Sun Siyam focuses on authentic hospitality

Deepak Booneady

In an interview with TTN at the recent Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Booneady highlights the group’s endeavours to enrich local experiences at their resorts. “We are developing new standards to offer more local experiences, allowing our guests to fully engage with the culture,” he says.

With a portfolio comprising six resorts in the Maldives and one in Sri Lanka, Booneady underscores the significance of authentic cultural experiences. “When guests visit our resort in Sri Lanka, they will experience the essence of Sri Lanka, and in the Maldives, they will be immersed in Maldivian culture,” he explains.

“At Siyam Resorts, we’re deeply engaged in crafting unique holiday experiences rather than just offering rooms. Travellers today seek more than just accommodation; they desire memorable holiday adventures. Consequently, our operations are focused on creating distinctive experiences, such as beachside cinemas and other delightful surprises for our guests. Our aim is not just to sell a room but to offer an unforgettable holiday,” says Booneady.


People have realised that while financial stability is important, it is the experiences of travel that enrich our lives. Travel has evolved from a luxury to a necessity
– Deepak Booneady



Regarding expansion, he says the group has two new resorts in development near Malé, set to bring a fresh dynamic to the destination. These family-oriented resorts will feature extraordinary attractions like water parks, lazy rivers, and numerous activities, he reveals. “Both islands will be interconnected, offering 25 restaurants and bars, along with extensive water sports options. Besides traditional activities like diving and fishing, we will introduce innovative amenities including wellness-focused villas. These will emphasise yoga, meditation, fitness, healthy eating, and overall well-being, encouraging guests to maintain a healthy lifestyle even after their vacation.”

Booneady identifies sustainability as a key trend in the travel market. “Travellers are increasingly seeking destinations that respect nature and support local communities. Questions about environmental practices, such as emission reduction and plastic use, are becoming more common, especially from guests within the GCC region,” he explains.

Another trend highlighted by Booneady is the emphasis on value for money. Guests are seeking unique activities and experiences that are reasonably priced. “It’s not just about having the best restaurant; it’s about providing an exceptional experience that’s also affordable,” he says.

Family travel is evolving as well. The Maldives, traditionally known for honeymoons, is now attracting families and groups of friends seeking diverse activities. Booneady mentions the group’s Siyam World as an example, where the focus is on catering to both families and groups.

Food is also another major element travellers are focused on. “Having been in Dubai, which is one of the best food hubs in the world, visitors from the GCC market want extraordinary food at reasonable prices,” he says.

Addressing the challenges of meeting the demands of modern travellers, Booneady acknowledges that understanding and meeting guest expectations is crucial.

He stresses the importance of creating experiences that resonate with guests. “It’s about what the guests want, not just what we want to give them,” he states, highlighting the resort’s commitment to personalised service.

“For instance, upon the arrival of our Arab guests, a dedicated chef consults with them to understand their culinary preferences. Similarly, our executive chef personally attends to guests from various regions with specific dietary requirements. This personalised approach is a hallmark of our commitment to providing exceptional and tailored service.”

Booneady explains that out of Sun Siyam’s six resorts in the Maldives, five offer all-inclusive packages, including Siyam World, which features 24-hour all-inclusive access to eight restaurants and seven bars. “Our all-inclusive packages are far from basic; they cater to guests seeking premium offerings, from top-shelf alcohol to gourmet food,” he adds.

Speaking on the recovery after Covid-19, he says the Maldives and Dubai swiftly reopened to tourists after the pandemic and since then, the travel industry has witnessed a remarkable growth. Travel patterns have also undergone a significant transformation. With the increase in holidays and the rise of remote work, individuals are finding themselves with greater freedom to explore the world, he notes.

“People have realised that while financial stability is important, it is the experiences of travel that enrich our lives,” he says. “Travel has evolved from a luxury to a necessity.”

Summer is an excellent time for travellers from the GCC market to visit the Maldives due to the numerous flights and close proximity, he says. “We invite everyone to explore our unique offerings and enjoy the exceptional experiences we have meticulously crafted at Siyam Resorts.”

On ATM participation, he says the event has seen significant increase in global participation. “This year, we’ve seen that there are more people from around the world, making ATM an increasingly international platform,” Booneady states. “It’s growing very fast, and we’re very happy about it.”

At the event, Sun Siyam Resorts promoted its summer holiday packages and plans for the next winter season.