Celebrating 50 Years

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Maldives Tourism Industry.

This incredibly enchanting archipelago comprises 1,192 islands grouped into 26 natural coral atolls and is renowned to harbour some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world.

To help draw attention to this Global Heritage and landmark achievement of Maldives, Ocean Geographic, in partnership with Dhiraagu, is supporting a reef health assessment photo competition by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, to commemorate Maldives’ 50th Golden Jubilee Year in tourism.

This one-day photo shoot-out of Maldives’ 50 Best Sites will take place on 18 November to 15 December 2022, from 0730-1730 hours across 50 pre-selected signature dive sites of Maldives.

The objective is to memorialise the unique underwater haven that Maldives has to offer. While this celebration was initially conceptualized to amplify the Golden Jubilee Year, the key intention is for this event to be an annual photo contest that will serve as a yearly health check of the reefs of Maldives and act as a platform for other conservation and sustainability projects in the future.

Resorts, dive centers, dive schools, and safari boats are encouraged to register as official Reef Health Check Centers. Each Reef Health Check Center may book up to two time slots at one of the 50 pre-selected signature sites.

Visitors and local divers are encouraged to compete in the photo shoot-out by photographing at one or more of the 50 pre-selected signature dive sites on 18 November to 15 December 2022 with one of the many official Reef Health Check Centers.

All competitors will be acknowledged with a Certificate of Achievement for contribution to the Coral Reef Health Assessment of the Maldives. Competitors must submit a portfolio of five pictures for each site – one wide angle of a reef scene, one close-up of a living coral, one picture of a fish species, and two others of their own choice. A winner, runner-up, and three honorable mentions will be awarded for pictures submitted for each dive site, totaling 250 winners across all 50 sites.

An international judging panel will preside over photograph selection. Prizes will be awarded to Winners and Runner-Ups. The first-place winners and runners-up will grant usage rights of their winning photos to the Reef Health Assessment Project and the Maldives Ministry of Tourism for conservation and promotional purposes. Results will be announced live on 20 December 2022.