Hotelier Maldives GM Forum 2019 is set to see a special presentation on sustainable tourism and conservation by renowned marine conservationist Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem – ‘N.D. Azeez’. The fourth edition of the Hotelier Maldives GM Forum is scheduled to take place on 3rd April 2019 at Bandos Maldives.

Azeez will focus his presentation on “The Necklace Project”; an innovative project initiated 21 years ago at Ihuru Resort (now Angsana Ihuru operated by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts). The project was undertaken with the technical assistance of Professor Wolf Hilbertz and Dr. Tom Goreau. The aim of the project was to see if the structure could withstand storms and helps in breaking strong wave energy.

It is a steel structure 40 metres long and 4 metres wide, fixed inside the lagoon of Angsana Ihuru at a depth of 0.5 metres. Massive corals were initially put on top of the structure to stabilise it. The steel structures were provided with low voltage direct current which causes the growth of calcium carbonate, dissolved in seawater over the steel surfaces, which are completely protected from corrosion. The growing calcium carbonate on the steel structure, which has already achieved a thickness of about 20 cm in diameter in some places, now acts as a natural barrier to strong waves. The necklace has also become a haven for fish and other forms of marine life.

One of the first generations of Maldivian hoteliers, Azeez was involved in the initial development of Ihuru Resort with Ahmed Adam and Ahmed Mujuthaba. Educated in Sri Lanka and Egypt, Azeez earlier served as Director of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture in the Maldives. He also co-published a diving guide in 1996 called the Maldives Diving Guide, alongside Kurt Amsler and Khalida Hassan. Azeez is also the architect behind one of the country’s first marine laboratory opened in Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, which focused on electrical reefs, conservation of turtles, and other marine life in addition to educating school children. Azeez is also the first Maldivian to have a new Bryozoan species named after him – the Exechonella azeezi.

The GM Forum, which has proven to be tremendously popular with the core readership of Hotelier Maldives, will feature keynote speeches, presentations, and panel discussions on a myriad of topics including hotel safety and security, skills gap in the hospitality industry and how this challenge is being met, airport connectivity, best practices for sustainable tourism and women working in hospitality.

To register your attendance at the GM Forum 2019, please visit www.hoteliermaldives.com/gmforum-register. For sponsorship related inquiries, you may contact hotline (960) 791 0858 or email: sales@hoteliermaldives.com.