Mariya Shareef

Resort Manager, Summer Island Maldives

Mariya Shareef is the only Maldivian female resort manager in the country. She was appointed Resort Manager of Summer Island Maldives on 1 September 2016. She was previously the Business Development and Marketing Manager for Kaimoo where she helped with re-development of Summer Island Maldives. Prior to joining Kaimoo, Mariya was the Marketing and PR manager at Lily Hotels for four years. She holds a Masters Degree in International Tourism and Marketing from Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

How did you get started with your career?

My first job was in the kitchen, as a kitchen assistant. I was the only woman in the entire F&B department! But I really enjoyed working there, and soon got the chance to become a waiter.

What are some of your notable successes?

I’m pleased that I’ve been able to work my way up from a kitchen assistant to Resort Manager at Summer Island Maldives. I’ve also picked up an undergraduate degree in hospitality, and an MSc in international tourism marketing, along the way. It was a privilege for me to be able to succeed in tourism, especially as I started out in the kitchen where, in those days, very few women worked.

I’ve also enjoyed working with international brands, being able to travel and work with very senior hospitality experts such as David Feinburgh. My time at Kaimoo has been wonderful; we have a young and dynamic team that is mostly Maldivian. I loved being part of the Summer Island rebranding and redevelopment. Now, as Resort Manager there, I feel I am home.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced?

As is common in the Maldives, and many other countries, one of the biggest challenges is always building a professional workforce.

What is your experience of TTM? What are you looking forward to in TTM 2018?

It is a great platform for international and local stakeholders of the industry to discuss potential opportunities in the Maldives. It will certainly help us to strengthen existing relationships and showcase new products in the market. I am extremely grateful to the organisers for providing such an opportunity to meet with leaders, friends and colleagues of the industry in the Maldives.

What is your advice for young adults interested in entering the Tourism Industry?

Work hard, don’t give up, and demonstrate that Maldivians can own our tourism industry.