With visitor numbers of more than 1.7 million people per year pre-pandemic, and higher than anticipated numbers in 2020 and 2021 due to highly efficient health protocols – the destination has welcomed more than 1.1 million arrivals so far this year and its tourism recovery rate has been very fast – the tropical-island paradise of the Maldives is looking to the future with a raft of new resort launches across 2022.
Around 12 properties are scheduled to open their doors in the coming year. In addition, many existing resorts took advantage of COVID-enforced closures to renovate and to improve their services. This makes the choice of holidays even better than ever, whether you are visiting the Maldives as a couple, with kids, as a group of friends or as a diver looking for some of the best marine life in the world.
They add to a list of nearly 10 openings in 2021, 13 in 2020, 20 in 2019, 20 in 2018, at least 15 in 2017, and 11 in 2016, bringing the total ever-closer to 200 resorts as the Maldives gears up to celebrating 50 years since its first-ever resort, Kurumba, opened in 1972.
Most new openings are in the more remote atolls: Raa and Dhaalu, followed by Noonu, Baa and Lhaviyani. Some new resorts are being built on artificial islands created by land reclamation, such as the Fari Islands in the North Malé Atoll.
Projected 2022 Openings
• OBLU SELECT Lobigili: An adult-only haven with an underwater restaurant, where guests can stroll over to neighbouring Ailafushi island to experience a different world of sights, sounds and culture.
• OBLU XPErience Ailafushi: A free-spirited Maldivian resort with a name that means ‘family island’, designed for families, friends, couples and global nomads, and including a futuristic entertainment centre.
• Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort: The first opening in the Maldives by the sister brand of Anantara, with a youthful vibe and a kids’ club.
• Address Madivaru Maldives Resort & Spa: The Emaar group’s first incursion into south Asia, promising a dedicated spa-island plus a floating restaurant.
• Gran Meliá Huravee: A glamorous opening by the luxury Spanish brand, set to include one private-island villa among its accommodation offerings.
• Maniya Faru Resort: A new development by the company behind Reethi Faru Resort, with the same renowned lagoon restaurant and an overwater spa.
• OZO Maldives: The second Maldives resort to be opened by the ONYX group, with a family focus, an enhanced sleep experience., and curated destination and activity tips.
• Tolarno Maldives Kunaavashi Resort La Vie Hotels & Resorts’ first Maldivian property – a unique midscale brand inspired by arts and local culture, in one of the best diving destinations in the archipelago.
• Madifushi Private Island: A nature-centric island with private-pool villas and suites designed to blend in with their surrounds.
• Zazz Escapes Maldives: A lively resort aimed at younger adults, with fresh contemporary decor, a juice bar and one residence with its own DJ booth.
• Hilton Maldives Amingiri: The fourth resort under Hilton’s portfolio of brands in the Maldives – and the first of its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts in the destination – including a teen-only zone with a rooftop deck.