Gaakoshibee to be the first Islamic resort in Maldives.

The resort being developed by ADK group is about 70% complete and will be the newest and the biggest in Maldives. Once complete Gaakoshibee will have 673 rooms and would have cost 170 million dollars to the main investor Caprice Gold of Turkey. The project for the island has started in 2007 and gone through several plans and investors and this hopefully will be the last twist in the story till the island opens. The island is located in Shaviyani atoll in the north and will be 50 minutes from sea plane from Male airport. The resort will have an Islamic concept of tourism with separate secluded beach for ladies only, pool villas for couples and certified halal buffet from all the restaurants. The island will not sell any alcohol and will be family friendly.

Although we have several middle eastern tourists arriving in Maldives including royalties from Gulf states, a resort island for the Muslim tourist has been wanting for some time.

Source:

http://www.haveeru.com.mv/dhivehi/business/149242

Image credits:

http://www.gadarchitecture.com/maldives-gadakoshibee-project-details-1,5,100112

http://www.borneobenar.com/construction.html#prettyPhoto[gallery5]/0/

When is Alidhoo staff going to be paid?

Image

Alidhoo Resort staff allegedly still owed wages: “If they don’t like it, they can leave,” says resort owner Jabir 

Foreign staff at Alidhoo Resort allegedly unpaid for six months: “No complaints with my Ministry,” says Human Rights Minister 

Alidhoo Resort sacks 12 staff members following strike over unpaid salaries 

Alidhoo resort staff on strike over unpaid wages

 

Above are some recent headlines from Minivan. Each story is about the same story. Its about Alidhoo staff not being paid for a couple of months. This is also no longer a secret in Maldives. Its common knowledge that this is about a very bad employer fully immersed in politics who is always in debt to staff. So where does this leave us? Why cannot somebody take action against this. We seems to have the mechanisms to tackle issues like this but they are not seen to be doing anything about it.  Maybe its because of the politics, but still wage not paid still unpaid wage and people suffer for that. We shall use more of our efforts to make people aware and tackle injustices like this.

We ask all resort workers and our readers to raise this issue with anyone relevant to keep pressure on employers to stop this crime against workers. Below are some email addresses to send the story or your concerns.

info@tourism.gov.mv

 info@police.gov.mv

info@agoffice.gov.mv

info@employmenttribunal.gov.mv

admin@majlis.gov.mv

secretariat@mdp.org.mv

 info@ppm.mv

 info@haveeru.com.mv

 

http://www.drwaheed.com/contact

http://www.presidencymaldives.gov.mv/Index.aspx?lid=6

http://www.transparencymaldives.org/site/contact

 

 

New developments & recent industry news roundup

Male' pic

Male' Maldives

  • Raa Atoll Maamunagau island has been awarded to BIR Hotel Management (Pvt) Ltd. The island has been awarded under new procedures without a competing bidding process, whereby the resort is developed as a joint venture business with the participating company and the government. The government retains a 5% share which will be sold back to the company one year later. The island is awarded after taking advance cash payment of 2.5m$ which will be paid in 30 days and another 2.5m$ to be paid in 1.5years.link :@ Haveeru
  • Two more regional airports are to built at Huvadhoo Atoll accompanied by two more resorts!
  • The first airport is to be built on Kooddoo which also has the fish processing facility. The developer would be Bonaventure (Maldives) Pvt Ltd. Bonaveture has also been given Gaaf Alif Dhigurah to develop a resort as consideration for developing the airport at Kooddoo.
  • The second airport will be built at Gaaf Dhaal Maavarulu. The developer will be Moving International Pvt.Ltd. As consideration for the development of the airport, the company has been awarded Gaaf Alif Kodaanahutta
  • Addu City authorities propose to develop areas of the city as a Asseyri (Beachside) Project. The two areas ear-marked for development under this project are the Maafishi Area of Hulhumeedhoo Island and the start of the Hankede area, Hithadhoo.
  • An MoU has been signed between Kalaidhu Investment and Dubai’s Jauhara Group to open first Shari’a-compliant resort in Maldives. The resort  would comprise of 50-75 luxury villas with private swimming pools as well as a private beach, restaurant, recreation centre, spa, marina and yachts, is estimated to cost between US$70-100 million and is expected to be complete by late 2013 or early 2014.
  • Tourism Ministry has issued last warning of revocation of operating licenses for 10 resorts and Nasandhura Palace Hotel, which were given a 90-day notice for failing to pay the lease rent, land rent and the fine, fail to settle the payments before July 20. The notices were given to Alidhoo Island, Kudarah Island Resort managed by Yacht Tours Maldives, Summer Season Maldives managed by Huvadhumaafushi, and Filitheyo Island Resort Maldives and Medhufushi Island Resort Maldives run by AAA Hotels and Resorts. Zitahli Resorts and Spa Kuda-Funafaru , Kihaadhuffaru Island Resort managed by Athama Marine International, and Olhuveli Resort run by Olhuveli Laamu Holdings were also given the notice.

Better living conditions at work site by law

typical resort workers accomodation  would look like this.

typical resort workers accomodation

When employers are remarkably stubborn, everything has to be done by the force of law! Atleast that seems to be how it works in the country. Although we have a booming tourism and an accompanying, construction industry, workers of both industries generally live in medieval conditions. The plight is especially worse for construction industry as the workers are mostly expatriate workers. Worse means ‘small’ things like having to work 7 days a week, no pay for 6 months, a makeshift toilet for one in 50 people and things like that. However its to their credit that Minivan observes that the most frequent complaint of expatriate workers is about unpaid wages, while that for locals is about living conditions. However the ever persistent demand by resort workers about service charge is also about money which is also legally theirs.
Minivan has an excellent article on these lines here… Pls follow to read.

Although our construction workers build world class resorts, their work accommodation is definitely other-worldly..

accomodation for resort construction workers

typical construction workers accomodation

Summary of new taxation rules for resorts

A summary of Second Amendment Bill to the Tourism Act and Tourism Goods and Services Tax Bill is as follows:

if the land area is < than 200,000m2 AND
if the rent is > than US$1 million, then the rent = US$1m/y

if the land area is < than 200,000m2 AND
if the rent is < than US$1 million then, the rent is= US$8/sqm

if the land area = 200,001 to 400,000m2 then, US$1.5m/y

if the land area> 400,001m2 AND
if the rent >US$2 million then, rent = US$2m/y

  • When this bill is enacted prior rates will be scrapped and all resorts will have to calculate rent based on this law.
  • Will start on the same day as taxation bill comes to effect
  • if the resort is registered in Maldives and is 55% shares are owned by the public, then that resort’s lease shall be extended to 99 years.

Its important to note that the new rules does not address the issue of “stolen” resorts, which are tourist islands the tourism ministry does not know about such as the Kandholhu Island Resort owned and run by the Universal Group.

Kandholhu Island Resort?

Relevant links:
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/?page=details&cat=&tbl=online&id=100077
Haama daily
at Minivan News

Shaviyani Vagaru under construction

The beautiful island of Vagaru which is a proper geographical atoll, is said to open in December 2010. The resort will be operated by the Viceroy Group of hotels which is one more big name that’s shortly coming to the country. The resort is being constructed by an “EON” group which is .. the Eon Group.. On the about page of the EON resorts there is absolutely no useful info about the big shots of the company or any such info. Through our research into the reason of this secrecy, we found out that this in fact is another front company hiding the business interests of the former president’s family which is said to own 4 resorts. Construction in the island of Vagaru is said to have started in the election year and following the defeat of the then president, his family was said to have come under harsher times (money wise) which apparently is the reason for the sell off to the American Viceroy Group company.

free online courses


There are many freewares (free softwares) for Windows around for almost any type of application one wants. There are equally or more number of sharewares and non-freewares around that most of the time will do the same job much better. Same is happening in the academia in which universities are slowly opening up to the masses with online access to their websites to offer bits and pieces and crumbs of education for free. These free courseware are just free and can be used for the sake of education. There will be no credits and and no certificates, or access to professors or fellow students. Nevertheless with online books, videos and audio clips, there is indeed a lot of information out there to be put to good use all for free.

Where the resort provides wifi access and encourages staff to make better use of free time, this is indeed excellent opportunity for resort workers to catch up on the knowledge gap to continue studies in more opportune times. However its still saddening (no no, the correct word is MADDENING) that most resorts in the country grudge even basic services like wifi for staff. The problem lies with the old bad days mentality of most resort owners who have a lot to catch up to come up to the present day and times.

Here are some links:
* University of California at Berkeley
* Massachusetts Institute of Technology
* Tufts University
* Stanford University
* Yale University
* University of Notre Dame
* Carnegie Mellon University
* University of Washington
* Johns Hopkins University
* New York University
* Berklee College of Music
* Vanderbilt University
* Gresham College
* Open University (United Kingdom)
* Utah Valley State College
* Utah State University
* Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (kutztownsbdc.org)
* University of Southern Queensland (usq.edu.au)
* University of California, Irvine (uci.edu)