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Four Goway Idyllic Islands destination specialists, Gemma Adina, Allyson McGinnis, Cherie Durocher, and Yash Matharoo, recently returned from the Crown and Champa Resorts-hosted FAM to the Maldives, which included a stopover in Dubai. Here, they share their “insider tips” on how to sell Dubai and the exotic Maldives and why you should be suggesting this destination to your clientele interested in romance, luxury, and idyllic islands.
Where is the Maldives and how do you get there?
Gemma: The Maldives is one of the world’s most beautiful island destinations, like a string of pearls in the ocean consisting of 1,190 atolls (islands) with over 120 secluded private island resorts to choose from. It’s located in the Indian Ocean off the southwest coast of India. Once you’re in Male, where you’ll find the international airport, you can reach many properties with a small domestic seaplane flight or a speedboat transfer. We can always assist in making these transfer arrangements for your clients. If clients are travelling with limited time, I would recommend keeping them closer to the airport using properties that offer short speedboat transfers.
Where did you stay in the Maldives?
Cherie: While visiting the Maldives, hosted by the Crown and Champa Resorts, we had the opportunity to stay in multiple properties including Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Hurawalhi Island Resort, Innahura Maldives Resort, and Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa. We also spent a day at Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, experiencing something unique and different along the way.
Where did you stay in Dubai?
Yash: While we were in Dubai, we stayed at Rove Dubai Marina, a funky and vibrant 4-star hotel located in the bustling Dubai Marina neighbourhood and surrounded by iconic Palm Jumeirah and The Walk at JBR. It had easy access to great beaches, stunning skylines, and lots of leisure, dining, and entertainment options nearby.
What were your favourite experiences?
All: Everyone agrees that our favourite experience in the Maldives was lunch at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at the Hurawalhi Island Resort. 5.8 is the world’s largest underwater dining venue. The food was delicious and the views are spectacular. But we also had a few individual favourites.
Allyson: Snorkelling at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa was fantastic. The house reef is located only a few feet away from the shoreline, and you can start at one end of the island and move along with the current, exploring amazing reefs and spotting hundreds of tropical fish and even blacktip sharks.
Cherie: My favourite experience in Dubai was our desert safari adventure. The Sunset Desert Safari adventure started with a 4×4 drive over the dunes at sunset to a desert camp. Once at the camp, we had a camel ride, BBQ dinner, and watched a belly dancing performance. It was a very memorable experience.
What is your advice for agents selling the Maldives and Dubai to their clients?
Yash: My advice would be to include a stopover in Dubai or the gateway your clients are travelling through; this helps break up the distance and long travel time.
Cherie: Combining a trip to Dubai and the Maldives is great for people who enjoy adventure, luxury, and something a little more exotic.
Allyson: In Dubai, there is so much to see and do. I recommend going in October to April when the weather is beautiful, sunny, and not so humid. A must-do activity is the Sunset Desert Safari even if it’s just a two-day stopover.
Gemma: Always offer this combination of two destinations if time and budget allow. It’s a great way to stretch your client’s budget and will enable you to give your clients a unique experience. We can offer a stopover in many of the transit gateways your clients will be flying through to get to the Maldives.
For more information or any questions on Dubai or the Maldives or for assistance creating the perfect vacation package for your clients, please contact one of our Idyllic Islands destination specialists.
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