A yacht rally to promote cultural tourism began on Saturday (5 February), setting sail from the northernmost atoll to explore heritage sites across the north of the Maldives.
The ‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ is due to reach Baa atoll on 17 February after making stops on 11 islands to visit ancient shrines and coral stone mosques. Along the way, the yachts will also anchor at popular diving sites and sandbanks. The sailing event will conclude with a gala night at Fari Islands on 20 February.
The first of its kind yacht rally was organised by the Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in conjunction with the golden jubilee of tourism this year. Yachtsmen from across the globe were invited to participate with the aim of promoting “Maldivian culture and heritage, its rich history as well as yacht tourism,” according to MITDC.
Seven yachts with 27 tourists are participating in the rally, MITDC managing director Mohamed Raaidh told state media.
The yachts arrived on Utheemu this morning (9 February). Participants visited the palace of Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu, a national hero venerated for liberating The Maldives from Portuguese occupation in the 16th century.