Made in the Maldives
Thai hotel chain Dusit International will open its newest hotel on Mudhdhoo Island – the first Unesco World Biosphere Reserve – in Baa Atoll, the Maldives, on February 6 2012.
The 100-villa resort will be surrounded by a 360-degree coral reef and lagoon, and will feature a spa as well as the largest infinity swimming pool in the Maldives, measuring 8,072 sq ft (750 sq m).
Elsewhere, resort and spa company Per Aquum will open its Niyama Maldives resort featuring 86 rooms, a floating restaurant located 500m offshore, and the world’s first underwater nightclub.
The Maldives government has also teamed up with floating architecture firm Dutch Docklands to build a project comprising of 43 floating private islands, a floating 18-hole golf course, and a floating conference centre. Its first phase is slated for launch next year.
The Maldives continues to attract investment from international hotel brands, despite increasing tax on tourism goods and services from 3.5% to 6% on January 1 2012. Its tourist tax, which was first introduced on January 1 2011, did not affect its growth as a travel destination. According to its Ministry of Tourism, almost a million tourists visited the islands last year – an increase from 2010’s figure of almost 800,000.