Maldives Tourism Industry Marks its 48th Anniversary! Meet the Industry Pioneers

The island nation of Maldives marks the tourism industry’s 48th Anniversary on 3rd October and after 2 years, the popular destination will be celebrating Tourism Golden Jubilee.

Behind the successful industry are many hardworking people. Here are the pioneers of the Maldives tourism industry and their golden words regarding the industry and its future.

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Mohamed Umar Manik, Universal Enterprises Chairman

Mr. Mohamed Umar Maniku, better known as M U Maniku, is referred to as ‘The Man Who Built Paradise’ due to his rightful honor as the man who instigated the Maldives tourism industry. With no banks, no airport, no telephones and severely limited resources, Mr. Maniku’s decision to open the first resort in the Maldives, Kurumba Village in 1972, was a decision that revolutionized Maldives.

“I think the future of the industry is now changing because the industry is moving and changing rapidly from the days of brochures to the days of mobiles, having everything at your fingertips. If you don’t change your product to fit the new technologies, then your product will not work. The new generation is very tech savvy, and I’m confident the younger people will rise to the challenge and play a very big role in tourism in the future.”

Hussain Afeef, Chairman of Crown Company

Mr. Hussain Afeef is a pioneer businessman and entrepreneur, responsible for both the instigation and expansion of several key industries in the Maldives, including the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  As a young man, Mr. Afeef was part of a team of entrepreneurs who saw the potential for tourism in the Maldives.

“It took me 45 years to be where I am, so one month after opening your company don’t be upset if it’s going slow. If you try to grow too fast and do too much at the same time, there’s a big possibility that you will crash. Take your time to feel what you are doing, to learn what you are doing and to grow with the business. To feel and be aware of what’s happening, that’s how you will have a steady business. Even if you don’t achieve your dreams, keep dreaming.”

Ahmed Nazeer, Founder of Crown Company

Mr Ahmed Nazeer, founder and Director of Crown Company, is a prominent businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has served both the Government and private sectors in various capacities throughout his illustrious career. From managing a small shop in Male’ to eventually founding his own company that has become one of the most well-known success stories in the country, Mr Nazeer is respected for his extensive knowledge and experience in finance, administration and logistics.

” Strive hard to achieve whatever goals they have set out in life. You must have a goal. You must have a dream. More importantly, you must work hard to achieve those dreams and goals. If you work hard enough, you can achieve it. I do not consider myself as an exceptional person. I come across many people who are far more brilliant than I was at that age, and I do not see any reason why they should not be able to achieve what they set out for in life. “

Mohamed Waheed Deen, Owner of Bandos Maldives

Mr Deen got his start in the industry as a public relations person and eventually became the General Manager of Bandos Island Resort. He went on to invest in it further to develop the resort on his own after winning a Government bid for the resort.

“Listen to your employees. Do not think that you are always right. If you are not going to listen to your employees, I do not think that you can be a successful person. Do not ever think that you know everything and that you are the best at everything you do. Consult your staff. Ask for their input. “

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