The romantic shores of OBLU SELECT Lobigili adoringly referred to as the Island of Love are indeed true to their name, evident from the hospitality power couple leading the operations at the resort. Better known as the ‘Island Couple’, Nasrulla Ahmed and his wife, Priya Dubey is an integral part of the Lobigili team with the former serving as an Island Chief and the latter as a Front Office Supervisor on the property.
Married long before they joined the resort’s pre-openings, the duo is dedicated to bringing memorable experiences for guests with every little detail taken care of during their stay. Let’s have a look into the hospitality careers the two are leading together in the Maldives.
Nasrulla Mohamed – Island Chief
Hailing from the North of Maldives, Nasrulla grew up with the influence of strong cultural roots in a unified community. After finishing his education, he pursued a career in the thriving hospitality scene and specialized in butler services at the South African Butler Academy in 2004 and completed a course at the Australian Butler School in 2007.
With his polished skills and dedication, it did not take Nasrulla long to progress from Junior Butler to Executive Head Butler by 2015. His career crossed paths with Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts in the same year when he joined the pre-opening team at OBLU NATURE Helengeli as the Assistant F&B Manager. Since then, he has worked with several other properties of the brand based in Maldives such as OBLU SELECT Sangeli and OZEN LIFE MAADHOO.
In older days, an Island Chief was the title designated to the leader of each island and their role includes extending hospitality to important visitors with immense care. Nasrulla has now helmed the role of Island Chief at OBLU SELECT Lobigili for over a year now and describes his responsibilities as ensuring guests have the best possible time at the island by making the magic happen at every step of their stay.
Outlining a day’s work, Nasrulla shares “My day starts with a morning island round to ensure everything's set for guests. I then join the operations meeting to address feedback, concerns, and solutions. We review the day's highlights, including arrivals, events, and important movements. At breakfast, I interact with guests to gauge their satisfaction levels.”
Speaking further he comments “Afterwards, I randomly inspect villas to prepare for guest arrivals and personally welcome guests, offering assistance throughout their stay. During the day, I assist colleagues in operational areas. In the evening, I check in with guests at the bar and restaurants. Lastly, I review the follow-up lists to ensure all issues are resolved and prepare for the next day.”
Originally from Bhopal, India, Priya completed a course in Aviation, Hospitality and Travel Management at Frankfinn Training Institute before landing her first opening in the hospitality industry at Radisson Blue as a Guest Service Associate. Since then, she has served several roles in ITC Hotels in Chennai before shifting to the Maldives for work.
Her first brush with Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts was in 2016 when she joined the pre-opening team of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO as an F&B Attendant, working at various F&B outlets such as the exquisite underwater restaurant. She then proceeded to fill a leadership capacity at OBLU SELECT Sangeli as their F&B Captain at Simply Veg restaurant.
Keen on exploring front office operations, Priya returned to OZEN LIFE MAADHOO as a Guest Service Agent where her extensive F&B experience made her realize her intuitive knack for keeping guests happy. When OBLU SELECT Lobigili was in the pre-opening stage, Priya made the move to the new resort, rising to the challenge of assembling a new team. She is equally motivated by the work culture at AH&R, which functions as a family taking care of everyone.
Priya states that the highlight of her career has been given the chance to work in three pre-openings within the Atmosphere Hotels group which has harnessed her skills and strengthened her as a person. As the Island Couple, Priya notes that it is a special feeling to be introduced to guests that way with guests usually becoming curious and appreciating the offerings at Lobigili for couples.
Describing a typical day, Priya shares: “The first thing to do in the morning is chart all the movements of the day. Followed by team briefing, attending all the arrivals and departures, and helping my team wherever they require assistance. Also, as the island couple, together with my husband, I meet all our guests to ensure they are having an amazing stay. Before I clock out, I prepare a plan for the next day’s operation.”
Reflecting on her experience, Priya advises younger generations, especially women: “It would have been rare to see a woman in a leading role a decade ago, but now women are running five-star properties. I must say the hospitality industry in Maldives offers plenty of opportunities for girls, and as a woman, I am very proud that here at OBLU SELECT Lobigili most of our team members are women – who are successfully handling all aspects of operations!”