Destination Information Maldives

Your stay abroad in Maldives

Country information

Maldives

The island paradise of the Maldives, with its dreamy white beaches covered in palm trees, turquoise lagoons and breathtaking and varied underwater world invites you to experience an unforgettable stay. The islands are oases of peace and beauty, while the country’s natural landscape will astonish you.


Projects

Geography

Geography

The country covers an area of around 90,000 square kilometres. However, only 298 km² of that is dry land, an area smaller than the city of Munich. The outstanding coastline of the Maldives is around 650 km in length. The Republic of the Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. It is composed of multiple atolls which are made up of a total of 1196 islands, and is located in the continent of Asia. The chain of islands is to the south-west of India and Sri Lanka and stretches over 871 km. The islands have a total coastline of 650 km and are spread over 26 atolls with coral beaches. Only 220 of the 1196 islands are inhabited by Maldivians. 87 other islands are used for tourism.

North Malé Atoll is one of the two largest atolls in the Maldives. It is made up of the island of Malé with the capital of Malé, the international airport on the island of Hulule and a number of major tourist islands. Another major atoll is Addu Atoll, which is home to the former British airforce base of Gan.

The islands are divided into the “local islands”, where Maldivians live, and “resort islands”, which are reserved for holidaymakers.

Geomorphology/Geology

The landscape of the Maldives consists of numerous atolls – circle-shaped coral reefs with a lagoon in the middle. In geological time scales these are the youngest formations on earth. A theory for the derivation of the atolls is that corals started to grow on a volcanic underwater mountain range until they were close to the surface. The water in between these atolls is only up to a few hundred meters deep, whereas a depths of up to 4,000 m can be reached outside the Maldivian area.


Flora & fauna

Flora and Fauna in the Maldives

While the landscape of the Maldives is mainly composed of lagoons and beautiful beaches that are dominated by coconut palms and breadfruit trees, forests with up to 250 species of plants are home to several animals. As only few animals live of the dry land, most of the Maldives fascinating biodiversity can be explored in the air or under water. About 113 different species of birds were observed on the islands, amongst others the Alexandrine parakeets and several herons. The numerous coral reefs of the Maldives are home to over 2,000 species like the trumpet fish, the parrotfish and also bigger animals like whale sharks and various species of sea turtles.


Climate

Climate

The tropical climate on the Maldives is warm and humid with temperatures only rarely dropping beneath 25°C. While the water temperature is pleasantly mild throughout the year, the lowest mean temperature on land is 25.5°C and the highest is 30.4°C. As there are no seasons on the Maldives, mainly the north-east monsoon influences the climate during November to April and the south-west monsoon during May to October.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

The Maldives have a population of 344,023 inhabitants of which 105,000 live in the capital city Malé.

Language

The officially spoken language on the Maldives is Dhivehi which is majorly enriched with words from the Arabian language. English is commonly known in the business world.

Economy

The island state is one of the poorest states in the world. Its main economic forces are the rapidly growing tourism as well as agriculture and fishing (especially Tuna).

Political situation and safety

The Maldives have an executive presidential constitution with President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as their head of state since 17.03.2013.

Religion

The state religion on the Maldives is the Sunnite Islam. There is no freedom of religion and it is not allowed to publicly practice other religions.


Tipps

Travel Tipps and Trivia

Time zone

UTC +05:00

There is no daylight saving.

Currency

The currency of the Maldives is called Maldivian rufiyaa (1MVR=100 Iaari). For the current exchange rate see www.währungsrechner.de.

Units

The Maldives use metric units.

Electricity

The voltage on the Maldives is 220/230 V alternating current. As plugs with 3 poles are usually used, you should consider bringing an adapter.

Transportation

On the Maldives there are two international and several regional airports. Moreover it is possible to use streets (taxis only in Malé), but in general walking is the fastest way to get around the different islands.

National holidays

In general every Friday is a holiday on the Maldives and as a consequence, stores and departments are closed on this day.

Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • Taste local dishes like Garudhiya and Baiy.
  • Visit the fish market and feel the vibe.
  • Put off your shoes before entering Maldivian houses or mosques, also wear clothes that are at least of knees length for a visit to the mosque.
  • Learn some Dhivehi as preparation:
    • Hello = As-salamu alaykum
    • How are you? = Haalu Kihineh?
    • Good = Rangalhu

Don’t

  • Do not buy, sell, catch or kill wild animals.
  • Do not take pictures of military or government buildings.
  • Do not take or transport drugs.

Highlights Must-see places in the Maldives

Our top recommendations for you

Highlights

Highlights

During your stay in the capital city Malé, you should consider taking some time to visit the Sultan Park, a beautiful, green town oasis. Besides the tropical beauty, you can also explore the national museum in the park, which is placed in the remaining parts of the king’s palace. Moreover the impressive Friday Mosque is worth the trip, which is seen as one of the most beautiful ones in the south Asian region. Last but not least experiencing the hustle and bustle on the fruit, vegetables and fish markets is exciting as well.

Moreover the amazing underwater world of the Maldives with its numerous coral reefs, old shipwrecks and underwater steep faces is clearly another highlight. You can explore the diving sites that count to the UNESCO biosphere reserves on scuba diving trips or while snorkeling. Also various other activities are offered in the water, for example sailing, kayaking, wind surfing or parasailing.

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