Thursday, August 27, 2009

Maldives and Seychelles romantic choices for newlyweds

he Maldives and Seychelles have been highlighted as popular destinations for newly married couples to take their honeymoon.

Francesca Moore, a spokeswoman for, noted that the Mediterranean is popular due to its beautiful beaches and favourable weather.

She said: "For a romantic honeymoon the Maldives and the Seychelles are still popular choices."

The travel expert also offered an advisory to those looking for a honeymoon deal, regarding booking travel insurance prior to departure.

"You want to be able to relax on your honeymoon, so doing things like changing money, checking on visas, and booking travel insurance should always be done before you travel," she added.

According to figures released recently by, 77 per cent of honeymooners are planning on a trip lasting less than two weeks, with budget (74 per cent) and work constraints (56 per cent) being listed as the top reasons for keeping the break short.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Budget cut to keep Maldives away from U.N. climate talks

The Maldives on Wednesday said a budget crisis will keep its president from attending landmark U.N. climate talks, the results of which could have a huge effect on the future of the low-lying archipelago.

Famed mostly for its high-end luxury resorts and white-sand atolls, the Maldives has also made a name for itself as an advocate for mitigating climate change -- because rising sea levels are forecast to submerge most of its islands by 2100.

President Mohamed Nasheed has canceled his trip to the talks in Copenhagen in December as a measure to cut government expenditure and reduce a yawning budget deficit worsened by low tourist numbers during the global downturn.

"We will engage with Copenhagen as much as possible without the president traveling there," presidential spokesman Mohamed Zuhair said.

The Maldives' $850 million economy, based almost entirely on fishing and tourism, saw its budget deficit nearly triple to 14 percent of GDP last year, due to substantial increase in government spending, figures from the Maldives Monetary Authority showed.

The global downturn has also cut into tourist arrivals.

Nasheed drew global attention shortly after his election last year when he said the Maldives would start looking to buy land in other countries to resettle people once the seas rose, but later acknowledged it was not financially feasible.

This year, Nasheed said the Indian Ocean islands would swap fossil fuels for wind and solar power over the next decade, and buy and destroy EU carbon credits to offset emissions from tourists flying in to visit its luxury vacation resorts.

In 2007, a U.N. climate change panel predicted an increase in sea levels of 58 cm, which would submerge many of the Maldives' 1,192 islands by 2100.

U.N. scientists have warned global warming caused by high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) will lead to rising seas, big storms, mass heatwaves and droughts.

The current climate pact, the Kyoto Protocol, expires in 2012 and countries are scrambling to negotiate a follow-up deal that many hope will include the United States and commit developing nations such as China and India to cut greenhouse gases.

Negotiators in Bali agreed to start two years of talks to be concluded with the signing of a new treaty at the U.N.'s 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nasheed last year unseated Asia's longest-serving ruler, 30-year incumbent President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in the islands' first multi-party presidential election. Gayoom has become a vocal advocate for mitigating climate change.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

I got recognised as Alfie Moon in the Maldives

Shane Richie was recognised while he was staying on a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

The actor quit his role as Alfie Moon in BBC soap EastEnders in 2005.

'Last year I was in the Maldives on holiday and a boat of locals went past shouting: "It's Alfie Moon!",' he says. 'It was the last place I was expecting to be recognised.'

The EastEnders star says fame is something he never set out to achieve.

'Unfortunately, over the last ten years, fame and success have kind of merged,' Shane, 45, tells Saturday magazine.

'And now you're judged on your success by how famous you are.'