Made up of 1,190 islands, the Maldives is famous all over the world for our idyllic, white beaches and sparkling blue oceans.

Our reefs are bursting with colorful marine life and our weather is always sunny. With warm hospitable people and a unique culture, Maldives is truly a tropical paradise everyone should visit once in their lives.

Geography

Maldives consists of 1,190 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, along the north-south direction, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi), making this one of the world's most dispersed countries.

Climate

The temperature ranges between 24°C and 33°C throughout the year. Although the humidity is relatively high, the constant sea breeze helps to keep the air moving. The average sea temperate is around 26°C.

Population

With a population of approximately 340,000, the country is one of the smallest independent nations in the world.

History

Archaeological remains excavated in different parts of the country prove that people were living here as early as third century BC. The Maldives and its people are mentioned in several mariners’ logs and records of naval expeditions by the Chinese and the Arabs and later the British and other European explorers.

Culture

A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world travelling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different culture as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, while other cultures and traditions reflect East Asian and South Asian characteristics and traits.

Religion

Maldivians are devout Muslims and rigorously follow the basic tenets of Islam.  Mosques are dispersed throughout the capital and each inhabited island is graced with at least one or two mosques where the people attend to their daily prayers.

Language

Dhivehi spoken throughout the Maldives is a language belonging to the Indo-Iranian group of languages. The language is spoken only in the Maldives and Minicoy Island in the Lakshadweep Atoll (India) to the north of the Maldives. The present script, Thaana was introduced in the late 16th century and is written from right to left. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood getting around the capital Male’. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.

Capital Island

Male’, which has a total area of 5.8 km2 is the capital of the country. It is the centre of administration and the hub of trade and commerce. More than 150,000 people live in Male’.

Economy

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the economy changed from the age-old traditional system based on fisheries and agriculture to a modern economy that rode on the success of the newly established tourism industry and a modernized and mechanized fishing industry Maldivians enjoy the highest GDP per capita in South Asia today.

Currency

The local currency is Rufiyaa. The exchange rate is pegged at MVR 15.42 to a US Dollar. If you are heading to a resort or guest house, you need not worry about local currency as all your bills at the resort can be paid by US Dollar, Euro or any other European currency. All major credit cards are also accepted. However, if you are visiting Male’ or any of the local islands, you may need to hold local currency for purchases you may wish to make.

Business Hours

The working week in Maldives begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Government offices are open from 08:00 to 14:00 hours and the private sector from 09:00 to 17:00 hours. Most offices in the private sector open for business on Saturdays. Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.

Communication

Telecommunication services in the country are offered by Dhiraagu Telecom and Ooredoo Maldives. Both companies have roaming agreements with various operators across the globe, which will enable you to use your home number while in Maldives. All the resorts and most guest houses in Maldives offer Internet services. Some offer broadband connections in the room while others offer Wi-Fi zones at key locations on the island.

Transportation

Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is the main international airport and gateway to the Maldives. International travel is available on a number of major airlines. In Maldives you can choose to move around by domestic flight, by seaplane or by boat. There are locally run ferries by large dhoni boats and speedboats. Seaplanes tend to be more expensive, while travel by dhoni, although longer, is relatively cheaper and convenient.

Quick Facts

  • AREA A land area of just 115 square miles scattered across 41,500 square miles of ocean.
  • CAPITAL Malé city is among the world's smallest capital, reached by a 10 minute boat ride from the airport.
  • CLOTHING: Casual light cotton or linen tropical wear. T-shirts, beachwear, light skirts, slacks and shorts are recommended, hats, sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, etc.
  • CREDIT CARDS: All major credit cards are accepted at the resorts, etc.
  • CURRENCY: Maldivian Rufiya. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that visitors may bring.
  • ELECTRICITY: Voltage is 230/240 50 cycles AC.
  • LANGUAGE: English is widely-spoken, and resorts have GRO's who speak other languages.
  • LOCAL TIME: GMT + 5 hours.
  • PASSPORTS & VISAS: 30 days of tourist visas are issued upon arrival for all nationalities.
  • POPULATION: About 300,000.
  • RELIGION: Muslim.
  • COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +960