New Destination Sales and Marketing Team Elevates Marriott Bonvoy’s Portfolio in Maldives

With an escape from our homes being on everyone’s mind over the past months, Marriott Bonvoy Portfolio in the Maldives has announced the formation of a market sales and marketing team to further develop the demand for the destination, taking the resorts and Marriott International’s positioning to greater heights.

The market team comprises of experienced professionals who bring to their roles strong destination and discipline skills. The company is committed to supporting its enhanced footprint and growth plans in perhaps what is currently the world’s most desirable leisure destination.

Led by Ali Nihad, in the capacity of Market Director, Sales and Marketing – Maldives, the team will provide dedicated support to the company’s thriving destination portfolio and will be responsible for driving top-line revenue, ensuring the sales and marketing strategy leverages the interest and demand for the destination and is aligned with the company’s vision and priorities. The team will support JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, W Maldives, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa and The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

Ali Nihad, Market Director Sales and Marketing Maldives, Marriott International
Ali Nihad, Market Director Sales and Marketing Maldives, Marriott International

With a career spanning luxury brands like St. Regis, Anantara and W Hotels among others, leading various parts of the sales and marketing function, Nihad is all set to take over the new Marriott International Maldives cluster as market director, sales and marketing and lead from the front. He has worked across multiple hotels in the island nation, his last assignment in Maldives being the Assistant Director, Sales and Marketing at The St. Regis Maldives Vomulli Resort, and thus holds a strong connection and relationship with key partners from source markets. He joins the team from Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali where he held the commercial responsibility as Director of sales and Marketing. Nihad returns home to the Maldives to lead the formation of the cluster team, bringing over 18 years of hospitality experience to the role.

On being appointed to his new role, Nihad said, “I’m excited to return to the Maldives at a stage where the demand for the destination is ripe, and I look forward to working with the energetic market team as we forge ahead in the achievement of our goal.”

Ali leads an all-star team that includes:

Hanny Wahyuni, market director, marketing and communications, who brings more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience to this role. A pre-opening and restructuring specialist, she has held roles with The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta and Qatar, Kempinski Soma Bay, Egypt, Rosewood Phnom Penh, Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman and most recently with W Koh Samui.

Nelli Listunova, market director, sales – Russia and CIS, who has a wealth of customer knowledge with 12 years of experience at Marriott’s Luxury Brands portfolio.  She was previously director of sales at W Maldives and has also held a destination sales role with The Luxury Collection hotels of Costa Smeralda, Sardinia and Porto Cervo.

Fawaz Ibrahim, market director, sales – Europe, who began his career at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa and W Maldives. Here he held various roles before transferring to Thailand to work with The Luxury Collection and Sheraton Resorts in Koh Samui.  Following his return to the Maldives and two years with Anantara Resorts Maldives, Fawaz re-joined Marriott as director of sales with The St. Regis Maldives Vomulli Resort where he held the on-island leadership role for the sales, reservations and the marketing team.

Wendy Kew, market director, eCommerce, who brings to the role a wealth of digital marketing experience along with a deep understanding of Marriott’s digital ecosystem, most recently working with W Hotels, The Luxury Collection and Courtyard by Marriott in Malaysia.

Saadhvi Mehra, market director, communications -who having been with the company since 2012 is no stranger to the Maldives. She previously held a project role with The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli resort.  Throughout her career, Saadhvi has held roles with W Hotels, Sheraton and Le Méridien hotels in South Asia.  Most recently, Saadhvi was with W Hotels in Abu Dhabi.

And finally Sonali Khadka, assistant market director, marketing who has lived and worked in the Maldives since 2018, holding roles with Faarufushi before joining The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo resort as part of the pre-opening team.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Foreman, senior director, sales and distribution – Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives said, “The leadership team we are announcing today is important to foster greater synergies, teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making, all critical to laying a strong foundation that will support our ambitious plans in Maldives. I am extremely excited to work together with such a talented and diverse group of leaders who bring with them exceptional domain expertise as well as regional and source market insights that will enable us to create a more vibrant organization that delivers value for all stakeholders.”

From cruising with beloved sea mammals at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, breath-taking snorkelling at W Maldives, swimming with Manta Rays at The Westin Miriandhoo resort to experiencing a sanctuary of scenic luxury at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in Maldives presents an unrivalled white-sand, blue-sky escape that is second to none.


Donna Richardson
Donna Richardson is a contributing editor for Hotelier Maldives. Donna can be contacted on: