President Yameen launches “Sun Siyam” brand

President Abdulla Yameen opened the rebranded “Sun Siyam Iru Fushi” resort at a ceremony on Friday.

Resorts operated under the ‘Sun Travel’ company owned by MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed have been rebranded ‘Sun Siyam Resorts.’

Speaking at the brand launching ceremony, President Yameen urged youth to follow the example of Siyam’s entrepreneurship, adding that success could be reached through perseverance and discipline.

The president also outlined the government’s goals for developing the tourism industry during his five-year term, which included “developing 50 new resort properties, introducing vertical tourism, positioning Maldives as a vacation home, developing live-aboard marina infrastructure, developing medical tourism with world class facilities, and introducing educational tourism,” according to the President’s Office.

President Yameen announced that a number of resorts would float a portion of their shares to the public by the end of the year, urging resort workers to become shareholders.

The Sun Siyam would be floating up to 40 percent of the group’s shares to their employees in the coming years, Yameen announced.

At the ceremony, Siyam – leader of the Maldives Development Alliance party – presented President Yameen and Toursim Minister Ahmed Adeeb with commemorative plaques, which was followed by an entertainment programme headlined by international artist Nicole Scherzinger.


Chinese couple disappear at sea, leaving 13 year old daughter

A Chinese couple holidaying in the Maldives disappeared from their resort on Saturday after they went for a swim, according to the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

The 38 year old woman and 40 year old man were holidaying with their 13 year-old daughter on the Hilton Irufushi Beach and Spa Resort in Noonu Atoll.

Lieutenant Abdulla Jaleel said that MNDF had already searched 102 square miles from air and sea, attempting to locate the lost couple.

“Yesterday we checked near Rehendi Resort, today we started to search near Dhigufaru island,’’ said Jaleel. “We have been unable to discover any sign of them.’’

“On that day, we received a report from a speed boat  travelling in the area that they thought they had seen a woman lying face down on the surface, but when they turned towards the direction of the woman to check, she had vanished,’’ Jaleel said. “MNDF Nothern Area coast guard immediately went to the area, but there was no sign of them.’’

Daily newspaper Haveeru reported that the couple and their daughter went to the beach and that their daughter walked around the beach collecting shells while her mother and father were swimming. When she came back she noticed her parents were missing.

Jaleel said that the missing couple’s daugter was now under observation at Irufushi resort.

The resort issued a statement today saying it had immediately launched its emergency search and rescue plan, and contacted the MNDF Coast Guard.

“The hotel is assisting the authorities and all efforts are being made to locate the guests. The well being, safety and security of our guests are of paramount importance and the Hilton Maldives / Iru Fushi Resort & Spa continues to make every effort to ensure that all practises and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations,” the resort said.

On February 27, a 69 year old German tourist died while snorkelling at Embudhu Village Resort in Kaafu Atoll, eight kilometres from Male’.

On March 1, a Chinese tourist died while snorkeling at Chaaya Lagoon Hakurahura Island Resort. Two weeks later on March 14 a second Chinese tourist died at Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort.

Correction: A previous version of article incorrectly stated that a Chinese couple died at Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort on March 14. The male guest died while the female guest was revived.