Luxury hotel chain Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts has made history in the Maldives, having opened the tropical nation’s first ever ice-skating rink, at its Jumeirah Vittaveli resort.
The Dubai-based company - whose slogan is 'stay different', - announced this project in November, and four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko inaugurated it, cutting the ribbon alongside Jumeirah staff, at an event on Tuesday night.
“I’ve never skated in front of the ocean, a very unique experience. Of course, it is not real ice but a good start and a good way to learn. I feel Jumeirah will build a real one, I would like to do a show then” Evgeni said.
The former professional figure skater, who started at the age of 15, gave a small performance at Tuesday night’s event, where he seamlessly pulls off a scratch spin that leaves guests there audibly impressed.
General Manager Amit Majumder, a graduate of New York’s Cornell University, said the idea for the ice rink came from a young guest who stayed with them.
“To be very honest it came from one of our very young guests, who challenged me to make an ice-skating rink and here we are. We can call him back now and tell him he has lost his bet” Amit told journalists.
Amit said that Jumeirah spoke with Evgeni prior to building the rink and he had expressed his excitement for the project as well, which took just about six to eight months to complete after preparations were made and construction began.
Jumeirah will be staffing the ice rink with a trainer, who is going to be working with both guests and resort staff, and a range of skating gear is available there.
“We will definitely be opening this up to our Maldivian friends from Malé, we want everyone to enjoy this facility and the more the merrier” Amit said.
Amit also said that both he and his team at Jumeirah Vittaveli are happy with their landmark accomplishment, adding that they always like to 'be the first in anything' they do.