Enver Arslan

9 mins read

Enver Arslan is the Area General Manager of JOALI Maldives and JOALI Being, the first art-immersive resort and wellbeing island respectively, in the Maldives. For this edition of Hotel Insider, we have a chat with Enver about his experiences in the hospitality industry, the JOALI brand and their efforts in promoting ‘responsible luxury’ in the Maldives.

Hotel Insider: You’ve had an illustrious career in the hospitality industry, beginning in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Could you tell us about your experiences in the industry?

Enver: I started my career in F&B and Quality Assurance and have had the chance to work in hotels around the world in different capacities. I love being able to explore places and meet new people through my work. For the past few years, being based in the Maldives, I have learned a lot about the people and the culture of the country, and it has been a privilege to watch the hospitality industry here grow over the years.

One of my favourite things about my work is that no two days are the same. Every day brings new challenges, new people, and new lessons to learn. Our doors are open throughout the year for people to create their most special moments with their loved ones, and it is one of the most fulfilling experiences to be able to contribute to that in some way.

Hotel Insider: You’ve recently been promoted from General Manager of JOALI Maldives to the Area General Manager, responsible for overseeing JOALI resorts. What has the change in roles been like?

Enver: I have been a part of JOALI Maldives since its inception, and I was fortunate enough to see JOALI BEING come to life as well. The change in my role now allows me to be a part of all the properties in a more active capacity, and I am able to leverage my experience in a broader context. I am excited to lead collaborative efforts and streamline operations in JOALI while ensuring that each property stays true to its individual roots. I look forward to contributing to the sustained success and growth of the JOALI brand.

Hotel Insider: What sets the JOALI brand and resorts apart from other getaway resorts in the Maldives?

Enver: At JOALI, we believe in joyful and immersive travel. It is a luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand. The Maldives as a destination has a lot to offer, and our islands are no different.

JOALI Maldives is the first art-immersive resort in the Maldives. What sets the resort apart from the rest is our commitment, not only to showcasing art but also to creating joyful moments through engagement and experience of art. Here at JOALI Maldives, we believe that art is not only meant to be looked at, but also to be felt and experienced. Throughout the resort, we have interactive art installations by renowned artists from different parts of the world. One of the most iconic views of JOALI Maldives is the Manta Treehouse, which itself is an art piece by South African artist, Porky Hefer.

JOALI BEING is the first wellbeing island of its kind in the Maldives, inviting wellbeing seekers to reconnect with themselves in the beauty of nature and embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and renewal with the goal to return home with a new sense of ‘weightlessness.’ Based on the belief that understanding is the key to creating and sustaining wellbeing, the island’s Learning Centre offers a series of educational workshops and experiential classes centred around the Four Pillars of JOALI BEING — Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy.

The concepts are quite unique; in addition, JOALI is driven by a commitment to sustainability and female empowerment which all our activities are centred around.

Hotel Insider: At JOALI, you place great importance on the concept of ‘responsible luxury.’ Could you tell us how sustainability is incorporated across your operations?

Enver: We have tried to incorporate our vision of sustainability into our everyday practices, implementing an eco-conscious approach across both our islands, minimising the consumption of key resources and reducing our carbon footprint.

First and foremost, we ensure that our produces are sourced responsibly. Our commitment to fair trade principles is reflected in ethically sourced tea, coffee, and wood products. We also use local products as much as possible and buy in bulk to avoid packaging waste.

In terms of waste management, we have a glass bottling plant and wastewater treatment system on our islands. We harvest rainwater and use recycled water for gardening.

We are also further shrinking our carbon footprint by conserving energy usage. Along with the use of efficient LED lights and smart controls in the villas, we have launched a pilot project to increase the use of solar energy as well.

In addition to this, the JOALI Reef Restoration Project (JRRP) aims to preserve the coral reefs around the island by planting coral fragments in our nursery. Once the corals reach an appropriate size, we plant them in our house reef to encourage regeneration. Over the past two years, JRRP has nurtured almost 10,000 fragments of hope in our coral nurseries, and we have been experimenting with Mineral Accretion Technology in this process.

We are constantly working on improving ourselves and setting the best example in the industry, and we are proud to have had our efforts recognised by EarthCheck, the world’s leading business advisory group specialising in sustainability for the tourism industry. This year, we received the EarthCheck Silver certification, a feat achieved by the dedication and continued efforts of our team to remain steadfast in our sustainability goals.

Hotel Insider: You’ve been with JOALI Maldives since its pre-opening, and you’ve worked in the Maldives prior to that as well. How would you describe the shifts in the Maldivian resort industry, especially in terms of sustainable practices?

Enver: In recent years, the hospitality industry has witnessed a significant shift towards more sustainable practices. At the same time, right now, there is an increased focus on community engagement and responsible tourism in the industry. At JOALI, we have always emphasised minimising our ecological footprint and we actively engage with communities across Raa Atoll through different activities.
We are deeply invested in both our environment and the community, and I think this is a crucial element in hospitality nowadays.

I believe that the shift towards more sustainable practices in hospitality aligns with global environmental needs as well as the evolving preferences of conscientious travellers. In a country like the Maldives, it is always important to keep in mind the fragility of our ecosystems.

Hotel Insider: Thank you, Enver. It was our pleasure to speak with you.