Going Pro: New PADI Five Star Academy Opens in Maldives

Maldives Scuba Diving Guide

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18 March, 2024

The Maldives’ first and only PADI Five Star Career Development Center, the Maldivian Academy of Diving, has officially opened its doors in K. Himmafushi. This new academy signifies a major step forward for professional dive training in the Maldives.

The Academy is dedicated to providing top-tier, professional-level dive training programs that meet the most rigorous standards set by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). They recently concluded their inaugural PADI Instructor Development Course on March 3rd, and their next PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Course is scheduled for July 29th to August 13th, 2024.

Leading the Academy is Adam Ashraf, a PADI Platinum Course Director for both 2022 and 2023. For the past decade, Ashraf has been running Dive Desk, a highly successful dive center in Malé. In fact, Dive Desk was the most successful PADI professional development center in the Maldives in 2023, earning the prestigious PADI EMEA Platinum Professional Development Excellence Award. This award recognizes the center’s exceptional performance in training new dive professionals, with Dive Desk being the only Maldivian center and one of only ten in the entire Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EMEA) region to receive this recognition.

Platinum status for both the Course Director and the Dive Center is not given lightly. It’s awarded based on a strict criteria of the number of professional-level certifications issued by PADI. Adding to Dive Desk’s accolades, they were also awarded the PADI Outstanding Contribution to People and Humanity Award last month for their dedication to fostering opportunities for Maldivians in the diving industry.

Despite a decade of success and consistently running the top PADI professional development programs in the Maldives for the past seven years, Dive Desk faced challenges. Limited space at their facility and the high cost of accommodation for students staying in Malé for extended periods were significant hurdles.

The Maldivian Academy of Diving was established specifically to address these issues. Located in Himmafushi, the Academy offers a more spacious learning environment and affordable accommodation options for students, all within close proximity to the capital city. The Academy will soon be offering on-site dorm rooms as well.

The Academy caters to all levels of diving experience, from those just beginning their underwater journey to seasoned divers seeking to become instructors. They offer a comprehensive range of courses and certifications to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their diving goals.

The opening of the Maldivian Academy of Diving represents a significant milestone in Adam Ashraf’s ongoing mission to empower Maldivian youth to pursue careers in the diving industry.

For more information dive into www.divedesk.mv

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