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Rihaakuru Island: The first brand of Homestay tourism in Maldives

20 October 2021, MVT 23:09
A fisherman of Dhiggaru island at work: Homestay tourism will begin in the island next January. (Photo/Abdulla Abid).
20 October 2021, MVT 23:09

Dhiggaru island is famous for its delicious “Rihaakuru” - a thick brown fish paste, made from tuna after prolonged heating, used as a side dish consumed mainly with rice. From January onwards, the island will be marketed internationally as "The Rihakuru Island”.

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom told Mihaaru News that the new domestic tourism product, Homestay, will be launched in Dhiggaru. He said the preparations are underway to open the island to the world.

In homestay tourism, tourists will be allowed to stay with a local family home instead of a guesthouse.

“A tourist or tourists will travel to the island on January 1 to experience home stay," said the Minister.

Dhiggaru, which is dependent on fishing, is a land-filled and congested island, but home stay will begin on the island to ensure that even such islands can benefit from this product, according to the minister.

Mausoom said that the Maduvvari island Council is also preparing for Homestay along with Dhiggaru island.

Dhiggaru Council won’t delay the opening of Homestay since it’s a door to income for the residents of the island. Discussions are underway to begin the project in the island which has a population of 1,375.

There is no guesthouse on the island. However, the goal was to start the Homestay with 30 beds capacity.

President of the Island Council Ahmed Nishan said that he hopes it will begin with 30 beds, under a sound policy.

While branding Dhiggaru as Rihaakuru Island, the challenge is that Rihaakuru is not popular with tourists. Therefore, the idea with this brand is to promote fishing products in general.

"Discussions are underway to promote Rihaakuru Island without losing its tagline," Nishan said.

The council said there are diving spots near the island. Therefore, the council intends to open up opportunities for tourists to experience this at Homestay with fisheries products.

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