Best of the Maldives: Instagram Post – Conrad Maldives

Conrad Maldives - Kim Kardashian

Maldives has always been a celebrity magnet from movie stars to world champion athletes, but there very definition of the term celebrity might just go to recent visitor Kim Kardashian. I’ve covered the top Instagrammers invading this tropical paradise using the Follower count. But the resort marketing directors will be quick to point out that it is all about engagement. And that metric starts with “Likes”. When I consider posts for inclusions in my various “Fashion” collections, popularity is a consideration (ie. a borderline photo with an amazing number of Likes might get included). A few hundred likes is pretty typical for a fine shot even among the more popular fashionistas. Four-figures raises an eyebrow, 5-figures is quite amazing and anything beyond that is quite jaw dropping.

So what it the most popular Instagram post from the Maldives of all time? From what I can determine in my pretty extensive research, it is Kim Kardashian’s “shallow wallow” (a class Maldives pose) Conrad Maldives at with a stratospheric 3,323,466 Likes

The next closest (the only other 7-figure post) I have seen is Kriti Sanon’s (19.2 million Followers) post with 1,289,564 Likes.

    

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Reality TV – Vadoo

A really big show with really big names requires more than a really big villa. In fact, it might require an entire resort like Tropika Island Of Treasure Maldives has done with Vadoo. Not the first reality TV show in the Maldives (actually this is the third prompting me to add the “Reality TV” tag), but maybe the biggest now featuring celebrities battling it out in paradise. Many of the episodes are being posted on YouTube so if you just want to follow the frolicking fun wherever you are (even if you don’t recognise the South African stars), you can tune in.

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Instagram – Velaa

Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa

Nine years ago today, Instagram was unleashed on the world. Maldives Complete had already been on the web for nearly a year at the time. Instagram has come a bit further since ;-). It has emerged as the social media of choice for the celebrity and fashionista class. The photo-based platform suits the beautiful people crowd quite well.

Instagram has changed our world and even Maldives Complete. The “Celebrity Visited” field in the resort profile has been a part of the site from the get-go and was gleaned mostly from press reports and celeb sponsored visits travel pieces. But Instagram has turned both the information and photo op spigot full on. I introduced the “Fashion” section of the blog two years ago this month and it has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular features.

So who is the “Best of the Maldives” at attracting Instagram followers through its guests? Velaa – they have the largest total number of aggregate celeb guest followers (117,790,176), as well top (tied) position for most Top 20 guests (3, along with Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru).

Here are few other fun figures about the sun-kissed figures…

  • Followers: Each cluster of an order of magnitude of followers all had between 300-400 fashionistas.
    • < 10k followers:     341 visitors
    • 1k – 10k:         454
    • 10k – 100k:    468
    • 100k – 1m:     347
    • > 1m:               106
  • Occupation – Entertainment was the dominant field here with creative and sporty type following.
 

RESORT

FOLLOWERS

1

Velaa

130,684,342

2

NIYAMA

108,835,373

3

Finolhu

57,357,484

4

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

57,100,000

5

Cheval Blanc Randheli

44,084,145

6

One & Only Reethi Rah

43,016,283

7

Huvafenfushi

35,564,912

8

Six Senses Laamu

34,504,716

9

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

23,093,022

10

W Retreat

13,266,346

 

OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1

Singer / Musician

215,354,798

2

Model

201,904,735

3

Actress / Presenter

125,240,233

4 Blogger / Designer

99,388,622

5

Athlete

6,912,456

6

Dancer / Yoga

6,323,516

 

COUNTRY

FOLLOWERS

1

USA

130,684,342

2

United Kingdom

108,835,373

3

Russia

57,357,484

4

Barbados

57,100,000

5

India

44,084,145

6

Columbia

43,016,283

7

Thailand

35,564,912

8

Brazil

34,504,716

9

Australia

23,093,022

10

Philippines

13,266,346

 

INSTRAGRAMMER

COUNTRY

RESORT OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1 Jennifer Lopez

USA

Velaa Singer

68,600,000

2 Rhianna

Barbados

NIYAMA Singer

51,700,000

3 Shakira

Columbia

Velaa Singer

42,700,000

4 Cara Delevingne

United Kingdom

Finolhu Model

40,600,000

5 Bruna Marquezine Brazil Cheval Blanc Actress 22,600,000
6 Huda Kattan USA Huvafenfushi Blogger 15,200,000
7 Jacqueline Fernandez

India

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 13,800,000
8 Rita Ora United Kingdom Palm Beach Singer 11,400,000
9 Victoria Beckham United Kingdom One & Only Reethi Rah Singer 8,900,000
10 Aum Patchrana Thailand Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Actress 7,400,000
11 Roe Huntington-Whiteley

United Kingdom

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Model 7,400,000
12 Zoe Sugg United Kingdom Ranveli Blogger 6,800,000
13 Park Shin-hye South Korea Soneva Jani Model 6,600,000
14 Davika

Thailand

Club Med Finolhu Villas Designer 6,400,000
15 Kimberley Anne Tiamsiri Thailand Kanuhura Actress 5,700,000
16 Belén Rodríguez

Argentina

One & Only Reethi Rah Model 5,600,000
17 Paris Hilton USA Velaa Model 5,600,000
18 Eva Gutowski USA Six Senses Laamu Blogger 5,400,000
19 Aliaa Bhaat India Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 5,200,000
20 Sveta Bilyalova Russia LUX South Ari Atoll Model 4,900,000

Best of the Maldives – Celebrity Selfies – Bunyamin Ahmed

Bunyamein instagram 1

Yesterday’s National Day celebrates Maldives independence from foreigner control, but one countryman – Bunyamin Ahmed (known to many as “Benjo”) – has become a one-man photographic greeter of famous foreign guests to the Maldives. His Instagram feed is a must-follow for celebrity spotters. Especially if you can’t even recognise them. He has an uncanny eye for the glitterati who flood into this paradise destination as apparently an unmatchable charm to get selfies with them. He’s snapped singers and models, but his true forte is the footie.

Men post to blogs and Instagram about 10 times less frequently than women. But Ahmed is one feed which redresses that gender balance catching some of the only pictures of the superstars blokes who visit.

Male’s Velana International Airport (MLE) is arguably the best celebrity spotting place on the planet. The fabulous and famous are drawn to the country’s postcard perfect islands and all pass through its small single room arrival hall.  Every visit we spot some well known personality loitering by the baggage claim next to us.

Maldives Complete caught up with Ahmed for another exclusive interview about his luminary lens…

1. Where are you from in the Maldives? – I’m from Male’ City, the capital of Maldives.

2. What is your job? – My celebrity hunting began back in 2006, when I joined Island Aviation as a Customer Services Assistant. Left the job in 2012 and in early 2016 joined Srilankan Airlines as a station assistant. That’s my current job.

3. Who was your first photo? – Gianluca Zambrotta, Ex- Italian National team defender. 10 days in to my job, back in 2006. I got so excited. Since I’ve been seeing these people in video games and on TV. I wanted to make a huge collection of all the famous people I get to meet. Still gets star struck every single time I meet someone famous. Still gets the shaky feeling when I click pics for others too.

4. Do you have a standard way to approach celebrities passing through and ask for their picture? – Yeah of course, I just don’t ask them out of manners or respect. Always look to give the respect they deserve. Normally I approach them right away or while they are at the baggage belt waiting for bags (that’s how I approach if I’m to meet them on arrival to Maldives). If I meet them on departure, I try to give them the space they need to finish check-in first, or other times depending on the personality or the particular celebrity’s mood I ask for autographs while they are at the check-in counter (subject to the check-in queue of that particular flight he or she is travelling on) and then if nice, start a conversation and ask for pics. Rejection doesn’t faze me. Not trying or not having the guts to ask does. Because if they agree it’s a massive success and if they don’t there’s nothing to lose. Whatever you get is a bonus.

5. Which celebrity were you most pleased to meet? – One of the best days was when I got to meet my fav club Manchester United’s boss Jose Mourinho. Also getting to meet one of my fav model Devon Windsor and today I met my fav all time singer Frankie Bridge (1/5 of British girl band The Saturdays). Those are few great days.

6. Who would you most like to meet? – I’ve got so many names for that question. Two big names I’ve met but no pics, since they are big big football stars. Guess who they are – David Beckham (my all time fav footballer) and Cristiano Ronaldo 😉 . Would love to meet Sir Alex Ferguson one day and pics with both Cristiano and Beckham too. To be honest, my ‘dream list’ is very long. Every Man United squad player is a dream (lucky enough have met some of them). Also big pop stars such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Ariana are few names. Some big names among Victoria’s Secret models are also in my list, like Candice, Behatii, Adriana. So many I don’t know where to stop.

7. They don’t appear to be selfies, so who takes the pictures? – Good question. That’s right. Not selfies but I got selfies some of them too, but that’s after taking a proper pic. Since I worked as a Customer Services Assistant at Airport Company before, I still got friends working there. So those friends, namely Nadheem, Evan and Mazin knows how my pics has to be, coz I don’t settle for just anything. Quality has to be super good. Cheeky part is sometimes the celeb partner take pics for me too. Remember Italian soccer star Francesco Totti’s wife taking the pic for me. And most recently today Wayne Bridge (ex-England defender ) took the pic of his wife Frankie Bridge for me. Frankie and Wayne who I met this morning are by far the most amazing, down to earth people of all [see photo above].

8. Do you have any tips for other celebrity spotters on how to ask for a picture? – Indeed. I’m pleased with my very own success rate. I believe my technique is the key (just kidding) . I don’t want a pic with a celebrity at any cost (except for very big names :p ) Since I’m not a paparazzi, I want them to willingly pose for a pic with me, which doubles my happiness. Actually you need to ask with respect. I always use the first name when addressing to celebrities. I’ve got likes from many celebs on Instagram for their pics with me. So I advise not to feel them disturbed or annoyed. Just make them feel comfortable.

Bunyamein instagram 2

Couple Powers of 10

David And Victoria Beckham

One of the first, most frequent and highest profile power couples, David and Victoria Beckham, return to their favourite holiday haunt in the Maldives this holiday season with a few friends (eg. the Gordon Ramsay family). But “Posh and Becks” aren’t the only power couple to jet set into this tropical haven. Their holiday event is having Spice Girls band-mate, Mel C, perform for their New Year’s Eve party. 

Here is the Maldives Complete Top Ten List of Power Couples in paradise…

  1. David and Victoria Beckham (USA) – Amilla Fushi [ABOVE]
  2. Ashish Chowdhry and Samita Bangargi (India) – Lily Beach
    Ashish Chowdhry and Samita Bangargi (India) – Lily Beach
  3. Sam Thompson and Tiffany Watson (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Sam Thompson and Tiffany Watson (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll

  4. Richard and Amy Kotch (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Richard and Amy Kotch (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
  5. Ylianna and Michael Dadashi (USA) – Huvafenfushi
    Ylianna and Michael Dadashi (USA) - Huvafenfushi
  6. Aliaa Bhaat and Sidharth Malhotra (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Aliaa Bhaat and Sidharth Malhotra (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  7. Ana Ivanovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Serbia/Germany) – Huvafenfushi
    Ana Ivanovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Serbia - Germany) - Huvafenfushi
  8. John and Toni Terry (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    John and Toni Terry (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  9. Ryk Neethling and Sahar Biniaz (Australia/Iran) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Ryk Neethling and Sahar Biniaz (Australia - Iran) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  10. Sepideh Haftgoli and Max Loong (Switzerland) – NIYAMA
    Sepideh Haftgoli and Max Loong (Switzerland) - Huvafenfushi
  11. Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Best of the Maldives: Instagram Selfies – Finolhu

Finolhu - Cara Delevigne party 1

Ultimate Maldives Beach Party (#MaldivesBeachParty) thrown by Cara and Poppy Delavigne at the newly launched Finolhu resort. Have we hit peak Instagram in the Maldives?

The Daily Mail headline says it all “Caradise Island: The Delevingne sisters and 160 pals have been given an entire Maldives resort for a week as long as they post selfies to their Instagram fans”…

  • “As a model who can open doors anywhere, Cara Delevingne is probably used to fabulous freebies. But an entire holiday island in the Maldives is exceptional, even by her standards. Cara, 24, along with model sister Poppy, 30, will take over Finolhu Baa Atoll for a week from next Saturday – and they’ve invited up to 160 celebrity friends. Of course, the mother of all freebies doesn’t come without strings attached. And the sisters have promised to blitz social media with endless selfies, bringing a fortune in free advertising, thanks to Cara’s 35 million Instagram followers.”

35 million followers is nearly DOUBLE the next most popular Instagrammer to visit the Maldives (Huda Kattan who visited Huvafenfushi and Shanri-La Villingili has 16 million).

Finolhu - party

Finolhu - Poppy Delevigne

Best of the Maldives: Relationship Reality TV – Hideaway Beach

Hideaway Beach - Made in Chelsea 1

One group that needs little prompting to get the party started is the cast of “Made In Chelsea”. This week they recorded their Episode 11 titled “Made in Maldives” from Hideaway Beach resort.

An eye-opening reality series that follows the lives and loves of the socially elite 20-somethings who live in some of London’s most exclusive postcodesStephanie hopes a holiday to the Maldives will be just the tonic to get all of her friendships back on track, while Toff and Richard take their friendship to the next level.”

I had to call this “Best of” award “Relationship Reality TV” to differentiate it from “Challenge Reality TV” of Survivor which has already been recognised.

I’m always surprised that more TV shows and movies don’t get shots at this magical backdrop. Especially, nearby Bollywood. (If anyone has connections to the Indian or French film companies, our award-winning daughter Isley has a stunning script based in the Maldives and based on a true story – #thatguywhohasascript)

Hideaway Beach - Made in Chelsea 2

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Watching – Reethi Rah

clip_image002
Tom and Katie Cruise with baby Suri arriving a Male airport

As such an exquisite destination, the Maldives have proven to be quite popular with the jet setting celebrity crowd.

For a bit of fun in the Maldives Complete resort Profiles, we have now added a section called ‘Celebrity Guestbook’ which tracks celebrity reports and spottings on the various islands if you are curious to know who visited where. If you have visited the Maldives and spotted a celebrity or uncovered a celebrity visitor, then add it to the Comments below and we will make sure to add it to the database.

While it seems that most islands have had one celebrity or another resident at one time, the resort that seems to have drawn the most over time is the resplendent Reethi Rah. Reports to date include presenter Davina McCall, Josh Duhamel and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie, Natascha McElhone, Sienna Miller, Jodie Kidd, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Ashley and Cheryl Cole, Philip Treacy, Sienna Guillory and Gail Porter.