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Maldives at a glance

Where is the Maldives?

The Republic of Maldives is a group of coral islands to the north of the equator in the Indian Ocean. It is to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka. Out of the 1200 islands only 200 are inhabited and none of them rise 1.2metres above sea level. It lies between latitudes 4 degree- 17 North and longitudes 73 degree- 50 East.


Getting there and within?

Male’ International Airport is the main connection between Maldives and the rest of the world. It is an island which is a short boat ride away from Male', the capital city. It is the main transit point for everyone who visits Maldives. From here seaplanes, speed boats and dhonis transfer people to their respective destinations. Internal flights to northern and southern atolls also operate from Hulhule. Airline Counters are opened and staffed only during flight times.
Round the clock ferry service operate to and from Male'. However arrangements have to be made to travel to the resort hotels and some of the other inhabited islands.
There are four domestic airports which cater to inter-island flights. They are located respectively at the Gan Island in Addu Atoll, Kaadehdheoo Island in G.Dh atoll, Kadu Island in Haddummati Atoll and the Hanimadu Island in the South Tiladummati Atoll.
International merchant shipping is handled by the port of Male’. Travel through the open sea from one atoll to another is usually by vedis, larger, squareshaped wooden cargo boats.
When you travel to these islands bestowed with the scenic splendor of nature you will be blown away by the modes of transportation. Till you reach the Hulhule International airport it is as usual- you come by air. But from there it is quite exciting. From the airport you will be transported to any island Resort in the Maldives or the capital Male’ either by a Dhoni or by a speedboat. Connectivity to the various atolls and resorts is facilitated by seaplanes, speed boats, motor boats, dhonies and domestic small aircrafts.


What is the time difference of Maldives?

Maldives is five hours ahead (GMT +05:00) of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


Where to stay?

You could stay in one of the many city hotels catering for the MICE market or as foreigners often chose to, stay in one of the resort hotels.
As you land on one of these resorts you will feel as if you have set foot on paradise itself. Enjoy a walk along the sun kissed tropical beaches facing the shimmering blue waters of the sea or simply bask in the sun. The island is meant just for you, for a single resort occupies an entire island. The resorts, with semi-detached bungalows built around the island and along the lagoons, are equipped with restaurants, bars, centralized swimming pools and even gymnasiums. Altogether more than 135 islands have been maintained as special resort islands and you will be surprised to find that the only inhabitants in these islands other than the tourists are the resort staff. Your dream holiday comes full circle in these elegant island resorts.
3.8 What is weather like in Maldives?
The climate of Maldives is essentially determined by the monsoons. Throughout the year the climate remains warm. However, being on the equator, the islands experience mild monsoons. Of the two monsoons, the southwest monsoon from May to October brings some rain and wind. The northeast monsoon, from November to April, is the dry season with very little wind.
There is little variation in temperature with an annual average daily maximum of 30.4 degrees Celsius and the minimum at 25.9 degrees Celsius. The annual rainfall can be anywhere between 1500 mm - 2000mm.


Do I need Visa?

You do not require a Visa prior to arrival in the Maldives. All tourists from all the countries in are granted free 30 day visa upon arrival. However, all the visitors need a valid travel document. If a passport expiry date falls within 30 days of arrival, tourists cannot extend their stay beyond the passport expiry date. Working / Employment under tourist visa is prohibited. Working visas are provided by the Ministry of Human Resources Employment and Labor.


What is the Capital City?

When it comes to size Male’ would perhaps count as one of the smallest capitals in the world. It is home to one third of the country’s total population. It is a city of skyscrapers and paved roads. While the government offices are located in one area, the main streets are lined with shops and offices. In Male you would not find any beach, instead it is encircled by seawalls. The city is quite green and pleasant. The streets in the residential areas are shaded with trees, at places forming an arch overhead.


What about shopping in Maldives?

Male, the capital of Maldives is fascinating place for the shoppers. Garments, perfumes and cosmetics, jewellery, electronic gadgets and gizmos and canned fish and various local handicrafts are among the best picks. The Chaandhanee Magu and the Majeedhee Magu are the prime shopping zones of the city. Since Male is a tiny place, you can get around easily from one end to the other by a taxi.


What is the currency used

In Maldives we have our own currency called ""Maldivian Ruffiya"" (MRf). One United States Dollar is equivalent to 12.75 MRf (Maldives Monetary Authority buying rate) and this value doesn't vary much.
Payments can be made through cash or credit cards. Most of the local and souvenir shops in Male’ accept all major credit cards but none of these shops can get you cash from your card. There are two or three merchants who get can get you limited cash and this is only possible during weekdays as these merchants will be issuing you a cash check which you will have to en-cash it from the bank. One bank in the Maldives offers encashment of credit cards. However the withdrawals are well limited.