In People

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW : Maldives, the new millennials’ destination

Crossroads_Iconic Restaurant design (002)
Source : Singha Estate

Everybody has dreamt of Maldives as honeymoon destination, Emboodhoo Lagoon Project aims to turn Maldives into the new millennials’ must-go destination. How?

The Emboodhoo Lagoon project has partnered with world-class developers, namely Camper & Nicholsons, renowned UK-marina management specialists, for a luxurious international-standard 30-berth marina at the Township; Café del Mar, an internationally-renowned beach club operator; a world-class branded retail; Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Cafe; and a secluded upscale lifestyle resort to offer guests a highly exclusive experience.

Source : Singha Estate

The project will appeal to the rapidly growing niche of medium to upscale and family-friendly markets.

SEE ALSO : Understanding Chinese Millennials

K. Kittsanan's photo
Source : Singha Estate

Retail in Asia has met Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej, Chief Marketing Officer of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, to know more about the Emboodhoo Lagoon Project, which will redefine leisure and entertainment experience and stimulate the country’s tourism economy.

During the interview, we asked Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej to describe the project and highlight the opportunity for retailers to join this ambitious project as the upcoming retail hub in the Indian Ocean.

RiA : What is Singha Estate and what is the plan for the project in Maldives?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : Singha Estate, a leading Thai developer in hospitality, commercial, and residential real estate, has been working to create a new touristic destination in the Maldives.

Singha has already invested in hospitality projects all over the world, the latest one in the UK, and is now putting its experience in this ambitious and disruptive project.

The project in the Maldives covers three business areas of hospitality, commercial, and residential, as it accounts for the creation of Township, 15 minutes away from Velana International Airport (Male International Airport) and 8 kilometres from Male city and Hulumale’ Youth City.

RiA : Why Maldives?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : We chose to work on this project in the Maldives because of the support from the Maldives’ government investment policy and our shared vision on the transformation of the Maldives into a millennials’ destination.

RiA : What is the concept behind the Emboodhoo Lagoon project?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : this project aims to offer a new leisure and entertainment experience in the Maldives. Maldives are very well known among honeymooners, but even families do not have anything to do there. The way we envision Maldives with this project, it is a new branded destination able to attract different market segments. Honeymooners will still choose it for its beautiful atolls, but we also want to offer families and upscale lifestyle seekers the opportunity to relax in such a paradise, but also experience something different, as well as for millennials from all over the world.

We are focusing on the enhancement of local culture with a cultural centre, which revitalizes the local craftsmanship and art. In terms of hospitality, we are thinking of offering services such as mini clubs for kids; sports centres, especially diving centres; and promote the discovery of the territory; but also unique shopping experience in the middle of the ocean. Of course, brands joining will have to match with the unique design of the hospitality project designed by Bill Bensley.

Crossroads
Source : Singha Estate

 

The central theme is based on the word ‘crossroads’, which came about from the history of the Maldives. It is a very broad theme and concept, which can be broken down into smaller pieces: transit hotel with British and colonial history; the beach club, Café del Mar, a really fun location with Portuguese influence that traveled to occupy areas in India, South of Mumbai; the main marina as the complete crossroad with a series of villages and a collective mix of architecture detailing. The village concept is influenced by the history of countries that occupied Maldives in the past such as the British, the Portuguese, and the Dutch.

RiA : Who’s you customer’s profile then?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : Asians, especially Chinese for the geographical position, but also Europe, and Middle East. In order to promote Maldives as new destination, we are partnering with tour operators and airlines.

Also, we need to consider that millennials for instance, travel in small groups or as individual travelers, that is why partnerships with airlines are key to the development of the brand. Social media and sports adventure also work well together and we are envisioning campaigns based on lifestyle and events.

At the same time, we are also working on the definition of payment platforms, maybe a cashless area to become a privileged destination among the tech-savvy millennials.

Ideally, long-term stays are preferred, but we believe that for Asian millennials 5-day holidays packages could work to give them a taste of Maldives.

Food & Beverage experience will help in combination with cultural shows.

RiA : As sustainability is a core value of Singha Estate, in which way you are incorporating it into such a huge project?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : This project is sustainable from different perspectives. Firstly, it is environmental sustainable, we have a Sustainable Development Team supervising each step of the project, making sure that the natural reserve is preserved. Secondly, it is a cultural sustainable project because of the value given to local culture and its enhancement through storytelling of the history of Maldives and engagement of channels like National Geographic, which recently decided to release a documentary for the Maldives. Thirdly, it is sustainable in terms of contribution to the community. As we said, we will employ 5,000 people and they will all receive a training to welcome guests in the best way.

At the same time, this project aims to offer a new lifestyle in the Maldives, here domestic market is quite profitable and people live in simplicity because they did not have so much international exposure. We will bring it to them.

RiA : How does it blend with the local landscape and architecture?

Mr. Kittsanan Kittamaytrapemadej : The biggest constraints was to keep everything under the height of coconut trees, which are very important for the local government, and we have been asked to preserve them.

As part of the overall project, Singha Estate will be establishing a Maldives Cultural Centre as a part of the development, working closely with local communities to promote arts and crafts of the nations. Also, “Seafari” Marine Discovery Center will aim to introduce global marine biologists’ practices for the conservation of the delicate marine environment and the preservation of the rich marine biodiversity of the Maldives.

SEE ALSO : Department store Harrods rakes in £2bn annually on China tourism

For the height of the reclaimed land, the developer already anticipated the NASA study which is 3.4 millimetres to cover (prepare) for Maldives’ sinking.

The Township and the first phase are anticipated to be completed by the third quarter of 2018, while the second phase is set to be completed within the next five years.

Singha Estate aims to create the sustainable value to all stakeholders and is pledged to supporting the Maldives’ ecological environment, the living quality of local community and economic growth.

We are looking forward to seeing it completed!

 

For information about this project, contact our InTelligence Team

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