ADEX Ambassador for Tekdive, Guinness World Record Holder in The Deepest Scuba Dive (332.35m)
Ahmed Gabr's, Guinness World Record Holder in The Deepest Scuba Dive, record scuba dive 332.35 metres into the Red Sea is the deepest ever. Making a stand for our oceans, he founded an organisation and mobilised 614 divers for the world’s largest underwater clean-up. As a technical diving instructor trainer he is backed by 20+ years experience in sport and military diving; an ex-Special Forces officer, a graduate of the US Combat Diver course, his passion for technical diving began soon after becoming a professional dive instructor in 1996.
CMAS & PADI 5 star Instructor Director & Partner at ORCA DIVE CLUB, Underwater Film Services
A veteran of the oceans - Anees Adenwala is one of India’s first few Scuba Diving instructors who was tasked with setting up a dive centre in the uncharted waters of the Lakshadweep Islands in 1996. Anees took to the paradisaical waters of the Lakshadweep like a parrot fish takes to a coral reef. After establishing two dive centres in Lakshadweep, Anees returned to Mumbai in 2003, to set up two passion projects. First, an Underwater Filming Company, to film sequences for Indian Cinema, Television and Documentaries, soon followed by Orca Dive Club, an end-to-end SCUBA diving service provider that undertakes everything from beginner pool- training courses for students, to exploratory live-aboard and resort based operations to exotic dive destinations worldwide. Orca Dive Club also makes the utmost efforts to promote responsible diving, by understanding all the safety issues concerned with it, as well as the awareness and protection of the environment, marine flora and fauna. ORCA aims to make Divers and Novices in this field responsible, safe and environmentally conscious; which is also a very important part of the SCUBA diving world. Anees’s second passion project, Underwater Film Services is exclusive in the market comprising of a highly trained and professional team with expertise in underwater stunts/action and filming. Prior to an underwater shoot, all actors are trained so that they are comfortable in the water. Anees has trained and worked with many Bollywood, Tollywood, Marathi Film and TV personalities. UFS has shot sequences for more than 200 productions for underwater sequences.The Ocean and Anees are synonymous to each other, divers who know him see his passion and are rest assured that their experience underwater will never go amiss.
Guinness World Record holder for the fastest 10km Scuba Dive 5 hours & 24 minutes, A diver with disability (paraplegia)
A diver with disability (paraplegia), Faisal overcame depression following his disability from a horrible car accident to start Alfaisal Universal Centre – the biggest health institute in the field of physiotherapy in terms of vision and concept. Faisal enjoys diving because he can feel free underwater. In August 2018, he became the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest 10 km scuba dive with an amazing time of 5 hours and 24 minutes in Hurghada Egypt. His triumph over his disability has rebuilt his confidence and made him a motivational speaker and trainer.
Starting out as an environmental enthusiast, Ibrahim began working to help protect the Earth’s fragile marine environment in 1990. Since then, he has amassed more than 25 years of experience in the field and his passion for nature led him to become the Director General of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the Maldives. His unstinting efforts for conservation and his valuable advice led to Baa Atoll being recognised by the UN as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011 for being one of the best spots for manta rays and whale sharks to feed and clean.
Founder & Managing Director, Cool Divers Pvt. Ltd., Founder & Managing Director, Bond Ocean Safari Founder & Managing Trustee, Planet Ocean Foundation (A Non-Profit Organization)
Hailing from a traditional fisherman family, in a small coastal village Vadackal in Alappuzha, Jackson joined a USA based MNC in UAE right after his graduation. With an extensive exposure to most of the countries in the Middle East, South East African countries and Europe. Firmly grounded in his upbringing, it was just natural for him to be fascinated by the ocean. After returning to India, he plunged heart and soul into establishing Cool Divers and Bond Ocean Safari, a well-known adventure sports tour company in his native Kerala.
Over the last couple of years, he has worked to make Cool Divers and Bond Ocean Safari one of the most innovative and unique adventure sports outfit in the state. They undertake scuba diving, bond safari (first of it’s kind operation in India) and snorkeling trips in the state and set to launch a few more adventure tourism products like semi-submarine, parasailing and game fishing by the start of next tourism season.
Dedicated in giving back to the oceans, he has kick-started a campaign called #OceanLove with the aim to raise awareness about marine pollution. He strives to do anything and everything he could to curb marine pollution, global warming and ocean acidification, which he feels are the biggest threat the humanity faces today. Here are some of the activities his organization has spearheaded in raising awareness about marine plastic pollution in Kerala. They are “World’s First Underwater CEO Conference”, “India’s First Underwater Wedding”, “Kerala’s First Underwater Plastic Clean-Up Initiative” and “Planet Ocean Foundation” - a self-sustainable initiative to keep the Arabian sea free from plastic debris.
Julien Fortin is a PADI Course Director and Tec Instructor Trainer, TDI and IANTD technical and cave dive instructor, and a GUE (Global Underwater Explorers) Fundamentals instructor. He is currently splitting his time between India and Mexico where he works on various teaching and exploration projects, but has taught numerous courses in various countries in Asia, America and Europe. He runs Technical Diving India and has trained dozens of technical divers in India up to Trimix level. Quality-oriented, dedicated to team-diving, standardized procedures, and the usage of helium-based mixes to support aggressive diving, he is an active member of the community and devoted to growing a network of like-minded divers. Having lived in various European, Asian, African, and Central American countries, his background spans from engineering and sustainable development to information technology, languages, and various inter-cultural interests.
Special Forces Operative for 14 years. Specialist in Counter – Terrorist missions and Precision Combat Shooting. Trained in Sky Diving, Scuba Diving, Hi – altitude endurance trekking and Un armed Combat. He has led numerous Combat, Reconnaissance and Search & Rescue (SAR) missions in India and abroad. Held the appointment of Troop Commander (Special Forces) at the United Nations Mission in Africa (UNMEE).
He now leads a Team of highly trained ex – Special Forces instructors in Combat Scuba Diving, Adaptive Scuba Diving, Mountaineering, Combat Sky Diving, Unarmed combat, Survival and Emergency Med Response under ‘Special Forces Adventures.com’.
Their mission is to train people with disabilities and the abled alike in the above skills and empower them to lead independent and powerful lives. To light
the spirit of a warrior.
Mark’s ocean connection includes 10,000+ dives and careers as ocean lifeguard, captain, scuba instructor, and cruise director. A passionate photographer and conservationist, his work has appeared in BBC Wildlife, Conde Nast, National Geographic, World, Nature’s Best, Natural History and books like Lonely Planet’s award-winning Diving and Snorkeling Thailand. His work has been displayed at galleries like the Smithsonian and United Nations Visitor Center. Mark currently works at Bluewater Photo, leading trips annually to his favorite dive destinations.
With twenty years as a PADI Pro under his belt, Swiss-made Matt Wenger is coming into his fourth year as the PADI Regional Manager for the Maldives. Having first set foot in the island nation in 2008 as the dive centre manager for Anantara Dhigu, Veli and Naladhu, and later working for the Park Hyatt brand, PADI Course Director and Examiner Matt has a long history with the country. Since his return in 2016 as PADI Regional Manager, Matt has overseen the steep growth in PADI’s reach in the Maldives, across both luxury resorts and emerging local island destinations. Matt is passionate about keeping a commitment to the environment at the core of everything. PADI represents in the Maldives and is dedicated to implementing PADI’s four “Pillars of Change”.
Co-Founder of Reef Watch Marine Conversation Producer, Genesis Film Production Co-Founder, Lacadives Founder and Director, Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship
Co-founder of Reef Watch Marine Conservation, prolific ad-film producer Mitali Dutt Kakar, has been actively involved in creating awareness in the marine conservation scene through initiating education programmes, documentaries and research. An avid diver, she has also logged more than 5000 dives and has also trained both local and international students over 2 decades. In 1998, she produced the award winning film “Troubled Waters” to highlight the effects of global warming on coral reefs in the Lakshadweep islands and has also been involved in several environmental television film series. Combining her passion for films, marine conservation, photography and scuba diving, Mitali is focused on educating the younger generation to be socially conscious individuals.
Seenen started out his career as a PADI Dive Master 22 years ago in the Maldives just two years after getting his diving instructor status. A founding member of the Divers Association of Maldives, his passion for the environment and underwater photography started during the early stages of open water certification. Images were the only way he could express the way he felt to his friends. He currently works with a proud team of 30 Dive Professionals in five different dive centers in the Maldives known as diveOceanus (Three-time Gold Winner of South Asia’s Leading Dive Center at SATA).
Exposed to the ocean since young, Chin is an avid scuba diver diving for 19 years. After 2 years massively volunteering with Trash Hero Borneo, now she set herself onto a bigger platform - Marine & Environmental Research, Education & Conservation Centre at Dinawan Island. As an influential Women Diver in North Borneo and conservationist, she wants to inspire more people, raise awareness to protect the underwater world and educate the young generation. She quoted "Ocean is not our Garbage Bin"!
Marine Biologist, Co-founder & Director Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka
Nishan is a Sri Lankan marine biologist and co-founder of Blue Resources Trust, a marine research and conservation organization in Sri Lanka. His current work focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change and fisheries on coral reefs, and supporting management of marine protected areas. He has dived extensively around Sri Lanka exploring remote reefs and wrecks. As co-founder and owner of Island Scuba he played a key role in popularizing wreck diving off Colombo. Nishan is the author of Coral Reefs of Sri Lanka, and has contributed articles and images to Sri Lankan and international travel magazines.
A leading actress and singer in India, Parineeti is an acclaimed actress with two nominations for Best Actress for the Filmfare Award for her performances in Ishaqzaade (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and a National Film Award - Special Mention for her work in the former.
Parineeti also actively supports a number of charitable causes including NDTV’s Greenathon, an initiative to support eco-friendliness and investigate poor electricity in rural villages.
Paul Tanner, affectionately known as Tosh, is the Territory Director for PADI Asia Pacific. Paul started his career in the Dive Industry over 20 years ago as a PADI Dive Instructor. Since then he has been a PADI Examiner, PADI Course Director and a PADI Regional Manager. Throughout his career, he has worked in several exotic locations in the Caribbean and Asia.
Founding Partner, Lacadives Diving School Founder and Chairman, Genesis Film Production Founder and Chairman, The Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship
Founder of India’s first Scuba Diving school – the Lacadives Diving School in the Lakshadweep islands, Prahlad Kakar an advertising film professional discovered his passion for the deep seas by accident after a nerve wrecking dive in Mauritius. That experience led him on a journey to become a pioneer of recreational scuba diving in India. He has since gone on multiple diving escapades as a certified CMAS Master Level diver to several islands and together with his diving school, Prahlad has trained and certified more than 6000 divers, many of whom have went on to establish their own diving centres.
Rob has over 30 years diving experience and is a PADI Course Director, Instructor Examiner along with being a PADI Tri-mix Instructor Trainer. Rob has been travelling to India on behalf of PADI for 10years and is widely known throughout the diving the community as the person who has certified the majority of Indian PADI Instructors, along with conducting various seminars for PADI members in India. In early 2018 Rob took on the role of Regional Training Consultant for India, meaning he now spends more time travelling around India supporting PADI Members and Dive Centres and Resorts. Along with helping promote the Indian Industry and its positive growth both in the country along with its outbound tourism market. Rob is a firm believer in the potential of the Indian market and PADI and enjoys working with members within India to that end.
The first female Maldivian to work professionally in the diving industry of Maldives, Shaahina Ali has more than 30 years of diving experience. She set up the Dive Centre and worked intensely with the government to bring in and formalise recreational diving standards in the Maldives. Today, she heads Parley for the Oceans in the Maldives and is the executive who is leading a national programme to implement the Parley AIR strategy while making the Maldives the showcase for combating plastic pollution in the ocean.
Technical & Public Safety Diving Instructor/Founder and Director Scuba Evolution India Pvt Ltd
Vishwanath’s constant endeavour to make dive education safer and at par with the rest of the advancements in the sport, led to him co-founding Scuba Evolution India at Goa. Dive safety and top quality dive education is the mantra of Scuba Evolution India.
Vishwanath is a technical Trimix and Full Cave Diver. He retired from the Indian Navy to pursue teaching scuba diving full time and is a keen ocean conservationist. He teaches Technical and Public Safety Diver courses, along with Marine Resource Management, coral and shark conservation.
Scuba Evolution India started as the first dive centre on the mainland to provide accommodation. A PADI 5-Star IDC and TecRec Centre, they offer scuba diving courses from introductory to professional level, and are also dealers for Dive Rite diving equipment. Safety, high quality dive education, exploration and research are high on their list of priorities.
A full fledged service centre with mixed gas blending facilities makes them a go-to for all levels of diver training and exploration projects.
PADI Course Director Since 2017 / National Award Winner In Recreational Diving 2018 / Winner Of International Ocean Awards 2019
Co-founder of PADI 5-star instructor development facility Moodhu Bulhaa Dive Centre’s owner Zoona Naseem have been working as a PADI professional in the Maldivian dive industry for over 24 years. With over 18 years serving the tourism industry at different levels including 8 years at the international hotel chain Banyan Tree and Angsana as their Area Marine Recreations Manager overseeing their 5 Dive Centres and watersports. During her professional career, she have trained locals into professionals with the objective to increase the number of local female professionals in the dive field. She became Maldives’s second and the first female to obtain the rank of PADI Course Director level on 2017. Received the Rehendhi Award 2018 for women working in non-traditional field category National Award on 2018 for the recreational scuba diving category and recently the international Ocean Award 2019 for the ‘Local Hero’ category. Committed to encourage children to love the ocean and to convince parents that the ocean is a ‘safe place’ for a country like Maldives, which is just 1% land, and the ocean should be our playground.