Maldives Travel Information
|Maldives is a huge tourist destination,
popular with honeymoon couples, scuba diving fanatics and other
beach and sun loving people. Every effort has been made to make
each guest to these islands comfortable and safe. Do not take
the following tips as warnings, only advice, remember being
a knowledgeable traveler is a big step to a successful vacation.
No prior visa arrangements are required. A tourist visa
of 30 days will be given to visitors with valid travel
documents, on arrival. Visitors should be in possession
of at least US$25 per day to stay in the Maldives. For
those coming from yellow fever infected regions, an
international certificate of inoculation is required.
laws prohibit the importation of pornographic material,
firearms, alcohol and illegal drugs into the country.
Exports of coral, shells and other object removed from
the marine environment is also prohibited.
Tipping is discouraged
in the Maldives. Unofficially, if the service is good
- and it usually is - it's quite customary to tip room
staff and waiters in your resort. US$10 per week is
a suitable amount. A few resorts add a 10% service charge,
in which case there's no need to tip. Bargaining is
limited to tourist shops in and around Singapore Bazaar
in Male? and at island village souvenir shops where
prices are not fixed.
generally warm and humid. The sun shines all year round
generally and the average temperature is around 29 -
32 degrees Celsius.
What to wear Nudism
is an offence in the Maldives and this includes bare
breasts. Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton
clothing are most suitable. In Male', the capital island,
it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without
baring too much and when visiting inhabited islands,
thighs and shoulders must be covered by both men and
is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives.
English is widely spoken by the Maldivians and every
visitor can make himself understood when getting around
the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages
are spoken by the staff including English, German, Italian,
French and Japanese.
Currency The Maldivian
currency is Rufiyas and Laaris. A Rufiya is equal to
100 laarees (coins). The Rufiyaa comes in the following
denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. The
American Dollar is the most common foreign currency.
Payments in the resorts can be made in most hard currencies
in cash, traveller's cheques or credit cards. The most
commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa,
Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card.
Health Care facilities
are improving on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial
Hospital in Male' is the biggest hospital in the country
providing sophisticated medical care. ADK Hospital is
the biggest private health care facility, and follows
high medical standards. Experienced European doctors
work at the AMDC Clinic, and some resorts have an in-house
doctor. Decompression chambers are within reach of most
resorts in case of a diving emergency. The Maldives
is tropical and generally a healthy environment abounds.
Most will be safe here but please get advice from your
doctor regarding vaccinations you may require before
GMT +5 hours
Business hours From Sunday
to Thursday 7:30 - 14:30 in the government sector, and
generally from 9:00 to 17:00 in the private sector.
Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.
to date technology and international satellite links
allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications
system. IDD facilities are available on all resorts,
and card phone facilities are available on all islands.
Dhiraagu, the Maldives telecommunications company, an
affiliate of the British Cable and Wireless Company,
provides mobile telephones for rental on a daily basis.
Dhiraagu is also the Internet service provider.
Food and Beverages
Restaurants, coffee shops and well stocked bars in all
resorts provide varied and delicious meals with wide
choice of fresh fruit juices, punches, cocktail, wines
and spirits. All resorts serve food and beverages to
suite demanding palates, be it favourite international
dishes and or the fresh and exotic delights of seafood.
Many offer a-la-carte services that cover eastern and
western flavours. Maldivian short eats served with tea
or coffee are popular with most visitors as a snack
in between meals while grills and barbecues are much
in demand in most resorts. A few resorts have specialised
restaurants each for favoured cuisines as European,
Indian and Chinese.
When to Go If
you're looking for a few extra hours of sunshine then
you should visit the Maldives between December and April,
which is the dry season. This is the high season, however,
and resorts can be fully booked and prices are higher
than the rest of the year. The Christmas-New Year period
is the busiest and most expensive part of the high season.
Between May and November it's still warm, but the skies
can be cloudy, humidity is higher and rain is more likely.
This is the low season, and there are fewer tourists
and prices are lower. The transition months of November
and April are said to be associated with increased water
clarity and better visibility for divers.
Events and Public
Holidays Most holidays are based on the Islamic
lunar calendar and the dates vary from year to year.
The most important religious event is Ramadan (known
locally as rorda mas), the Islamic month of fasting.
Other noteworthy events are Kuda Id, the sighting of
the new moon (celebrated at the end of Ramadan), and
the Prophet's Birthday, which commemorates the birthday
of the Prophet Mohammed. Fixed holiday dates include:
National Day (the day Mohammed Thakurufaan and his men
overthrew the Portuguese on Malé in 1573, the
first day of the third month of the lunar calendar);
Victory Day (victory over Sri Lankan mercenaries who
tried to overthrow the Maldivian government on 3 November
1988); and Republic Day (which commemorates the current
republic, founded on 11 November 1968).
Alcohol and Drugs
Maldivians, being Muslims, are prohibited by law from
consuming alcohol, hence there is a strict restriction
on the alcohol available in inhabited islands. Foreigners
who reside in Maldives can have a private supply arranged
by an authorised licensing procedure. All tourist resorts
and hotels, as well cruise ships and yachts have alcohol
for consumption for guests. The Maldives is amongst
one of the toughest countries in dealing with drugs.
Lengthy jail sentences are normal if found in possession
or whilst using them, even with a marijuana joint. Please
do not try to import any form of drug into Maldives.
Also, please do not use drugs even if offered whilst
here, it is not worth the risk.
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 cultures 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, with hand beating of drums and songs in
a language that is not known to any but certainly represents
that of East African countries. As one would expect
there is a great South Asian influence in some of the
music and dancing and especially in the traditional
food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian
customs especially with regard to women - for instance
the Sub Continents tradition of secluding women
from public view - are not tenets of life here. In fact
women play a major role in society - not surprising
considering the fact men spend the whole day out at
sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related
to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the
seas around us.
Hotels and Resorts
Best priced for leisure holiday,
honeymooners, family & group
bookings for Maldives Hotels and Resorts
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