When it comes to getting up-close to Earth’s aquatic life, the Maldives, with its 1,000 pearlescent coral islands and ring-shaped coral reefs, are somewhat of a front-row seat. The coveted week-long Underwater Festival, held on the islet of Dhidhoofinolhu at LUX* South Ari Atoll, is a chance to meet the world’s leading conservationists and researchers, discover the most-beautiful dive spots, the history of diving, underwater drone photography, and above all, learn about what measures are being taken globally to raise awareness, protect earth’s largest mammals, and conserve our reefs.
From 16-22 September, the days at LUX* South Ari Atoll will be packed with hands-on workshops, open-air film screenings, talks, conferences, and lots of dives. The goal is to gather liked-minded travellers, marine specialists, divers, activists, and those passionate about the marine world to share their knowledge and experience. The popular festival draws industry household names, including diving legend, project AWARE founder and CEO of PADI, Dr Drew Richardson.
Considered one of the foremost diving specialists of his generation, Dr Drew Richardson was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2008 and has utilised his credentials in marine science to spearhead innovative dive programmes throughout the world. With 40 plus years spent working in water safety and diver education, he has made over 5,000 dives across all continents, including Antarctica. An avid conservationist and marine specialist, Dr Richardson states that “With plastic, pollution, and overfishing, there are many issues to address, but it’s not too late, we can reverse some of the damage that has been done by working together to conserve and protect marine resources.”
In addition to the exciting schedule, which includes diving along the iBubble underwater drone and trying their hand at painting with artist Hussain Ihfal, guests may experience the magic of LUX* South Ari Atoll. Its eight exquisite eateries, five bars, and Reasons to Go make it a happening place. The resort, with its 193 stylish villas set on an immaculate beach and on stilts, is an all-time supporter of marine conservation – it houses a state-of-the-art PADI Dive Centre, Euro-Divers, and its very own Marine Biology Centre.
To celebrate this year’s Underwater Festival, the luxury hotel brand is offering its guests an Underwater Festival Special Offer – bookings for seven nights during the festival will receive a 10 percent discount on Beach Categories, 20 percent discount on Over Water accommodation and a 20 percent discount on all beginner-level diving courses, LUX* ME spa treatments, food and beverages. For more information, click here