Source: Capella

The trailblazing Fari Islands development in the Maldives has welcomed the first cohort of students to its Vocational Education & Training (VET) centre, delivered in partnership with one of the world’s most prestigious hotel schools, the renowned EHL Hospitality Business School (EHL).

The first of their kind, the courses represent a ground-breaking opportunity for the most ambitious and talented workers to develop the vocational competencies, knowledge and mindset required to thrive as a professional in the hotel and restaurant sectors of the hospitality industry. The three-year courses will yield internationally recognised diplomas signed and issued by the EHL, and recognised by the Maldives Qualification Authority, offering local talent a realistic, credible alternative to hotel schools in Europe.

Mr Mohamed Rasheed, Director of HR at the flagship Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, said of the scheme: “We are delighted to be spearheading this initiative, which is the first of its kind, bringing internationally accredited hotel and hospitality training to the Maldives. True to the spirit of Patina and the Fari Islands, the pioneering scheme aims to bring a fresh approach to resourcing, training and HR, and to nurturing young talent on the ground in the Maldives. Together with EHL, we are committed to providing an enriching pathway to success for those who wish to rise to their full potential in hospitality management.”

Using content developed in Switzerland, the modular course curriculum blends ‘on the job’ training with classroom learning and assessments. Pathways on offer in the 2022/23 academic year are a six-month Foundation Module in Food & Beverage Service and Hotel Foundation Certificate, which is followed by a further two six-month modules, Intermediate and Advanced, before students graduate with a Professional Diploma. Courses are taken from May – October, meaning the total duration of the Diploma programme is three years.

14 students were chosen on a selective basis to undertake this inaugural course, and are fully sponsored by Patina Maldives, which covers tuition fees and course materials.

The programme will be developed from 2023 with the addition of further diploma programmes in the areas of Culinary, Rooms Division, F&B Service, Hotel Administration and Hotel Communications, with a total intake of 30 students per cohort invited to take part from the Fari Islands properties. The final phase of the initiative will see the scheme opened to all Maldivian nationals, once the programme is fully established.

Training is delivered by EHL-accredited department managers and department supervisors. The four-island archipelago of the Fari islands, developed by Pontiac Land Group, launched last year with the opening of Patina Maldives, the inaugural resort of a new lifestyle brand by the Capella Hotel Group, and the Ritz Carlton Maldives. A third resort, a Capella hotel, is scheduled to open in 2025.

Notably, the development includes an island dedicated entirely to the Fari Campus, a revolutionary purpose-built mix of staff housing and facilities that seeks to bring a sea-change to employee accommodation and wellbeing in the Maldives. Designed by Gaurang Khemka, founder of award-winning architectural and urban planning firm URBNarc, the spacious Fari Campus offers generous, comfortable living spaces and a full suite of recreational facilities and amenities, as well as the benefit of abundant outdoor areas, including the entire coastline of the island. It was designed to foster a sense of belonging and kinship, with intuitive communal spaces inspired by traditional Maldivian communities, crafted to meet the varying needs of its residents.

The VET course offering and sponsorship programme further underlines the commitment of Patina Maldives and the Fari Islands to attracting and retaining the best local talent, whilst nurturing careers and offering the opportunity for team members to reach their full potential.


Patina Maldives, Fari Islands is the inaugural flagship property from sophisticated new lifestyle brand Patina Hotels & Resorts, the latest hospitality concept by Capella Hotel Group. Designed by renowned Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, Patina Maldives offers 90 contemporary one- to three-bedroom Beach and Water Pool Villas, alongside 20 Fari Studios, all of which embody a harmony of sanctuary and stimulation. Set in the Fari Islands archipelago in North Malé Atoll, guests can immerse themselves in a new expression of island life through thoughtful tailor-made wellness journeys, interactive music programmes, captivating culinary experiences, and bask in the light-filled James Turrell Skyspace pavilion — all while embracing the vibrant social scene that emanates from the destination’s communal heart: the Fari Marina Village and Fari Beach Club.


Fari Islands is an elevated Maldivian resort experience that celebrates nature, craft and connection. A Pontiac Land Group development anchored by three world-class hospitality brands, Fari Islands is located in the North Malé Atoll within the Maldives, a 45-minute luxury boat transfer from Malé International Airport. The archipelago also features the picturesque Fari Marina Village, built around a vibrant Beach Club, charming boutiques and a selection of handpicked, upscale food and beverage options. Spaces have been masterfully designed by renowned architects from Studio MK27 (by Marcio Kogan), Kengo Kuma & Associates, and Kerry Hill Architects, to bring about a delicate balance of serene and social. One of the islands is home to a thoughtful hospitality campus; Fari Campus is a dedicated island for staff with a focus on community, education, and engagement, and is the first of its kind in the Maldives.


Pontiac Land is a privately-held property developer, owner, and operator based in Singapore. The Group’s assets include hospitality, mixed-used, commercial and residential developments. With over fifty years of experience in luxury property development, Pontiac Land seeks to better the built environment through thoughtful architecture and design. Each development is uniquely complemented with world-class art and maintained by the Group’s in-house property management team to deliver a consistently high level of well-being and hospitality. These developments span Singapore, New York, Sydney and the Maldives. In 2006, Pontiac Land co-launched Capella Hotel Group in Asia. The Group subsequently acquired Capella Hotel Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2017.


EHL is the world’s first hotel school, founded in 1893 as Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. In 2022, for the fourth year in a row, EHL was ranked the world’s best hotel management school by QS World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management. EHL has also received the award for “best innovation in education” at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards 2019 for the bachelor’s in International Hospitality Management program, following multi-campus study options and the entrepreneurial support provided to the students.