Yacht Rally, Codesharing With Emirates, Free Business Visa For Indians

Thursday, February 10

The national carrier Maldivian signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Emirates to explore “a codeshare agreement that will enable Emirates’ customers to conveniently book and connect from Malé to more than 15 domestic destinations and the international destinations served by Maldivian.” The airlines will also consider a tour operating partnership “to offer customers tailor-made packages including hotel stays at world class resorts and exclusive tours.”

Thursday, February 10

The State Trading Organisation commenced its annual Ramadan sale with discounts up to 40 percent from STO Home Improvement and regional outlets. A digital coupon is issued for every purchase of MVR1,000 (US$65) with a five-night holiday for two in Turkey for the grand lucky draw winner.

Lease agreements from Addu City’s tourism zone were transferred to the council.

The tax authority collected MVR2.36 billion (US$153 million) in January, 39 percent higher than forecast and up 31 percent from the same period last year.

The Tourism Employees Association of Maldives filed cases with the Labour Relations Authority against three top resorts – Soneva Fushi, Four Seasons and Seaside Finolhu – over alleged noncompliance with the employment law. New provisions prohibit employers from forcing staff to stay on the worksite or island after official working hours.

The amendments were approved by parliament in September 2020 in line with the ruling party’s pledge to allow resort workers to return to their families after work shifts.

The resort workers’ union threatened to protest “if no appropriate action is taken against those resorts”.

The highest bid for 26 beachfront plots auctioned from Hulhumalé was an MVR10 million (US$648,500) per square foot proposal submitted by mistake, it was reported after the bid winners were announced. The proposed rate would amount to MVR20 billion for the 2,000 square foot plot. The 70-year-old bidder reportedly intended to propose MVR5,000 per square foot for a total price of MVR10 million.

Out of 211 proposals, the second highest bid was MVR10,222 per square foot.

Hulhumalé (Photo credit: PSM)

Tuesday, February 8

Allied Insurance paid customers more than MVR250 million (US$16 million) in claims in 2021.

Tuesday, February 8

Monday, February 7

This year’s student loan scheme was announced with a deduction of the administrative fee from three to one percent. Applications opened for 720 slots, of which 417 are reserved for new students and 303 for students continuing an ongoing course.

Monday, February 7

Sunday, February 6

Indian nationals will be granted visa-free entry for business purposes, the foreign ministry announced. As part of a reciprocal agreement signed in December 2018, “a multiple entry, non-resident, business visa shall be granted for Indian nationals for a period of 90 days within 6 months.” The business visa can be renewed up to 180 days within a calendar year.

Sunday, February 6

Saturday, February 5

yacht rally to promote cultural tourism with guided tours of heritage sites set sail from the northernmost atoll. The first of its kind sailing event was organised by the Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

The ‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ is due to reach Baa atoll on 17 February after making stops on 11 islands to explore ancient shrines and coral stone mosques. Along the way, the yachts will also anchor at popular diving sites and sandbanks.

Seven yachts with 27 tourists are participating in the rally, MITDC managing director Mohamed Raaidh told state media. He denied media reports about yachts unable to participate in the rally and leaving the country. Two yachts left before the start due to health reasons, he said.

Saturday, February 5