The New York-based hotel chain Hiltons’ top tear brand Waldorf Astoria, with its Maldives based resort Waldorf Astoria Maldives is speculated by many for not paying its suppliers for a quiet sometime after the property opened to guests in 2019.
Some reports suggest that the amount is close to 5-7 million USD which is a large amount in local currency MVR. (1 USD = 15.42 MVR).
Thaalhafili (confidently) interviewed a few of the involved suppliers who confirm the speculations. Some companies have provided unlimited credit to Waldorf Astoria because of the reputation that follows with the name brand, which tuned out to be a huge mistake. Among the companies interviewed, the majority were completely or almost out of cash unable to pay their workforce and unable to undertake new projects due to pilling up unpaid accounts.
The resort, Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi is owned by Mr. Rameez Mohamed Ruslan Al Hayat, a Qatari citizen and Mr. Mohamed Janah, the local partner. The resort is managed under the joint venture between these who business tycoons with the company Ithaafushi Investment Private Limited. Mr. Janah, the local partner who has a history of being in the middle such scandals in the past for not paying employees & ignorance with foreign employees.
Image captured from a video that went viral in 2018 which shows exactly how foreign laborers were handled by Ithaafushi Investment & local company of Mr. Janah Hotels & Resorts Constructions Pvt Ltd (HRC) during the construction of Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi.
Read more about this story on Maldives Times (newsmagazine).
Although this picture has nothing to do with Waldorf Astoria Maldives & its current spree of killing small companies who provided their services to them on credit, it is important to know the dark which supports its grounds.
Thaalhafili yet cannot confirm, why exactly the strongest hotel chain in the world would hold payments to local contractors and nothing adds up. Whether the payments are somehow stopped by local party Ithaafushi Investment or, not yet to confirm.
According to sources, contracts were made with Waldorf Astoria Maldives, and when asked why not take the legal approach one interviewer said “there is no hope of winning a legal war to collect a few million against a billion-dollar giant”.