Mohamed Sobir – Resort Manager at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

With a two-decade career in luxury hospitality, Mohamed Sobir brings extensive experience from renowned properties affiliated with Four Seasons, Alila, and Shangri-La. We interviewed Sobir, Resort Manager at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa, to explore his illustrious career and gain valuable advice for aspiring hoteliers aiming to make their mark.

Could you tell us about your professional background and key milestones that have led you to your current role as the Resort Manager of Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa?

In my 20-year career, I’ve gained extensive expertise in hotel and resort operations, both domestically and internationally. I started my career at entry-level positions and worked my way up, specializing in food & beverage management, staff training, and leadership development. This journey provided me with a solid foundation in guest service, team supervision, and strategic planning, all of which have been crucial in my previous roles and led to my current position as Resort Manager at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa.

Prior to this, I served as the Resident Manager at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu and Adaaran Prestige Water Villa, as well as Resident Manager at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo. My leadership expertise and industry know-how have been honed over the years, evident from my tenure as Food and Beverage Manager and Assistant Food & Beverage Manager at Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spa. These experiences, coupled with my earlier roles within the Shangri-La Group, have collectively enriched my background in food and beverage management, training, and guest relations.

Can you share some insights into the unique experiences and services that set Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa Island apart from others in the Maldives?

Our private island, Bodu Finolhu, features pristine nature, including a lush forest and untouched beaches. Guests can enjoy beachside picnics, mesmerizing sunset dinners, stargazing, and professional photography. We also prioritize sustainability with The Greenhouse, an advanced hydroponic farm promoting eco-friendly farming. Guests of all ages can participate in interactive farming, from planting microgreens to learning about hydroponics. The farm’s produce takes center stage at The Harvest Table, our garden-to-table private dining experience.

Families can enjoy nature trails, coral restoration, and traditional fishing adventures. Our Kids’ Hub offers engaging activities, and the Explore Spa provides unique spa treatments with underwater views. In essence, Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa Island redefines the Maldivian resort experience by offering the perfect blend of natural beauty, sustainability, and engaging activities for guests of all ages.

In your view, what are the main challenges and opportunities facing the hospitality industry in the Maldives?

In the dynamic Maldivian hospitality industry, challenges and opportunities abound. Sustainability is paramount due to climate change, while competition is fierce with numerous luxury resorts. Dependence on tourism makes us vulnerable to economic fluctuations and infrastructure issues, especially in remote atolls.

Despite these challenges, there are promising prospects on the horizon. Initiatives geared towards sustainable tourism, the adoption of eco-friendly practices, and the integration of renewable energy sources have the potential to attract environmentally conscious travelers. Furthermore, diversifying our offerings to include wellness, adventure, and cultural tourism can broaden our visitor base. Moreover, the embrace of technology, particularly in booking and personalization, has the power to significantly enhance guest satisfaction. Investment in infrastructure improvements is also pivotal; it can open up new markets and elevate the overall guest experience.

The Maldivian hospitality industry faces sustainability and competition challenges but also promising opportunities in sustainable tourism, diversification, and technology. Navigating these challenges and seizing opportunities will ensure long-term prosperity.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa recently received the title of ‘Best Culinary Resort’ at TTM Maldives. Could you share some of the key initiatives and offerings that contributed to this award?

The ‘Best Culinary Resort’ title at TTM Awards 2023 is a result of our exceptional dining experiences at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa. We celebrate diverse flavors, using farm-to-table produce to capture the essence of the Maldives in every dish. One highlight is the Harvest Table, a garden-to-table supper club featuring ethical and hydroponic farming. Our Au Soleil Beach BBQ’s offers a quintessential Maldivian experience with grilled meats, seafood, and international bites against stunning sunsets.

Private dining options like seaside picnics and greenhouse harvests provide unique and sustainable experiences. Le Scoop offers homemade gelato and sorbet, while our Illy Coffee program focuses on European café culture. Tabemasu, a Japanese dining experience, blends art, design, and cuisine, offering a fusion of modern and traditional techniques. Our culinary initiatives at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa are driven by a passion for exceptional cuisine, sustainability, and celebrating the uniqueness of the Maldives.

Sustainability and eco-friendliness have become crucial considerations for luxury resorts. Could you tell us about the sustainability initiatives and practices implemented at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa?

At Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa, sustainability is at the core of our values. We harness solar power, reduce waste through separation and recycling, and manage organic waste with a waste-to-energy system. Water conservation is a priority, with efficient fixtures and rainwater harvesting. We actively engage in marine conservation and educate guests. Supporting the local community is fundamental, with local sourcing and community programs. We address single-use plastics with biodegradables and promote green certifications as well as our educational programs empower guests to make eco-conscious choices. Sustainability is integral to our ethos, and we’re dedicated to preserving the Maldivian environment while offering a luxurious, eco-conscious experience.

What are your vision and future plans for Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa? Are there any upcoming developments or initiatives that you’d like to share with our readers?

At Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa, our vision for the future revolves around our commitment to sustainability and providing exceptional experiences for our guests. Sustainability is not just a buzzword for us; it’s a core value that drives our every decision. We’re actively integrating eco-conscious practices into every aspect of our operation, from using solar power to reduce our energy consumption to promoting waste reduction and recycling programs. We believe in sourcing locally-produced, organic, and homegrown ingredients for our restaurants, reducing our carbon footprint while supporting the local community.

We’re also thrilled about our upcoming festive program, especially the unique GLOW IN THE DARK New Year’s Eve celebration. Our calendar is designed to create unforgettable moments during the holiday season. From daily buffet breakfasts at Turquoise to themed dinners at Velaa Bar + Grill, each day offers a delightful experience. Christmas Eve features a lavish beachside feast with traditional delicacies, followed by an Asian Culinary Odyssey at Tabemasu. The highlight is our Glow in the Dark New Year’s Eve Beach Party, featuring a gourmet buffet, live entertainment, and spectacular fireworks.

To make this holiday season even more special, we’re offering a Festive Promotion in 2023-2024 that includes invigorating spa treatments, perfect for fostering bonds amidst the holiday season. For more details on these exciting offers, you can visit our website

As a seasoned professional, what advice do you have for aspiring managers and individuals pursuing careers in the hotel industry?

First and foremost, embrace lifelong learning and stay curious about industry trends. The hotel industry is constantly evolving, with new trends, technologies, and guest preferences emerging regularly. To stay relevant and thrive in this environment, it’s essential to remain curious and open to learning. Attend workshops, conferences, and seminars, and keep a close eye on industry publications. I would also advise them to seek out diverse experiences within the industry. Starting in entry-level positions may seem challenging, but it’s often the best way to gain a deep understanding of how a hotel operates from the ground up. This hands-on experience will not only equip you with practical knowledge but also build empathy and a strong work ethic, which are crucial attributes for successful managers.