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since 1982

Maldives Association Of Tourism Industry


The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization formed in 1982, for the purpose of developing tourism in the Maldives. More than four decades of MATI’s service has been provided to almost all the travel and tourism related issues which arise in Maldives.

A key function of MATI is coordinating with all mandatory government policy making bodies to align new laws, regulations and guidelines to Tourism Industry best practices.

Additionally, we represent the industry internationally and locally by attending different seminars, organizing and providing research and offering professional consultation to governmental, private and international organizations.

Areas of Focus

  1. Sustainable Tourism Development
  2. Advocacy
  3. Human Capital Development
  4. Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage
  5. Community Engagement


Driving Sustainable Tourism.


Make Maldives the World Leader in Sustainable Tourism.


Continuously monitor the internal and external environment for the tourism sector and proactively strive to minimise challenges and maximise opportunities within the industry through engagement and mediation.

Mr. Ahmed Hafeez (Financial Controller, MATI)

Mr. Hafeez is an experienced Maldivian Hotelier with more than 45 years’ experience in the industry. He previously worked as a Manager at Veligandu Resort (between the years 1985 to 1988) and was the General Manager of Crown Company from 1988 to 1994. He then developed Lily Beach Resort & Spa along with his other partners in the year 1994. He also holds shares and is the Managing Director of Dhonakulhi Investments Pvt Ltd the holding company of Hideaway Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives (110-rooms luxury resort) and Maagiri Hotel owned and operated by Maagiri Investments Pvt Ltd. He has also held many positions in the Maldives Association for Tourism Industry (MATI).

Mr. Ahmed Nazeer (Secretary General, MATI)

Mr Ahmed Nazeer, founder and Director of Crown Company, is a prominent businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has served both the Government and private sectors in various capacities throughout his illustrious career. From managing a small shop in Male’ to eventually founding his own company that has become one of the most well-known success stories in the country. Crown Company’s investments range from the Tree Top Hospital to various resorts such as Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Veligandu Island Resort. Mr Nazeer is respected for his extensive knowledge and experience in finance, administration and logistics.

Mr. Hussain Afeef (Vice-Chairman, MATI)

Mr. Hussain Afeef is an entrepreneur, responsible for both the instigation and expansion of several key industries in the Maldives. This includes various Resorts around the different atolls in the Maldives, managed by the leading Maldives tourism group, Crown & Champa Resorts (CCR), as one of the founding fathers and Directors. The group was recently listed as the top 100 companies in the Maldives and awarded with the GOLD 100 plaque in an exclusive gala. Mr. Afeef was also awarded a Corporate Maldives Lifetime Achievement Award for pioneering the development of the tourism and hospitality industry in the Maldives. In true humbled beginnings, Mr. Hussain Afeef started revolutionizing tourism in the Maldives as part of a team of entrepreneurs who not only saw the potential, but also faced and conquered the many challenges the industry faced during its inception. By 1972, after experiencing and understanding every aspect of the company’s inner workings, Mr. Afeef became the General Manager of the first Resort in the Maldives, Kurumba Village. He became the lessor of Meerufenfushi Resort early eighties, and with the support of his family, he has invested in numerous companies and Resorts at home and abroad to date. Mr. Afeef also contributed to the Government of the Maldives at different posts including the Economic Advisory Council for the President of the Maldives. He also served on several boards such as Dhiraagu and continues to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), an NGO involved with the development of the tourism industry of the Maldives.

Mr. Salah Shihab (Vice-Chairman, MATI)

Mr. Shihab is the Founder Shareholder and Managing Director of Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd since 1980. He is also the Founder Shareholder and Managing Director of Seagull Group Pvt Ltd since 1984. Furthermore, he has been working in the field of Safari boat building and Tour Packaging since 1981 As Managing Director of Voyages Maldives he participated in the design and development of Athuruga Island Resort owned by Voyages Maldives. As Managing Director of Seagull Group he participated in the development of Thudufushi Island Resort owned by Mr. Hussain Afeef, Director and shareholder of Seagull Group. He is also theLease Holder and co-developer of Maafahi Agriculture & Fisheries Project in Collaboration with Seagull Group Pvt Ltd. Mr. Shihab is highly experienced in international relations and trade practices including shipping, international product sourcing and marketing. Additionally, he has wide travel experience as a Senior Foreign Ministry Official (15 years) and as the Managing Director of Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd and Seagull Group Pvt Ltd.

Mr. M.U. Maniku (Chairman, MATI)

Mr. Mohamed Umar Maniku, better known as M U Maniku, is referred to as ‘The Man Who Built Paradise’ due to his rightful honor as the man who instigated the Maldives tourism industry. With no banks, no airport, no telephones and severely limited resources, Mr. Maniku’s decision to open the first resort in the Maldives, Kurumba Village in 1972, was a decision that revolutionized Maldives. Despite warnings from the United Nations that Maldives did not yet have the required infrastructure to support the business, Mr. Maniku and his partners successfully introduced a new industry to the country. The turning point for Tourism in the Maldives was also devised by Mr. Maniku, when Kurumba Village was redeveloped into a world-class hotel in 1987, moving Maldives from low-end destination to high-class luxury holiday spot. Universal Enterprises is one of the most reputable companies in Maldives today and is a trailblazer in resort development and management, with a diverse portfolio of tourism-related and other businesses under its umbrella. Holding eight luxury resorts, and with partnerships with world-renowned luxury brands such as Starwood and W-Hotels and Per Aquum, Mr. Maniku continues to lead as an example to the industry. Mr. Maniku has also served at several important government positions, such as Head of Male’ International Airport Limited (MIAL) and Chairman of the Airport Advisory Committee, and continues to serve as the Chairman of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) since its inception. He is also a founding member of the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) where he served as Chamber President.