The Ministry of Social and Family Development has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the globally recognised hotel chain, Hilton Hotels, to foster social inclusion. This collaboration is designed to amplify the societal integration of persons with disabilities and to diversify their employment opportunities.

The MoU encompasses three of the four properties that Hilton Hotels manages in the Maldives, namely the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, and Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort and Spa. The ministry said these agreements are a significant stride towards safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities and enhancing their societal and community participation.

These agreements will facilitate the implementation of vocational training programmes, according to the ministry, thereby equipping individuals with disabilities with the requisite skills and expertise for gainful employment in the tourism sector. This initiative enables these individuals to acquire valuable work experience and empowers the government to augment their participation in the tourism sector, it said.

Dr Aishath Shiham, the Minister of Social and Family Development, and Alexandra Murray, the Area Vice President and Head of Southeast Asia for the Hilton Group, signed the agreement. The general managers of the three Hilton properties involved in the agreement also attended the signing ceremony.

Hilton Hotels, a stalwart in the Maldives’ tourism sector since the late 1990s, was the first international resort brand to set foot in the Maldives with Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Now operating under the luxury brand of the Hilton portfolio, Conrad, it continues to be a prominent player in the region.

In addition to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Hilton Hotels operates the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, the Saii Lagoon Maldives (Curio Collection by Hilton), and the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort and Spa in the Maldives.