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Maldives

Featured Luxury Resorts

Banyan Tree Madivaru

Banyan Tree Madivaru, Maldives sets unprecedented standards of luxury resorts accommodation in the Maldives. Open the door of your tented pool villa to a stretch of pristine white sand, dive into b...

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Island Hideaway

The Island Hideaway at Dhonakulhi Maldives, Spa Resort & Marina is a new luxury boutique resort situated on the privately-owned uninhabited virgin island of Dhonakulhi, North Maldives, Indian Ocea...

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Constance Moofushi Resort

Constance Moofushi Resort is situated on the South Ari Atoll and is widely regarded as one of the best diving spots in the world. The Resort combines the Crusoe Chic Barefoot elegance of a deluxe ...

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Overview

Introduction

Due west of the southern tip of India, in the Indian Ocean is a tiny Nation of Islands dubbed as the Pearls of Indian Ocean; The Maldives Islands.

The 1190 Islands of the Maldivian Archipelago are surrounded by the finest white sand beaches & Warm crystal Clear waters offering an extravagant utopia of unparalleled color and marine life.

Almost 99% of the country is the ocean and only 1% is spread to 26 atolls. No part of Maldives is more than 2.4 m above the sea level.

Like a bird defying gravity, the plane graciously glides down towards Male’ Airport. A glance out the window and your heart skips a beat. A vision is so unique that you can’t help but wonder if it is real. Only nature could have painted a picture so perfect. Only nature in its hurried motion could have created such splendor as the Maldives. The beauty does not recede with the touching down of the plane. The little green patches transform into graceful palms that gently sway to the cool breeze, endless white beaches with sand so soft that it caresses your feet, waters so clear that you see the fish playing in the depths of the lagoons.

Geographics

Location

Maldives is a country of South Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India. It consists of approximately 1,190 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers, making this one of the most disparate countries in the world. Composed of live coral reefs and sand bars, the atolls are situated atop a submarine ridge 960 kilometers long that rises abruptly from the depths of the Indian Ocean and runs from north to south. Only near the southern end of this natural coral barricade do two open passages permit safe ship navigation from one side of the Indian Ocean to the other through the territorial waters of Maldives. For administrative purposes the Maldives government organized these atolls into nineteen administrative divisions.

The largest island of Maldives is Gan, which belongs to Laamu Atoll or Hahdhummathi Maldives.[2] In Addu Atoll the westernmost islands are connected by roads over the reef and the total length of the road is 14 km.

Geographic coordinates: 3°15′N 73°00′E

Culture & Heritage

Culture

The people of Maldives reflect virtually every race in the world – not only from their features but also from customs and traditions handed down from generation to generation.

History reveals that Maldives has been populated for over 3,000 years and that the first settlers were from the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka and Southern India. This conclusion is drawn from the archeological evidence that shows the existence Hinduism and Buddhism before the country embraced Islam in 1153 A.D. However, some of the traditions and customs also reveal the influence of other countries such as Africa. For example the traditional music “Boduberu” with handclapping and chanting of songs closely relates to African music.

South Asia has also influenced Maldives tremendously, especially in the entertainment sector. Though this is so, some of their customs like demanding submissive roles from women are not of norm in the Maldives. On the contrary, women are empowered through education and equality in the society.

In the islands, women’s roles are more wide and important as the men are away most of the day fishing.

It is not only through their features that the people of Maldives reflect other societies, but also through their attire. As the climate is warm, most go about dressed casually in T-shirts and cotton clothing. Both imported garments and self-tailored ones can be seen. Most of the young and old alike go about in the latest styles, with traditional clothes favoured for special national events and celebrations. Women are given the liberty to dress as they please as long as they do not bare too much.

The language of the Maldivians is Dhivehi, though significant dialectical variations exist, especially in the southernmost atolls. Dhivehi has its roots in Sanskrit and comes under the Indro-Indian group of languages. With the advent of the Islam in 1153AD, Dhivehi became heavily influenced by Arabic and again in the 1960s with the introduction of English as a medium of education, English language also began to influence it. Due to the geographical isolation of islands, the Dhivehi vocabulary and pronunciation vary from atoll to atoll, in some cases slightly while in other cases the difference is more noticeable. .

The Maldivian script is known as ‘thaana’ which consists of 24 letters and is written from right to left. This writing system was invented during the 16th century soon after the country was liberated from Portuguese rule. Since Maldives embraced Islam in 1153, Islam has been central to the life of Maldivians. The norms of Islam are observed by the Maldivians and the main events and festivals marked according to the Muslim Calendar. Children are taught to read Arabic so that they will be able to recite the Quran.

The people of Maldives are naturally warm, friendly and hospitable. Their peaceful and interesting company would put anyone at ease and make your stay here a memorable one.

Fast Facts

Facts

Official Name Republic of Maldives
Location Indian Ocean
Area 90,000 km ( of which about 10% is only land)
Number of islands 1190 (approx.)
Population 320,000 (census 2000)
Capital Male’
Major Industries Tourism, Fishing and Shipping
Major Exports Tuna and Reef fish
Major Imports Consumer goods, capital goods and petroleum
National Symbols The National Emblem
The National Emblem comprises a Coconut Palm, a Crescent and Star, two National Flags and the traditional Title of the State.

The National Flag
The National Flag comprises a green rectangle with a red border and a white Crescent in the centre.
Official Language Dhivehi
Second Language English
Religion Islam (100% Sunni Muslim)
Government Democratic
Time difference +5hrs GMT
Currency Rufiyaa (Notes) and Laari (Coins)
Exchange rate MRF 15.42 per US$ (subject to change)
Official Weekly Holidays Friday and Saturday
Airports International: 1 (Male’ International Airport, located in the island of Hulhule)
Domestic: 4
Climate Tropical
Average Temperatures 30.7 degrees Celsius (Max)
25.7 degrees Celsius (Min)
Average Rainfall 1868.9 mm

Visa

Tourist Visa

No prior visa is required to enter the Maldives and a free 30-day visa is granted to all visitors who meet immigration requirements upon arrival.

However an entry permit does not permit visitors to take up employment set up any business or conduct any professional activities (paid or unpaid) except with the consent of the government and in compliance with pertinent laws and regulations of the Maldives

Prohibited Items

Pornographic literature, idols of worship, pork products and certain other animal products, explosives and weapons, alcoholic beverages and drugs are strictly prohibited. The penalty for importing drugs for personal or other use is life imprisonment. Animals require a veterinary certificate (dogs not allowed).

The following may not be exported in any form: tortoise and turtle shells and products made of turtle shell (the Government has banned the killing of turtles), and black coral in whole form.

Duty-Free

The following goods may be imported into the Maldives Republic without incurring customs duty:

A reasonable amount of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco; a reasonable number of gifts.

Entry requirements

Visitors of all nationalities in possession of the following would be granted entry into the Maldives:

  • a valid international travel document issued by a sovereign state’s government
  • a valid return air ticket and necessary visas to a destination where the passenger has permission to enter
  • a valid minimum of US$30.00 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives

Health Requirements

An international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever and cholera is required by visitors arriving from infected countries.

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