Strategically situated between Europe and Africa, Malta provides a meeting point for a rich variety of cultures and languages. It is a small nation consisting of an archipelago of three inhabited islands (and a few smaller uninhabited islands) located in the central Mediterranean Sea just over 90 km south of Sicily, and about 280 km to the north of the African continent. The Maltese Islands have played host as a meeting destination for thousands of years ever since the shipwreck of St Paul! Whatever the size of the meeting or conference, Malta has the experience and the venues. In fact, the Maltese Islands offer a variety of historic castles, palaces and forts as function venues or, if one’s tastes are different, theme parks, village squares, luxury yachts, exclusive seafront locations and of course state-of-the-art conference hotels. The Maltese Islands are not only a place to meet but also the perfect location in which to do business since one can be on the Islands in under three hours from practically any European country. The Maltese Islands are serviced by an extensive network of international flight connections and under three hours flying time from major European gateways. The Islands’ small size also means that transfer times are kept to a minimum (typically just 25 minutes).
Malta gained independence in 1964 and is a member of the Commonwealth and part of the European Union. The country’s official languages are Maltese and English and its currency is the Euro. The islands are served by Malta International Airport, which has won a number of awards, the most recent of which was the ‘Best Airport in Europe’ award which was granted in March 2019. Malta also boasts of having one of the world’s deepest and most beautiful natural harbours, the Grand Harbour, which can handle vessels of the very deepest drafts and heaviest weights, including those over 1000 feet in length.
Malta is often regarded as the cradle of civilisation in the Mediterranean due to Phoenician, Roman and Arab influence over the millennia together with more recently, from the French, Italians and British. Its cuisine is of course Mediterranean with a smattering of Italian, Spanish and Arabic flavours, aromas and ingredients in many dishes. As can be expected in an island nation, seafood is extremely popular, and the produce is often fresh to the point of almost jumping up in your plate!