November 29, 2017

After much deliberation at a cabinet meeting held today, the President decided to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China. The meeting was presided over by Minister of Economic Development Mr. Mohamed Saeed and Minster of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Asim.

During the meeting, Minister Saeed stated the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement Negotiation was in the pipeline since 2014, when it was first initiated. He also mentioned that the ongoing talks to establish a free trade pact will enable exemption of duties on fishery products exported to the world’s largest consumer market.

Minister Saeed also stated that the Maldivian government has extended invitations to establish free trade agreements with countries including Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and countries of the European Union.

He further expressed confidence that other countries would soon look to establish similar agreements with the Maldives.

27th November 2017, New Delhi:

Maldives has won second place in the Favourite Emerging Overseas Destination Category at the seventh edition of Condé Nast Traveller India Readers’ Travel Awards (RTA) took place at Andaz Delhi, Aerocity, New Delhi, on 27th November 2017 with select invitees comprising industry leaders, influencers, and marquee names from travel, tourism, and government bodies. The award was received by Ms. Shazra Abdul Sattar (Deputy Head of Mission and Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Maldives in India.

Like every year, the Readers Travel Awards, was chosen through a readers’ voting process spanning two months sans any nominations, recognised the best in the travel industry across hotels, destinations, airlines, spas, websites, apps, cruise lines and more.

The evening began with the Lifetime Achievement Award being conferred upon Padma Shri Laila Tyabji, chairperson and founding member of Dastkar, an NGO working with crafts & craftspeople across India. Tyabji was lauded for her work with artisans over the last 39 years to preserve and popularize Indian crafts globally.

Mallika Ahluwalia, CEO of the Partition Museum in Amritsar, was felicitated by FabIndia’s William Bissell, for her contribution to preserving India’s history. The Condé Nast Traveller and Forest Essentials Excellence Award went to designer Anavila Misra for championing the cause of the quintessential Indian sari and sustainable fabrics through her work. Eminent danseuse and Padma Shri Shovana Narayan presented the award to Anavila.

Rohan Murty, founder of the Murty Classical Library of India, was recognised for his efforts to preserve ancient Indian languages. Renowned economist, civil servant, and Padma Vibhushan Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia with Padma Bhushan Dr. Isher Ahluwalia presented the award to Murty. Noted Indian designer, art curator, and Padma Bhushan Rajeev Sethi awarded actor and activist Rahul Bose with the Condé Nast Traveller and Volkswagen Passat Excellence Award, for his social activism and for using film to put the spotlight on the story of Poorna Malavath, the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest.

The Readers’ Travel Awards are chosen through a readers’ voting process spanning two months, without any nominations for the award categories. Considered indicative of what discerning travellers really want and enjoy, RTA recognized the best in the travel and hospitality industry across hotels, destinations, airlines, spas, websites, apps, cruise lines, and more.

This year’s RTA showcased some interesting results: Meghalaya and Gujarat are high up on the evolved Indian traveller’s wish list, while Goa remains the favourite for leisure. Internationally, they are most keen to visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives. On airlines, it seems even affluent travellers put a premium on punctuality—low-cost airline Indigo emerged the winner again. Etihad Airways bagged the title of Favourite International Airline for the second time in a row.

Boutique hotels like The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg and SUJAN Rajmahal in Jaipur were also honored, along with iconic properties such as the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai and The Oberoi, Gurgaon. Brand new hotels like the Andaz Delhi, W Goa and Soneva Jani in the Maldives were recognised by the voters. In terms of food, Delhi emerged as the clear winner, with Bukhara and The China Kitchen at the top of the list.

The glittering ceremony saw several eminent personalities like Rashmi Verma (Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), His Excellency Mr Alexandre Ziegler (Ambassador of France to India), Ms. Shazra Abdul Sattar (Deputy Head of Mission and Minister, The Embassy of the Republic of Maldives to India), Aditya Ghosh of Indigo, Deep Kalra of Make My Trip, Nikhil Ganju of TripAdvisor, Karan Anand of Cox & Kings, Neerja Bhatia of Etihad Airways, Chinmai Sharma of Taj Hotels, Palaces, Resorts, Safaris, Rishi Kapoor of Bellagio, Las Vegas, amongst many other dignitaries.

The annual Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards has set the benchmarks in the hospitality and travel industry year on year, since its inception in 1989 in the United States of America.

Forest Essentials & Volkswagen were the associate partners for the event. The Readers’ Travel Award 2017 winners will be featured in the December 2017 – January 2018 issue of Condé Nast Traveller India.

November 29, 2017

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom today declared the passport card issued by the Maldives Immigration to be recognized as a valid identity document.

The passport card is currently the safest, most secured identity document used in the Maldives which cannot be duplicated.


The passport card will hence be recognized in all government institutions, hospitals, banks, and by other public service providers.

Source: President’s Office 

November 28, 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Asim and Ambassador of China to the Maldives, Mr. Zhang Lizhong co-chaired the Joint Meeting Mechanism this afternoon to address the safety of Chinese tourists travelling to the Maldives.

At the meeting, Minister Asim maintained that China being the most important market for the tourism industry in the Maldives, it is imperative that both countries exchanged ideas to ensure a safe environment for Chinese tourists travelling to the Maldives.

Minister Asim also pointed out that the Government is working closely with relevant industry stakeholders to ensure safety and security of all tourists in the Maldives.

During the meeting, Minister Asim also highlighted some important measures taken by the Government to identify potential threats concerning the safety and security of tourists and to effectively counter and mitigate these threats.

Ambassador Zhang Lizhong thanked the Government and relevant authorities for the coordination and cooperation extended in ensuring a safe environment to the Chinese tourists in the Maldives.

During the meeting, a consensus on the wide distribution of kind reminders for Chinese nationals in the Maldives was announced. Also, the new version of the kind reminders for Chinese nationals in the Maldives was jointly launched by Minister Asim and Ambassador Lizhong.

The Joint Meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of China in the Maldives, Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Immigration, Maldives Police Service, NDMC, MMPRC, MACL, MATI, representatives from tourist resorts, guest houses, various airlines, various travel agencies and Chinese companies undertaking projects in the Maldives.


The Meeting was held under the Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the Maldives and China during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Maldives in September 2014.

November 28, 2017

The Republic Of Korea Ambassador to the Maldives Mr. Chang Won-sam hosted a reception to commemorate 5o years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Asim who was present at the reception as the chief guest, spoke about how the relationship between the two countries have grown over the last five decades, especially in the last couple of years due to various bilateral developments.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Asim also admired how the Republic Of Korea has progressed as a nation both socially and economically.

The Republic Of Korea has been contributing to the Maldives through various technical cooperation programs in areas such as fisheries and infrastructure, which constitutes a pivotal role in the Maldives economy.

The Korean Embassy also organized a cultural performance right after the reception at Alimas Carnival. The performance opened to the public will cover “Taekwondo demonstration” by Kukkiwon of Korea and “Boduberu performance” by “1438 Boduberu” group.