BOOT 2018

Once again, PADI will be exhibiting at Boot, taking place at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Messeplatz Hall 3 from 20th –  28th January.

Visit the PADI stand and PADI Village (3/F32), where the Team and our Stand Partners will be on hand to answer all your questions and show you our latest products and features. There is more exciting news coming so please keep checking this page as it will be regularly updated.

Find out what’s on:

Over the course of the show we’ll be holding some great seminars and workshops, which we’d love you to join us for.

PADI Freediving Event: 

This year we are excited to announce a PADI Freediving Event. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn more about Freediving and to come along and try one of our static apnea sessions by the Main Stage. Hold your breath and bring yourself and your friends along to have a fun Freediving Day with us!

Member Forum:

Don’t forget to register (once open) for the Member Forum if you’re planning to attend. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Date Time Seminar Location
20.01.18 18.00 – 19.00 Stand Party PADI Stand
23.01.18 10.30 – 18.00 PADI Freediving Event Close to the Main Stage
23.01.18 10.30 – 10.40 PADI Freediving Event – Introduction Main Stage
23.01.18 11.30 – 11.40 PADI Freediving Main Stage
23.01.18 12.30 – 12.40 PADI Freediving Main Stage
23.01.18 13.30 – 13.40 PADI Freediving Main Stage
23.01.18 14.30 – 14.40 PADI Freediving Main Stage
23.01.18 16.00 – 16.10 PADI Freediving Main Stage
27.01.18 16.30 – 17.00 PADI Dive Center Awards Main Stage
27.01.18 19.00 – 21.00 Member Forum and Social Room 02

 

Stay tuned for more information about our exciting NEW PADI Course Promotion for the 2018 Shows.

We look forward to seeing you!

Your PADI EMEA Team

New, improved, 2018 PADI Show Support Pack

This year we’ve upgraded your Show Support Pack to include MORE, to further assist 100% PADI Dive Centers to convert customers. Feel the power of the PADI Brand with more show support than ever before.

2018 Show Support Pack contains:

  • NEW design PADI 3m Beach Flag (Pole & Base)
  • PADI Wristbands
  • PADI Triangular Bunting
  • 25 small PADI Stickers
  • 1 large PADI Sticker
  • PADI Course Brochures

Show Support Packs are a benefit available to 100% PADI Dive Centers. We invite you to complete the 2018 Show Support Pack Application, return it to Serena Scatteia and, once approved, the goodies are yours!*

Your pack will be shipped to you with your next Sales order, or delivered to the PADI stand for you to collect if PADI is exhibiting at the same event.

*Available whilst stocks last

Things you should know if you are travelling to the Maldives on a budget

This is the last part of this five part blog……

The Republic of Maldives is a Muslim country

The Maldives is a 100% Muslim country and care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offence by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T Shirts, loose shorts or sarongs and avoid wearing bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, picnic island, sandbank, dive boat or resort island. Whilst the law restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands, many guesthouses now provide dedicated tourist beaches or private gardens and sunbathing terraces.

Most hotels and guesthouses can arrange visits to nearby resorts where bikinis can be worn freely and alcoholic beverages are available. Note that resorts charge an entrance fee and access is subject to availability.

Don’t be afraid to travel in low season

With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit the Maldives. There are however two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March when rates will be at their highest and the latter from mid-May to November. The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun.

There can be heavy rain showers pretty much any time of year, but they tend to be short and cannot be accurately predicted seasonally (in other words – don’t worry too much about them – you will quite possibly experience some rain showers, but the majority of the weather should be great, and you will be unlucky to get several consecutive days of heavy rain).

Diving is good all year-round, although a basic rule is that reef life is more varied and visibility is better on the western side of any atoll from May to November and on the eastern side of any atoll from December to April.

As the Maldives is situated so close to the equator it is possible to burn even on a cloudy day and sun screen should be applied as a matter of course.

For those travelers who are looking for a helping hand to arrange a budget trip to the Maldives, require advice on which island or guesthouse to choose or want to experience more of the cultural elements of the Maldives the Secret Paradise team are just an email or phone call away!

About Secret Paradise

Since 2012 Secret Paradise has been at the forefront of the Maldives local island tourism industry, promoting and supporting guesthouses, dive centres and activity operators based on locally inhabited islands throughout the Maldives archipelago. Offering group and private tours or independent travel packages, Secret Paradise holidays are designed to allow guests to engage with local people and experience the best from a paradise generally known as a luxury resort destination.

Responsible Tourism plays a very large part in what we do. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and beliefs and through education of both guests and locals we aim to protect the environment and limit where ever possible any negative impact to local life. We partner NGOs such as Save the Beach and marine charity organisations such as Maldives Whaleshark Research Program to provide opportunities for our guests to learn and support local conservation initiatives.

The benefit of travelling with us is that Secret Paradise guarantees you prompt and efficient personal service. We deliver high standards of service and professionalism and you can rely on Secret Paradise to provide expert local knowledge, clear communication and honest advice.

www.secretparadise.mv

Coral fluorescence at Gili Lankanfushi

Are corals a shining beacon at night? Corals are not just a wonder to observe during the day, at night they glow. This isn’t just for our viewing benefit; it plays a vital role in the long term survival of coral.

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica

Due to the richness of life they create, corals are often described as the rainforests of the ocean. Their structural complexity supports one of the world’s most productive ecosystems providing ecological diversity and outstanding beauty. The coral animal (polyp) co-habitats its calcium carbonate skeleton with photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae. These algae harness energy from solar radiation and provide the polyp with 95% of its food. Coral is therefore limited to the habitat range of the algae, which in turn is limited by the penetration of the suns ray into the ocean; both the intensity and spectral diversity of light dramatically decreases with increasing depth. Although the blue/green portion of sunlight reaches depths of around 200m the algae requires the higher light levels found in the upper 30m of the ocean. Corals are therefore limited to the upper portion of the ocean; aptly named the sunlight ocean. 

Spectral diversity of white light (sunlight) and the depth that the light waves penetrate. Image credit tohttpksuweb.kennesaw.edu

 

The corals exposure to high light levels is crucial for its survival, but this is not without consequence. The high light intensity that corals are subjected to everyday can damage coral and zooxanthellae – similar to our skin and sunburn. Shallow water corals have a solution to this: fluorescence. The coral contains special pigments (green fluorescent pigments (GFP) and non-fluorescent chromoproteins (CP) which act as sunblock. The fluorescent pigments are in particularly high concentrations and contribute to the beautiful rainbows of colours which can be observed on the reef. When the coral is subjected to high sun exposure the pigment concentration increases, hence limiting the damage experienced by the algae when under stress from sunlight. The pigments are also involved in growth related activities, including repair. Injured coral will produce colourful patches concentrating these pigments around their injury site which prevents further cell damage. Some corals have been found to distribute fluorescent pigments around their tentacles and mouth to attract prey.

 

We are able to observe the fluorescent pigments when corals are illuminated at specific wavelengths (generally blue light). In high pigment concentrations corals can become shining beacons at night. Light is absorbed by the pigments and then re-emitted. During this process some energy is lost resulting in a different colour being observed – generally green. During our blue light night snorkel it is possible to see corals glowing on the house reef at Gili Lankanfushi.

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica

 

It is now widely accepted that fluorescent pigments aid in sun protection, so why do corals below 30m still have these pigments? In shallow reefs generally only green fluorescence is observed, whereas in the mesophotic zone (between 30 – 100m) corals shine green, orange, yellow and red. Fluorescent pigments are energetically costly to create, therefore the pigments must have a biological purpose, or else they would not exist at this depth. A study carried out by the University of Southampton found that deeper corals produce fluorescence without light exposure, which suggests that these corals are not producing pigments for sun protection. It is suspected that the corals are producing pigments to transform short light wavelengths received into longer wavelengths to enhance algae photosynthesis, thus producing more food for the polyp. It has also been suggested that it may link to behavior of reef fish, although more studies are required. Next time you are night diving take a look. Harnessing these fluorescent pigments could pose significant advances for medical, commercial and ecological purposes.

Many Acropora species also have fluorescent pigments. Credits to: Reef Works

 

Marine biologists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at San Diego have suggested that monitoring fluorescence could be an easy and less invasive way to monitor reef health. Scientists measured the fluorescence levels after corals were exposed to cold and heat stress. The levels were reduced when exposed to both stresses, although coral subjected to cold stress adapted and fluorescence levels returned to normal. Corals subjected to heat stress lost their algae and starved. Therefore, if high fluorescence levels are observed it suggests that the reef has a healthy coral population. Additionally there are many medical benefits that can be gained through the understanding and utilization of coral fluorescence. 

 

There are promising applications for biomedical imaging, for example pigments can be used to tag certain cells e.g. cancer cells which can then be easily viewed under the microscope. The fluorescent pigments also have the potential to be used in sun screen. Fish feeding on coral benefit from the fluorescent pigments which suggests that the pigments move up the tropic levels (food chain). Senior lecturer from King’s College London and project leader of coral sunscreen research, Paul Long and his team have suggested that if the transportation pathway up the food chain is identified it may be possible to use this to protect our skin against UV rays in the form of a tablet. This could a break-through in terms of reef safe sun screen.

 

Next time you are night snorkelling shine a blue light on the corals and view this natural wonder yourself! 

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

I am a marine biologist and scuba diver from England. I have had the privilege of working in Greece, Seychelles and Maldives. I have worked in an aquaculture research centre where I focused on hormonal manipulation of a pelagic fish species. In addition, I have experience with coral restoration projects including frames and ropes; habitat restoration – crown of thorns, drupella and invasive plant species removal; educational activities and social media updates including blogs. I have also monitored population dynamics of bird, turtle, shark and cetacean species to aid in their conservation. I started my career working in the Maldives and I have done a round trip via Greece, England and Seychelles, I hope to increase my skills set and knowledge further whilst I am at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives.

 

Things you should know if you are travelling to the Maldives on a budget

This blog has several parts, next week read about general tourist information……

Tourist Information

Unlike most destinations, don’t expect to find a tourist information centre that will provide answers to all your questions. There is an Information Desk within the arrival area of the airport who are happy to point you in the right direction, assist you if you need to contact your accommodation provider and provide you an information booklet. They are not there, however, to organise accommodation, excursions or transfers. Once you arrive at your hotel, guesthouse or resort they will be able to offer advice on excursions and activities or check out Trip Advisor for local operators providing these services.

 

Transferring from the airport

Unlike other International Airports don’t expect to be able to hail a taxi as there is no taxi rank. If you have booked with a hotel, guesthouse or resort and provided them with your flight arrival details it is usual for them to send a representative to meet with you.

To reach Male independently you can choose to take the Airport Express Speedboat, the charge is MRF30 or US$2 for a one way transfer per person, leaving every 15 minutes. Or the airport public ferry, charge MRF10 or US$1 per person one way, leaving every 10 minutes. Both leave from the jetty opposite the Domestic Terminal. When you arrive in Male, just a 10 minute public ferry ride, you will be able to hail a taxi from the ferry terminal to your destination, guesthouse or hotel. A one stop drop regardless of distance is 25MVR plus an additional 5MVR per item of luggage.

To reach Hulhumale independently you can either enquire as to if a guesthouse vehicle has room on their return journey, the charge would usually be around US$10 one way or take the public bus. The airport bus departs every 30 minutes from the airport and Hulhumale on a 24 hour timetable. On the hour and on the half hour except on Fridays during Friday Prayer when there are no busses between the hours of 11:30 and 13:30. The charge is 20MVR per person one way and it is a journey of 15 minutes. Luggage is accepted and stored in the luggage compartment. At the airport the bus stop is located outside of the International departure area to the left of the food court as you face the ocean.In Hulhumale the bus stop is at the T Junction of Nirolhumagu and Huvandhumaa Higun.

Due to the location of the airport terminal it is not possible to walk to Hulhumale.

If you are transferring on to an island outside of the immediate capital area it is likely that transfer arrangements offered will include speedboat or for islands further afield a domestic flight. These methods will add a minimum of $25 per person one way dependent on distance and if the service is scheduled. Note the Maldives covers a distance of 500KM north to south. If you have done your homework it is possible to take a local ferry to many central atoll islands. These local ferries depart from one of a number of jetties in the capital Male so ensure you have allowed time to cross to the capital and locate the correct jetty.

Business Hours

It is important to know that the Maldives follows a business week from Sunday to Thursday.  Most places are closed on a Friday until after Friday prayer. No public ferries operate on a Friday with the exception of those operating in the capital area between Male, Hulhumale and Villingili. These ferries also stop operation between 11:30 and 13:30 for Friday prayer.

The shops in the Maldives open at different times in the morning but usually before 09:00. Most shops close for prayer times for an interval of 15 minutes. The latest time for the shops to close business is 22:00 and cafes and restaurants 23:00.

About Secret Paradise

Since 2012 Secret Paradise has been at the forefront of the Maldives local island tourism industry, promoting and supporting guesthouses, dive centres and activity operators based on locally inhabited islands throughout the Maldives archipelago. Offering group and private tours or independent travel packages, Secret Paradise holidays are designed to allow guests to engage with local people and experience the best from a paradise generally known as a luxury resort destination.

Responsible Tourism plays a very large part in what we do. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and beliefs and through education of both guests and locals we aim to protect the environment and limit where ever possible any negative impact to local life. We partner NGOs such as Save the Beach and marine charity organisations such as Maldives Whaleshark Research Program to provide opportunities for our guests to learn and support local conservation initiatives.

The benefit of travelling with us is that Secret Paradise guarantees you prompt and efficient personal service. We deliver high standards of service and professionalism and you can rely on Secret Paradise to provide expert local knowledge, clear communication and honest advice.

www.secretparadise.mv

 

Two new mosaics in the waters of the Archaeological Park Submerged Bay in Pozzuoli – Naples.

Archeo Camp 2017, an exceptional event with over 500 dives in one week dedicated to diving, during which a group of PADI instructors got the“PADI Underwater Archealogical Diver” Specialty by Bruno Mollo – PADI Course Director.

The event was organized by the Centro Sub Campi Flegrei, with the participation of DAN Europe who organized seminars and events dedicated to diving safety.

EXTRAORDINARY NEWS !!!

The Sea of ​​Gulf of Pozzuoli brings backs two new mosaics in the waters of the Archaeological Park Submerged Bay. One of these two is a two-colored black and white mosaic, which represents two warriors and can be traced back to the time of Villa in Protiro, dating back to the 4th century AD. The other is a polychrome mosaic, which still hasn’t been dated, but they suspect chronological links with the Villa dei Pisoni, which dates back to the first century BC.

The extraordinary discovery was made by the scuba diving nucleus of the Superintendence coordinated by Luciano Muratgia, and was officially authorized by the director of the Archeological Park of the Campi Flegrei, the superintendent Adele Campanelli, during the round table “Archeo Camp 2017”, on November 3rd, 2017, during the week dedicated to underwater archeology in the Campi Flegrei organized by the Centro Sub Campi Flegrei with the collaboration of PADI EMEA and DAN Europe.

During the event, the Mayors of Pozzuoli, Vincenzo Figliolia and Bacoli, Giovanni Picone, together with Federalberghi, emphasized the tourism potential of the Flegrean district: the augmented reality (which, with ISCR, will result in using underwater tablets and 3D projections) could further boost the site.

In this place, from the end of the Republican era, the Roman aristocrats went on vacation: their villas and their nymphaeums, as a consequence of the bradyseism typical of this area, are now submerged and protected by an archaeological park, established in 2002. People from all over the World, including Japan, China, Vietnam and the United States, come here to travel through time underwater, which, according to the Superintendence data, leads to a 20 to 30% annual growth of attendance.

Now, two additional mosaics will be discovered, constituting additional pieces of the extraordinary history of this corner of Campania.

The new mosaics will be made available to the public from April 2018, after undergoing safekeeping procedures by the Superintendence and the ISCR.

See you in November 2018 at the Archeo Camp 2018 Week dedicated to Underwater Archeology!

The extraordinary photos are from the Photoreporter Pasquale Vassallo (showing the original colors of the mosaics).

During the event, the first prize “Baia di Ulisse” 2017 was awarded to Carlo Ripa.

Vincenzo Maione

Manager of the Centro Sub Campi Flegrei, a diving center that has been working for the scuba diving tourism industry for 25 years. Diving center authorized by the Superintendence to accompany tourists in scuba diving and snorkeling in the Underwater Archaeological Park Submerged of Baia.  

To visit the Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia and the new mosaics, you can contact:

CENTRO SUB CAMPI FLEGREI C/O Lido Montenuovo via Miliscola, 165 80078 Pozzuoli (NA), Italia cell.: +39 329 215 5239 tel./fax:  +39 081 853 1563 email: info@centrosubcampiflegrei.it web site: www.centrosubcampiflegrei.it

 

Salon de la Plongée 2018

Once again, PADI will be exhibiting at Salon de la Plongée, taking place at the Parc des Expositions, 1 Place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris from 12th – 15th January. Visit the PADI stand (D22), where the Team will be on hand to answer all your questions and show you our latest products and features. There is more exciting news coming so please keep checking this page as it will be regularly updated.

Find out what’s on:

Over the course of the show we’ll be holding some great seminars and workshops, which we’d love you to join us for. Don’t forget to register (once open) for the Member Forum if you’re planning to attend. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Date Time Seminar Location
13.01.18 11.30 – 12.00 PADI Divemaster: devenez Professionnel Espace Scénique
13.01.18 17.00 – 18.00 Synthèse 2017 et projections 2018 Salle de Projection
13.01.18 18.00 -19.00 Remise des Awards & Apéritifs Stand PADI
14.01.18 11.30 – 12.00 PADI Divemaster: devenez Professionnel Espace Scénique

Stay tuned for more information regarding our exciting NEW PADI Course Promotion for the 2018 Shows.

We look forward to seeing you!

Your PADI EMEA Team

Pharaoh Dive Club 10 Years Party and Deptherapy fundraiser!

During Dive2017 show weekend, Pharaoh DC organized a great Birthday Bash to celebrate the 10 years anniversary!

A perfect occasion for PADI Regional Manager – Teo Brambilla to present the 10 years award as member of the PADI Retailer and Resorts Association delivered by PADI Territory Director –  Rich Somerset.

The idea behind the party was not only to celebrate the occurrence but also to strengthen the special partnership between Pharaoh DC and Deptherapy (Pharaoh Dive Club is a long-time supporter and the point of reference for Deptherapy in Egypt):

All the profits of the evening, where more than 200 people attended, went to this special UK based charity who uses scuba diving to rehabilitate veterans afflicted by both mental and physical disabilities!

Organized by Steve and Clare Rattle and hosted at Village Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham the party included a fantastic dinner, live music, entertainment, a silent auction and Deptherapy Awards Ceremony!

During the Award Ceremony, Headed by Richard Cullen – Founder & Chairman of Deptherapy and masterfully presented by PADI AmbassaDiver and Deptherapy Ambassador – Gary Green, several awards were presented:  PADI was incredibly proud and honored to receive the award for the Best Corporate Sponsor.

The Ceremony was something special and touching: it was truly inspiring to hear about Depthterapy’s students and members, about their journey after medical discharge, their battle with PTSD and their rebirth through scuba diving and Depthterapy!

I love scuba – I love myself by Valentina Visconti President of Diabete Sommerso Onlus.

On October 16th, as Regional Manager of PADI EMEA, I participated in one of the most exciting events of my career, the Blue Week organized by Diabete Sommerso Onlus – PADI Center in the wonderful Ustica Island in partnership with Blue Diving Ustica – PADI Center.

I was honored to meet this very affectionate group of divers, all bound by a great passion: love for the sea and diving, albeit with the difficulty of their illness: diabetes.

CLIP

We have presented to this PADI group and Project Aware and especially the 4 pillars of change of PADI, in particular: “Health and Wellness” in tune with their activities:

Pillar of Health and Well-Being: point the spotlight on incredible stories of success over adversity, illnesses and difficulties that testify the healing power of diving. Through diving, many people have found hope for their future and we want to inspire so many others to experience such personal transformations and healings, both mentally and physically.

I dove with them, and I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Fazi, one of the leaders and organizers of this group and their President: Valentina Visconti, a woman with a contagious smile, whom I thank for the emotions she gave me with these words:

I love scuba – I love myself

Scuba + Health + Wellness. The message comes strong and clear from the first moment in scuba diving: to dive, you need to be healthy and well-trained to deal with demanding tasks, not eating too much, nor drinking alcohol or smoking. If you are not fit, it is best to postpone the dive. These rules apply to all divers, at any level and anywhere in the world, but they are of greater value to all those people who have health issues but are so in love with the sea that they are willing to get in the game and enjoy it all the way.

Type 1 Diabetes (DT1) is a chronic illness that usually occurs during childhood or early adulthood. For causes that are still unknown, insulin-producing pancreas cells are self-destructing. Insulin is a fundamental hormone because it regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. People who do not produce insulin are forced to take it through injections or I.V.

A person’s life with diabetes is characterized by check-ups of glucose levels in the blood and insulin intake, in an eternal attempt to maintain balance between daily life and correct glycemic values. It’s a bit like keeping the perfect buoyancy underwater: you have to constantly keep an eye on yourself and the surrounding environment, use your head, and make the necessary adjustments. Losing diabetes control is not so difficult, and the consequences can be dangerous. For this reason, underwater has traditionally been denied to diabetics.

Today the taboo has been broken and people with diabetes can live the sea freely. A solution was found. Or, in other words, we rely on the general rule that one should dive only under good health conditions, applying it to the Nth power. To feel really good, a person with a chronic illness like diabetes must be able to perfectly take care of itself, study the rules of the metabolism, and apply them to become profoundly aware of the disease and of itself. A difficult journey that forces you to get out of the “comfort zone” of your daily habits and prove themselves.

It’s not easy. It is not immediate.

But love and passion for the sea are stronger than the difficulties.

It is the desire to fully live the sea, to explore it, to discover the unknown in the blue

It is the desire to fly in the water, to regulate its breath with fluids.

It’s the thrill of confronting a hostile environment.

These are the reasons why divers with diabetes take care of themselves and improve themselves. One improves himself to go underwater, but what you learn in the water becomes everyday life and a better future

Diving teaches us that there is an alternative world. Just put your head underwater.

And then raise it, to face the difficulties

NDR: The Underwater Diabetes Project, from which we have the association with the same name, was initiated 13 years ago and allowed many boys and girls with diabetes to get the scuba diving certificate, and above all to improve their health through passion for the sea .

Be like the sea which smashes onto the rocks and then goes back and tries again to break down that unbreakable barrier never tired of trying. (Jim Morrison)

 

Things you should know if you are travelling to the Maldives on a budget

This blog has several parts, next week read about general tourist information……

Currency Exchange

The Maldives has a non-convertible currency – Maldivian Rufiyaa – this cannot be purchased beforehand. One Rufiyaa is 100 Laari and is available in 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Rufiyaa notes. The US Dollar is accepted as legal tender throughout the Maldives. Should you arrive with no USD$ then other major international currencies can be exchanged at the Bank of Maldives Foreign Exchange counter located in the arrival hall. This is the only dedicated foreign exchange counter in the Maldives. It is advised not to exchange currency in Male where bank queues are common and waiting time lengthy.

Only major foreign currency will be exchanged for local currency MVR. Hold on to your exchange receipt as you will need to present this upon departure at the exchange counter if you wish to change local currency back to foreign currency.

Paying in USD$

One US Dollar is equivalent to 15.42 Rufiyaa. However, the exchange rate offered on US$1 and US$5 notes by local businesses may be lower.This is because there is a 3% handling charge made by the bank on the deposit of US$ notes of US$5 or less.

The banks in the Maldives are very particular about the condition of bank notes and will refuse deposits of old style US$, even though still an active currency, damaged notes, badly creased, well-worn, or defaced notes will also be rejected. Therefore, if presenting such a note as form of payment you may be requested to change to a note of better condition. Please do not take offence, it is purely that the note will have no worth to the individual to whom you are paying.

Generally, any change given on a purchase made in US$ will be given in local currency MVR.

IMG_3670

ATMs and Credit Cards

Most banks represented in Malé provide ATM services. The Bank of Maldives has several branches in Male as well as other major population hubs such as the Male International Airport, Hulhumale and Gan. Several other regional banks also operate in central Male, including the State Bank of India, Bank of Ceylon, and HSBC. There are no banks on resort islands nor on many local islands. Only local currency MVR will be dispensed from ATMs. There is an ATM at the Male branch of the Bank of Maldives dispensing US$, however, it only dispenses to Bank of Maldives cardholders.

All major credit and debit cards can be used at resorts, hotels and many shops and restaurants in Male as well as on local islands. Note however, that a credit card payment fee may be applied to the total value of your bill. This charge can fluctuate dependent on the credit card payment processing company and may be up to the value of an additional 5%.

Local Tax

All services directly related to guests will incur 10% service charge and 12% T-GST (Tourism Goods and Service Tax). The 10% service charge is applied to the total value and 12% T-GST applied to the total value + service charge.

On local islands GST (Goods and Service Tax) is imposed on the value of goods and services supplied by a registered business such as a local café, local restaurant or local shop.

Environmental ‘Green’ tax will be applied to all stays in accommodation registered as a hotel, resort or liveaboard from 1st November 2015. This adds a further US$6 per person per night and is not subject to T-GST/GST.

From October 2016 $3 will be charged per person per night for guests staying on local islands in guesthouses.

Always check the small print online or ask if it is not clear to ensure that all appropriate local tax is included. What at first appears to be a great deal may not turn out to be.

to be continued…….

About Secret Paradise

Since 2012 Secret Paradise has been at the forefront of the Maldives local island tourism industry, promoting and supporting guesthouses, dive centres and activity operators based on locally inhabited islands throughout the Maldives archipelago. Offering group and private tours or independent travel packages, Secret Paradise holidays are designed to allow guests to engage with local people and experience the best from a paradise generally known as a luxury resort destination.

Responsible Tourism plays a very large part in what we do. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and beliefs and through education of both guests and locals we aim to protect the environment and limit where ever possible any negative impact to local life. We partner NGOs such as Save the Beach and marine charity organisations such as Maldives Whaleshark Research Program to provide opportunities for our guests to learn and support local conservation initiatives.

The benefit of travelling with us is that Secret Paradise guarantees you prompt and efficient personal service. We deliver high standards of service and professionalism and you can rely on Secret Paradise to provide expert local knowledge, clear communication and honest advice.

www.secretparadise.mv