The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. The top of the chain of islands lies to the south west of India. The atolls stretch southwards from there and past the western side of Sri Lanka, ending just over the other side of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere. Each atoll is blessed with incredible biodiversity including an abundance of exotic corals and a rainbow spectrum of marine life.
Discover the sunshine, white sand and crystal-clear waters of a thousand ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands with tranquil lagoons of infinite shades of blue; the ultimate combination for the ideal tropical holiday destination. Nonetheless, there is much more to the Maldives than just that, visit the Maldives and discover the beauty of the destination for yourself!
Approx. 298,968 according to 2006 Census.
Dhivehi is the local language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood in the capital city. In the resorts, varieties of languages are spoken by the staff including English, Chinese, German, French, Italian and Japanese.
The Maldives’ economy has been growing at an annual average of 10% for the past two decades. Tourism is the main industry, contributing close to 20% of the GDP. Fisheries and trade follow close behind, with tuna being the biggest export.
Tourism in Maldives
Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives. A tourist resort in the Maldives consists of an exclusive hotel on its own island, with its population entirely based on tourists and work force, with no local people or houses. These islands developed for tourism are approximately 800 by 200 meters in size and are composed of sand and coral to a maximum height of about 2 meters above the sea. In addition to its beach encircling the island, each island has its own “house reef” which serves as a coral garden and natural aquarium for scuba divers and snorkelers. The shallow water enclosed by the house reef also serves as a large natural swimming pool and protects swimmers from the ocean waves and strong tidal currents outside the house reef.
Hotel in Maldives
What to do in Maldives
The Maldives is renowned for its incredible diving opportunities. The crystal clear water and shallow lagoons are perfect for snorkeling, while the reef walls offer a kaleidoscope of sea life for more experienced divers. The Maldives have an amazing diversity of sea life, with corals and over 2000 species of fish, ranging from reef fish and reef sharks to moray eels, rays and whale sharks. The island’s many sheltered lagoons also provide the perfect destination to enjoy an adventure-filled family holiday or romantic getaway for two.
Attractions in Maldives
Diving Blue tribe Moofushi, Sun Island beach, Alimatha Island, Manta Point, Banana Reef, Grand Friday Mosque, Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque), HP Reef, National Museum, Veligandu Island beach, Bodu Mora, Hulhumale, Mulee Aage, Utheemu Ganduvaru, Biyadoo Island, Tiny Island Marine Conservation Centre, Kuda Bandos, Muraka Diving
Geography of Maldives
The Maldives archipelago consists of 1190 tiny islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. Only 185 of these islands are inhabited, while the others are used largely for tourism and agriculture. The atolls are composed of live coral reefs and sand bars perched atop a 960km submarine ridge, while the land features lush tropical vegetation with abundant local coconut palms. With an average ground level of 1.5m above sea level, the Maldives is by far the lowest country on earth and as such has a very fragile ecosystem. The capital and largest city of the Maldives is Male.
Climate in Maldives
The tropical climate is influenced by monsoons, although bright sunny weather with a light sea breeze can be expected most days.
Temperature: 30°C all year round | Sea temperature: 22°C to 28°C
Culture in Maldives
The local culture features a lively mix of South Indian, Sinhalese and Arab influences that is reflected in the traditional music, cuisine and art of the island.
Money/Currency in Maldives
The monetary unit is the Maldivian Ruffiyaa (MVR), while international credit cards are widely accepted by resorts.
From Sundays to Thursdays 0800hrs to 1500hrs in the government sector and generally from 0900hrs to 1700hrs in the private sector. Additionally, most offices in the private sector are open for half days on Saturdays. The weekend falls on Fridays and Saturdays.
Up-to-date technology and international satellite links allow the Maldives to have sophisticated communications systems. IDD facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu and Ooredoo; the telecommunications companies in the Maldives, also provide mobile phones for daily rental and WiFi/Dialup internet services. Local SIM cards can be purchased at the airport if required.
No travel vaccinations are required for the Maldives. Visitors may wish to take precautions against mosquitoes’ (which can bite day and night) by wearing insect repellent, although resorts regularly take measures to control them. Snorkelers and divers are recommended not to touch the marine life to avoid accidental bites or stings. Health care facilities are improving almost on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ is the biggest hospital in the country. ADK Hospital, also in Male’, is the biggest private health care facility. Some resorts have in-house doctors. There are decompression chambers located at resorts in case of diving emergencies.
Driving in Maldives
Most tourists will land in the capital, Male, and will be transferred to their hotel either by seaplane or boat. These two means of transport are widely used for most trips between islands.
Direct Flights to/from Maldives
There are frequent direct flights to Male from most international destinations including India, Sri Lanka, Dubai and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as an increasing number of charters from Europe.