The Maldives: International Events Destination
While the Maldives may well have a reputation as a luxurious beach front-paradise, local promoters and travel groups suggest there is also growing potential for the country to become a major destination for leading international events and ceremonies in the future.
With neighbouring Sri Lanka set to host next month’s Global Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards – an event that brings together some of the region’s leading entertainment figures – some local enterprises suggest the Maldives may also have potential as a host venue for similar events.
Despite recent delays to events such as a concert by R&B singer Akon in the Maldives, Ahmed Ijaz, manager of Male’-based tour operator, Sri Lankan Holidays, says that authorities are already working to make the country a major destination for major international events.
“The current Government has been putting a lot of effort to make the Maldives a hub in the region, offering an integrated approach to hold meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) and major international ceremonies in the near future,” says Mr Ijaz.
Highrise Promotion Company, which has been working to bring Akon to the country, as well as providing a number of major events and exhibitions, agrees that the Maldives’ tropical islands and maritime know-how can offer unique benefits as an events venue.
Highrise head, Ismail Hameed, tells events
Traveller that while having to ensure events remain in touch with local sensitivities regarding the country’s Islamic faith, the nation’s stadiums, hotels and resorts would be suitable for concerts and lavish ceremonies. Besides organizing a major international boat show in Male’ slated for October, Mr Hameed, who also chairs the Liveaboard Association of Maldives, says Highrise plans to head to Paradise Island Resort and Spa next month to hold a televised Maldivian music awards ceremony.
Highrise is not alone in trying to raise the profile of the country through hosting prominent international artists. Although a somewhat different audience to the proposed Akon concert, members of revered disco group Boney M – they of “Rasputin” and “Daddy Cool” fame – last month took to the stage in the Maldivian capital of Male’.