Unveiling celestial wonders: 2 decades of astronomical excellence in Maldives

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astronomy tourism in maldives 2024

01 April, 2024

In the enchanting realm of Maldives tourism, a celestial marvel has quietly unfurled over the past two decades. It’s a saga of passion, exploration, and celestial wonder, all orbiting around one individual’s steadfast commitment to bridging the gap between humanity and the cosmos. Meet Ali Shameem, the Resort Manager of Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, nestled within the illustrious Crown and Champa Resorts Collection.

A pioneer in the field of astronomy tourism, Shameem’s cosmic journey commenced a decade ago with a transformative experience at the revered Milky Way Citizen, an astronomy school in India guided by the visionary Dr. Parag Mahjani. Enraptured by the celestial expanse, Shameem earned their inaugural certificate in Astronomy in 2010, igniting an extraordinary odyssey through the celestial realms.

Fast forward to the present, and Shameem stands as a luminary figure in Maldives tourism, having orchestrated a constellation of unforgettable astronomical experiences for visitors to the archipelago.

“From private stargazing sessions under the Maldivian night sky to Astronomical cruise dinners and special events tailored to celestial enthusiasts, I have illuminated the tourism landscape with my passion for astronomy,” noted Shameem.

But his stellar journey doesn’t end there. Collaborating with luminaries such as Dr. Giovanni Benjamin and even the legendary Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Shameem has elevated the Maldives’ astronomical offerings to astronomical heights. Inviting top astronomers from around the globe to share their expertise, he has turned the Maldives into a celestial hub where enthusiasts and novices alike can marvel at the wonders of the universe.

In recent years, Shameem has been under the tutelage of Professor Massimo Tarenghi, a distinguished Italian astronomer renowned for his pivotal role in establishing the ALMA observatory in Chile, the largest radio telescope array in the world. Leveraging this wealth of knowledge, Shameem has spearheaded the creation of an observatory at Anantara Kihavah Villas, offering guests an unparalleled glimpse into the cosmos.

With an exceptional blend of astronomical expertise and a hospitality mindset, Ali Shameem has curated an unparalleled astronomical experience that continues to captivate guests for two decades and counting. As the Maldives maintains its status as a premier destination for luxury travel, Shameem’s dedication ensures that the marvels of the universe remain an integral part of the Maldivian experience.

Currently, Shameem is spearheading a similar astronomy program at Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, with the construction of an observatory underway. Despite the project not yet being complete, Shameem and the team have initiated stargazing sessions as a gesture to enhance the guest experience. Following beachside dining experiences, guests are treated to stargazing sessions lasting between 30 minutes to an hour, immersing them in the celestial wonders of the Maldivian night sky.

Furthermore, guests are provided with an enriching educational experience encompassing various aspects of astronomy:

  • History of Astronomy: Kudadoo offers a detailed explanation of the history of astronomy, tracing its origins from ancient times and highlighting the remarkable discoveries made by ancient astronomers that have paved the way for modern-day astronomy.
  • Visual Astronomy: Using a specialized laser light, Shameem’s team intricately outlines constellations from Ancient Greek Mythology, providing guests with a comprehensive understanding of the bright stars visible in the night sky. Details such as distance, type, age, and size of the stars are meticulously explained, enriching the stargazing experience.
  • Deep Sky Astronomy: Through the utilization of a cutting-edge virtual application on an iPad, Kudadoo navigates guests through the latest discoveries in deep sky astronomy. This includes the positions of famous spacecraft, the asteroid belt, and newly discovered exoplanets. Guests are immersed in the virtual reality of the universe, expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the cosmos.

By combining immersive stargazing experiences with educational insights into the history and science of astronomy, Shameem ensures that guests at Kudadoo Maldives Private Island embark on a celestial journey like no other. As the observatory nears completion, the promise of even more extraordinary astronomical encounters beckons, reinforcing the Maldives’ reputation as a celestial sanctuary where the wonders of the universe are brought to life.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi, designed by Yuji Yamazaki, offers a sanctuary of serenity and luxury. With 15 exclusive Ocean Residences floating above the Indian Ocean, it redefines freedom with personal butlers available 24/7 to curate authentic experiences. From swimming with manta rays to beachside barbecues, Kudadoo blends effortless elegance with intimate luxury.


Booking Window: From 16 March 2024 through to and including 15 May 2024
Stay Window: from 24 March 2024 through to and including  31 October 2024
Discount: 25% Discount on room rates
Booking code: KUDS2524

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Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

Best Experience:  Couples, Luxury All Inclusive, snorkeling, diving

Named ‘The World’s Best New Luxury Hotel for 2018’ by Luxury Travel Intelligence, included on the Condé Nast Traveller 2019 Hot List as well as a finalist in the prestigious Hospitality Design Awards 2019, the recently opened Kudadoo is a luxurious private island in the Maldives’ Lhaviyani atoll, just 40-minutes away from Male by seaplane.

Comprising just 15 expansive, overwater Ocean Residences, Kudadoo is the first top-end five-star deluxe resort in the Maldives to be truly fully inclusive with its ‘Anything, Anytime, Anywhere’ concept; from unscripted dining experiences, on the beach or on your private terrace, to in, on and above the water adventures and incredible spa treatments. Ideal for exclusive hire, Kudadoo also offers additional accommodation for guests’ personal team.

There are 13 one-bedroom Ocean Residences and two Ocean Residences of two bedrooms each — all linked by a walkway. These totally private villas – some of the largest in the Maldives – offer ocean seclusion and includes super-king-sized beds, in-villa baths as well as indoor and outdoor showers, 44 sqm terrace pools and one of the largest sundecks in the Maldives. The interiors also include the first Bang & Olufsen audio systems and IPTV (including Netflix and Spotify).

The Retreat – a central complex based over the water alongside the intimate 30,000 sqm island – is home to the spa, restaurant (including wine cellar and cheese room), bar, games room and swimming pool. Its design includes perhaps the highest vantage point in the Maldives built on the sea and 300 kw of solar panels integrated into the stepped sloping roof, which can fully power the island – one of the first sustainable deluxe resorts of its kind in the Maldives.

Designed by renowned architect Yuji Yamasaki, Kudadoo is inspired by traditional Japanese architecture with gently sloping roofs, graceful curves and stunning vistas.

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