People's Edition - Celebrating People

MATATO is proud to host Maldives Travel Awards People's Edition 2018, honoring most outstanding individuals in the tourism industry. These awards represent the highest honor given for tourism industry in Maldives. The award recipients have positively contributed to the experience of our visitors and the quality of service offered in the destination. Award winners will be announced and receive the award in special ceremony during the Gala for Maldives Travel Awards 2018.

Maldives Travel Awards People's Edition recognize pioneers and long serving individuals in the travel industry of Maldives. Through this award MATATO intends to recognise professionals contributing to the growth of the industry by creating a platform on which their talent, dedication and achievements are acknowledged and showcased.

People's Edition was launched in 2017, with recognition of 10 outstanding individuals serving in the industry. From 2018 on, MATATO will recognize 05 individuals through this award, selected by a panel of veterans, invited by MATATO.

How it Works


In choosing the recipients of the People's Edition, regard is given to the nominee;s commitment, achievements and ongoing contribution to the travel industry of Maldives.

The selection criteria are:

  • Significant contribution in their respective field.
  • Minimum 10 years of service in the travel industry.
  • An inspirational role model for the tourism industry.
  • Outstanding career development and achievement.

Judges will also give consideration to the following in assessing and comparing nominations against the above criteria:

  • Personal, academic and professional achievements.
  • Contribution in the relevant field Demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity.


Nomination forms may be accessed at

All nominations must be submitted online.

Anyone can make nomination by completing the Nomination form but the nominator and seconder should have first-hand knowledge of the candidate and their work.

The entry period is Friday, June 20th through August 20th 2018.

Self-nominations are accepted.

Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years.

Group of people or couples will not normally be eligible through in exceptional cases the selection panels reserve the right to consider such nominations.

Judging & Selection of Winners

All entry forms will be read and scored by a panel of judges selected by MATATO. They will take in to account any supporting evidence and reference provided by the applicant.

Judges will meet to decide the shortlisted entries and then agree on the winners of the Awards. At this stage judges may request additional documents.

Only the judges and organizing team will see your entries.All judges will sign confidentiality agreements prior to receiving your entries.

Judges will be looking for evidence that an individual has gone above and beyond their role in order to achieve benefit for their organisation or the wider travel industry.

Tourism Personalities 2017

Yousuf Riffath

35 Years of tourism Industry, Founder of the well established Capital Travel & Tours. Riffath’s known for many of his achievements including founding and leading Maldives Association for Travel Agents & Tour Opera- tors (MATATO), Liveaboards Association of Maldives ( LAM ) and has served as the President of the Maldives Chapter of Ameri- can Society of Travel Agents and Association of Travel Agents.

Hussain ‘Sendi’ Rasheed

Sendi has trained over 1,600 divers in his three decades of Service. Being the first and only PADI Dive Course Director in the Coun- try, Sendi is a pioneering force in developing several industry standards, including the national diving regulations. He has also been involved in developing the Coastguard Diving Unit, the first locally-owned dive centre at a resort and the Marine Faculty of Villa College where he served as the dean for two years.

Rasa Sangheran

A Sri Lankan born Chartered Accountant, Rasa serves as the Director of Finance at One&Only Reethi Rah. In his 15-year long service to the Maldives’ tourism industry, Rasa has made Reethi Rah the most tax compliant resort in the Maldives. He has taken several notable steps to empower both local and expat employees, including modifying the minimum wage and average service charge, and equal pension benefits for all employees at Reethi Rah.

Zeenaz Hussain

An educator and mentor, Zeenaz pursued a career in the kitchen at the Paradise Island Resort right after completing her studies at the Hotel School (now known as the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies). While working in the industry, Zeenas instructed at the Institute of Hotel and Catering Services as a trainee food production instructor before taking her first teaching job at the Hotel School in 1997. Since then she has been instrumental in producing the future genera- tions of hospitality executives, which led to her appointment as the Dean of the Faculty in 2011.

Ali Rasheed

As the director of Marketing and Sales in of the leading operator, Villa Travels, Ali has contributed a lot to the companies vision and growth of the industry. Ali also contributed as an executive board member of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry and Maldives Advisory Council at the Ministry of Tourism. Ali has been an inspiration for many associ- ates around the company and throughout the travel industry.

Abdul Rasheed ‘Absy’ Ali

A voice loved by Maldivians and tourists alike, Absy has dedicated most part of his four-decade long entertainment career to promoting the Maldives’ culture amongst tourists. A founder of popular bands, Amazon Jade, 20th Century BC, Out of Door Maldives. Absy has released a solo studio album which has sold over 1,600 copies to tourists. He continues to perform two regular gigs a week with Out of Door Maldives, entertaining tourists and helping them connect with the local culture and lifestyle.

Ibrahim ‘Don’ Ali

Since starting his career in 1979 at the age of 17 as an office cleaner in Baros Maldives, Ali has overseen the development and renovation of several tourist facilities in the Maldives, including the construction of resorts from scratch. A self-taught man except for a few short courses abroad, Ali was appointed General Manager of Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in capital Male in 2013, after oversee- ing their development.

Qaisar Naseem

Qaisar has climbed up the ranks from a receptionist to become one of the top posi- tions in a resort. He has won several local and international recognitions for his leadership and dedication to teamwork, including the award for the best General Manager in Indian Ocean by World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Renato W. Chizzola

A global hospitality leader. Renato is the General Manager of Cheval Blanc Randheli and the Vice President of Operations, Asia and the Middle East for Cheval Blanc, LVMH Hotel Management. His insights has helped in hotel’s RevPAR, LQA score and service charge in the region. He has won several accolades, including the friendliest General Manager award by Traveller Made, Science of Talent by Talent Plus and a Personal Recognition award by Entrée Travel Publication.

Aminath Mamshooga

Well known in the Aviation Industry of Maldives, she started a career 24 years back in the Maldives. She is now part of the marketing department of Turkish Airlines Maldives operations. Mamshooga studied from various institutions, including the prestigious Emirates Aviation College, and is involved in training sales representatives to ensure top notch customer service.