Opened in 2018, JOALI Maldives is paving the way for eco-friendly luxury travel in the Maldives with its focus on nature, sustainability, and preserving and protecting the rich natural environment of the region.
Set on the picture-perfect Muravandhoo Island, JOALI Maldives is comprised of 73 private beach and over-water villas and residences, each of which showcase how luxury travel and sustainability can go hand-in-hand with impeccably stylish design.
JOALI Maldives’ sustainable story began with its master plan and layout. Buildings were designed around the island’s trees to preserve the natural flora of the island, and more than 1,000 palm trees were preserved during the construction process. JOALI is also working to preserve the uninhabited islands neighboring the resort, keeping them clean to uphold the area’s natural atmosphere and ensure the privacy of guests.
As part of the resort’s commitment to using natural and sustainable product throughout all facets of the resort, JOALI has banned single-use plastic, offering environmentally friendly alternatives to guests and staff, and all plastic used on-site is both recyclable or recycled. All toiletries and bathroom products are vegan and chemical free to protect coral and sea life in the thriving Indian Ocean. JOALI sources local goods from neighboring islands when possible to benefit the local community, and many of the vegetables and herbs used in the resorts four restaurants are grown on-island in JOALI’s organic garden. Additionally, any food waste is recycled using an innovative rocket composter.
In 2016, as a result of an extreme El Niño event, extended elevated ocean temperatures resulted in worldwide coral bleaching, and up to 95 percent of the corals in the Maldives were unable to recover. In response to this ecological crisis, JOALI created its own pioneering Reef Restoration Project, led by on-site Marine Biologist Samantha Reynolds. Corals are grown at JOALI’s underwater coral nursery, and after nine to 12 months, the growing corals are transplanted to their new home of an underwater snorkel trail that is accessible to guests.
Guests at JOALI have the opportunity to participate in the Reef Restoration Program, taking part in the coral nursery and coral planting activities. This opportunity gives guests a chance to learn about the biology and ecology of coral reefs while leaving a positive impact on the future survival of coral reef ecosystems.
JOALI also works closely with local Maldivian fishermen from the Raa Atoll to supply all of the resorts with locally-sourced fish. These fishermen do not use nets, which helps protect the rich seas of the Maldives. In June 2019, JOALI aligned efforts with the local government to track catches with Reynolds, a program that helps to track the local fish population. JOALI also provides the opportunity for guests to book line-fishing with local fishermen to learn about Maldivian catching techniques and the importance of sustainable fishing practices.
ECO-INSPIRED ARTWORK AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
As the first art immersive hotel in the Maldives, JOALI features and array of exclusive experiential artwork and dynamic design inspired by and immersed in nature. Dotted around the resort and hidden beneath the waves are a collection of extraordinary works by 13 international up-and-coming artists, curated by Istanbul-based art and design company No LaB.
Following a “nature meets art” concept, No LaB commissioned artists whose work represents the natural environment, taking inspiration from the Maldivian weather, wildlife and geography, with a focus on utilizing sustainable materials. Artwork is thoughtfully integrated into its natural surroundings, like Misha Kahn’s largest work yet, Under-Water Corals Garden, that aims to raise awareness for coral bleaching. Guests are able to dive to the underwater garden to explore his work and see the progress of the corals grown in JOALI’s coral nursery.
Porky Hefer’s nature-inspired works are designed for both functionality and style. His elevated Manta Ray Tree House, woven from natural materials and suspended in the trees, is home to an exclusive experiential dining space, while another version is place on the beach and serves as a lounging area. Inspired by the grey heron, the national bird of the Maldives, Heffer also created the Grey Heron Hanging Chair, which allows guests to relax inside the head of a heron on the beach.