laamu Gan”

  1. Good luck guys! Really hope you will succeed. And if you do there will be some employment for the people.

    While the 'buildings' might be beautiful you need to fill the hotel for this to be a success.

    We will keep very close tab on your progress to see how this 'new concept' for the Maldives really works.


  2. I wonder what 'compliant with Shariah-based regulations' means............ sounds absolutely dire.............do tourists, especially the women, get flogged in public for fornication?.............is your hand chopped off for stealing?............are the chambermaids nine year old virgins called Ayesha?
    Will the fanatics who regularly comment on this site please enlighten me

  3. Interesting, more so since its claimed to be Sharia compliant. I guess that means no alcohol or pork served in this hotel. $200/night won't be too expensive if its fully inclusive although that's not mentioned. Still, I'd think that's outside the backpacker's budget.

  4. @Indira NewDelhi on Fri, 3rd Feb 2012 2:32 AM

    You are trying to provoke an argument here. You have to understand that those who jump at those kinds of comments are those who are quite literally facing the dilemma of either accepting the stupidity of the 7th century AD arabian ways, comapred the culture of unquestioning belief in religion, propagated for a long time.

    Yes, we know its a con by the men, to marry at 6y girls. We know the religion is the worlds biggest con, the human civilization has ever had. Its just that,
    a) some find it hard to believe that they have been conned for so long.
    b) all feel so very stupid for having been misled by the stupid and lazy arabs.
    c) some just don't have the guts to take their own destiny in their own hands, so chose to lay on the unseen, unquestionable 'god'.
    d) some just cannot ask themselves the basic question and not feel guilty about it. 'How can The God who created everything is 6 days, fail to tweak the brains of a few billion humans to believe in him?'

  5. Any ideology if lifted straight from the 7th Century would seem inconsistent with the times or 'stupid' if you lift it out of its context and fail to understand the underlying reasons for its historical significance.

    Mohamed of Hijaz was one of the greatest men in world history and stands revered to this day due to his achievements. He united barbaric nomads who constantly fought amongst themselves and created a nation based on a code of conduct and adherence to a single belief.

    Islam has not stood still since that day. It has been updated and introduced several innovations such as Shariah-compliant financial and business services. Our country just needs to catch up to the developments in Islam and learn more about how and why it applies to our country as a uniting factor.

  6. @indhira Newdelhi
    this is not the time and place for such provocation. Like Ali Saleem said, even though it may all be true this is not the place and it was uncalled for.

    I really hope this works out for the people of Gan. i'd love to stay there, but i think the prices are still too high and to mention backpackers in the same article with 200USD per night room rate is interesting..

  7. Mid market tourism just does not equate to $200 per night, AI or not.Cost of flights from UK are $900,then 10days at $200 per day,,whats mid market about that..You can go AI in India/Sri-Lanka/Borneo/Red sea,and loads of other places for half of that amount..Don't price yourselves out of the market..The Chinese are already looking at the Marshall/Solomon Islands as well as many other areas of SE Asia..Beware my friends Beware..

  8. This is great news for Lammu people.

    With all humility, I think a rate of around $200 for a "resort-style" guest house (4 storey building)will not work very well.

    1. We need to include Air-taxi budget of another $200 or more. Backpakers are extremely unlikely want to pay that.

    2. There are a least half a dozen of resorts similar to Embudu Resort in North/South Male atolls which also charge less the $200 with Full-Board and more facilities - Plus no need to take Air-taxi.

    3. Bison seriously needs to work on it website and publicity - the photos in Facebook are not attractive at all - having a girl with bikini will not help much. You can't see any facilities besides the rooms and dinning photos.

    I think it is better to lower down the room rate and generate more profits from other activities/areas.

    Will drop-by someday.

  9. In their Facebook states:
    "Our opening rate is 175 US$ per room based on double occupancy. included in the rate is a breakfast buffet (7 am to 11 am) and the domestic airport pick up in Laamu Atoll at Kadhdhoo airport"

    This rate is too much high for staying in an Apartment like guesthouse building surrounded with high walls!

  10. Great news! When can we see some photos?
    Excellent addittion to the economy. Good luck!

  11. So who is the target audience for this ill conceived 'shariah compliant' resort?..........saudis?...........pakistanis?..........emiratis?..........yemenis?............somalis? If it is european and chinese tourists this emphasis on shariah compliance will only scare them off. European and chinese tourists want to have a good relaxing holiday and not be subjected to petty seventh century restrictions on food, drink and dress. Believe it or not most people outside the middle east have absolutely no interest in shariah law, me included.
    For $200 per day you can get a good three star all inclusive resort in Goa with bacon and sausages for breakfast, locally made wines, spirits and liqueurs, art galleries, historic places to visit, music and book shops, great shopping and a hot massage from a cool masseur............in Maldives you get crap food, rubbish quality chinese souvenirs, no local culture and enough islam to rot the brain.

  12. Looks like the charges have been reviewed. There is also a delightful carpentry sight that does produce souvenirs BY HAND. I hope it does well. What ever happened to the white people who were going to be there?


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