Naushad Ahmed – Assistant Director of Sales at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

Starting as a billing clerk at Kuredu Island Resort, Naushad transitioned through various roles, including Reservations and Revenue Management, eventually rising to the position of Assistant Director of Sales. His experience spans not only across different departments but also international locations, having worked in Thailand for five years as a Revenue Manager.

In this interview, Naushad shares insights into what sets the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa apart from other top resorts in the Maldives, how the resort has overcome challenges in a competitive market, and his thoughts on emerging travel trends in the Maldives.

Could you tell us a bit about your career so far?

My career journey began in the Accounting Department, where I started as a billing clerk at Kuredu Island Resort. Over time, I made a transition to the Front Office Department and eventually discovered my true passion in Reservations and Revenue Management. I owe a debt of gratitude to my uncle, Ibrahim Sobir, for introducing me to the tourism industry, as well as to Kuredu Management for their unwavering support in nurturing my career. This journey led me to an exciting opportunity at W Maldives. Through hard work and determination, I successfully climbed the ladder from a Reservations Agent to a Reservations Manager. Eventually, the time came for me to pursue my lifelong dream of working abroad, which led to five fulfilling years in Thailand as a Revenue Manager.

Growing in properties under Marriott International hotels portfolio, where I dedicated 15 years of service is truly rewarding. Today, I find myself back in my home country, prepared to embrace a new challenge in Sales & Marketing. The experiences and skills I acquired during my time abroad have equipped me for this exciting new chapter. I proudly and enthusiastically embrace this role, eager to continue contributing to this company and I look forward with great anticipation to what the future holds for me.

How does Sheraton Maldives differentiate itself from other top resorts in the Maldives?

The unparalleled beauty of Furanafushi natural island is what sets Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa apart from other resorts in Maldives. Guests can immerse themselves in the pristine beauty of the turquoise lagoon and the lush tropical garden where hundreds of species of plants including the 100-year-old Banyan tree grow well on the island. The resort sets a high bar with its exceptional food quality, featuring a diverse range of culinary experiences that blend international flavors with locally sourced ingredients spread across seven dining outlets that guarantee satisfaction to your taste buds. Sheraton Maldives also distinguishes itself through unwavering commitment to sustainability, actively contributing to coral restoration with Adopt A Coral program in partnership with Reefscapers, plastic-free initiatives as well as energy saving and waste management program. To top it all, the resort’s exemplary service and genuine Maldivian hospitality, create thoughtful connections with guests, making Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa a holistic experience that stands out in the Maldivian hospitality landscape.

What have been the biggest challenges faced by Sheraton Maldives over the last few years, and how did you overcome them?

In recent years, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has encountered several significant challenges, with one of the most prominent being the emergence of new resorts in the market offering aggressive pricing strategies. To address this, we focus on continuous marketing efforts to highlight our unique offerings and differentiate ourselves from competitors. This includes showcasing the resort’s natural beauty, culinary excellence, exceptional service, and commitment to sustainability through various marketing channels. Additionally, we continue placing a strong emphasis on building and nurturing relationships with travel agents and tour operators, fostering loyalty towards our Marriott Bonvoy members, and driving repeat business. By consistently delivering an outstanding guest experience and maintaining an active presence in the market, we are confident that we successfully navigated these challenges and continued to thrive competitively.

What are your thoughts on emerging travel trends in the Maldives?

The emerging travel trends in the Maldives are certainly fascinating. The increasing number of accommodations in the Maldives eventually makes it an affordable destination that opens opportunities for a broader range of travellers. To fully capitalize on this trend, it’s important to invest in better infrastructure and connectivity to different parts of the Maldives and not just concentrate on one area. Improving transportation options and accessibility to various atolls will not only disperse the tourism impact but also allow visitors to explore and appreciate the diverse natural beauty and cultural richness that the entire archipelago has to offer.

Do you have any words of advice for those looking to join the industry?

The tourism growth in Maldives is remarkably unique and full of excitement.  My advice to those who are aspiring to join this industry is to approach it with an open mind and a passionate attitude. Instead of fixating on the number of positions held or the duration spent at one establishment, what truly counts is your unswerving commitment to your role, acquiring expertise in your specific area of interest, and possessing a genuine enthusiasm for your work. It’s essential to embody patience, maintain your focus, continuously expand your knowledge, and engage in work that you genuinely love and are passionate about. While obstacles and challenges will inevitably arise, face them with confidence and enthusiasm, as each challenge presents an opportunity for personal growth and learning.