The UAE residents need not travel long distances to Hollywood to spot celebrities anymore, according to Mark Hehir, CEO of The Small Maldives Island Company (TSMIC), who was in Dubai, last week, for the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
A small island at Baa Atoll in Maldives is crawling with A-list Hollywood stars like Kate Winslet and Kate Moss, who often spend their time at Amilla Fushi or Finolhu resorts. The Amilla Fushi resort has also partnered with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey to bring restaurant pop-ups to the venue.
“Kate Winslet has been a fan of Maldives for many years and we’ve known each other for quite a while, and have networked that relationship. It’s the same relationship I have with Gordon Ramsey and David Beckham, who have been coming with us for 12 years,” Hehir said.
“The Beckham family has been very supportive. This year, in fact, Victoria worked with me to bring Mel C to the stage and perform. Families like that are coming out to spend time with us and they are welcoming their friends.”
“There are Russian and Australian supermodels who stay with us. From the music world, we recently had Robin Thicke on the island. He got up and sang in the bar a few times. It was very impromptu and wasn’t planned. In fact, me and Robin are working on ways to bring music to the island long term.”
Hehir said his team participated in the ATM this year, to shed light on these two resorts, as Maldives is a popular spot among UAE residents. “But, not enough people in the country know about the star-studded island so far. We want the UAE to know what we do on our islands because a lot of people don’t know, I think. People from the UAE are coming, but not enough,” he said.
Hehir said that Amilla Fushi starts at the price of $1,000 per night. There is also a more affordable option, the second resort, Finolhu, which starts at $600 per night. “If UAE residents want a ‘celeb experience’ and ‘luxurious stay’, Amilla offers a ‘Miami meets Maldives’ theme, framed in lush jungle interiors, pristine sands, and crystalline lagoons,” concluded Hehir.
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