Maldives FAQ

Maldives is a chain of coral islands in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. It is a group of 1192 islands scattered in two rows just southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is 99% sea with just 1% land and covers an area of 90,000 square kil

Where is the Maldives?

Maldives is a chain of coral islands in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. It is a group of 1192 islands scattered in two rows just southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is 99% sea with just 1% land and covers an area of 90,000 square kilometers.



How would I travel to and within Maldives?

Traveling is rather different in the Maldives when compared to countries with vast landscapes. You will of course reach Maldives in air, to the only international airport- Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Hulhule’. From there in order to reach your resort or the island you stay at you can go by a launch, speedboat or Dhoni (ferry). In order to reach the capital, you will come across a ferry service operating to and from Male’ City just outside the airport gate. 

Atolls and islands are connected by ferry services, launches and speedboats operating on schedule or by charters as well. Other than sea travel, domestic transportation is also possible through domestic airports. There are 9 domestic airports which are in Hulhule’, Gan (Addu), Hanimaadhoo, Maamigili, Kadhdhoo, Kaadedhdhoo, Dharavandhoo, Fuvahmulah, and Kooddoo. Within the atoll transportation is easily arranged by dhoni or even speedboat, which doesn’t take much time as the area of travel isn’t too large.



What is the best time to travel to Maldives?

It’s pretty much always the best time to visit the Maldives. The temperature is rather favorable all year round. Usually from November to April its peak season and demand is relatively high, hence you will likely need prior booking and reservations if you are to visit during this time. From May to October, the occupancy may be less than that off-peak season.


When it comes to changes in monsoons, the ‘Iruvai’ season with light winds and clear skies goes on from December till April. After May, ‘Hulhangu’ or wet season starts and this ends by December again. However, even with occasional rains, the minor changes in average temperature makes Maldives the ultimate vacation spot.


What is the time difference of Maldives?

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


 

What is a resort in Maldives?

Since Maldives is made up of more than a thousand little islands, it allows Maldivian resorts to have one very unique feature- Every resort is its own island. There are around 105 islands specializing as resorts, which you’ll come to find that the inhabitants living on these islands are all resort staff- making sure that you get the best experience. We don’t take it lightly when we assure you about the sweet escape we mentioned before- our resorts really are the perfect getaway with swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and beautifully constructed bungalows right in the middle of the stunning turquoise lagoons. 


What is weather like in Maldives?

As we mentioned before, weather in Maldives is pretty much what is says on the label- tropical. We are just across the equator, hence even with occasional yet refreshing rainfall, we have favorable weather all throughout the year. But, if you want to know exactly how the weather down here is right now, just click here



HOW WOULD I GET A VISA FOR MALDIVES?

Every tourist, from any country are a granted a free day 30 visa on arrival hence no need for a prior visa arrangement before arriving in the Maldives. But keep in mind that you need a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months and all travel documents necessary. If the passport expires within the initial 30 days of arrival then you will to cut your trip short as your stay cannot be extended beyond the expiry date. Of course, you will need immigration clearance so you will need to provide a local address or proof of prior booking at a resort, hotel or guesthouse on the landing card which will be provided to you on the plane. But do keep in mind that you cannot work or become employed under the tourist visa and if so, you will require a work visa.



WHAT IS THE CAPITAL CITY OF MALDIVES?

The capital city, Male’ is significantly different when it comes to the islands. It is the pinnacle of development in the country with most facilities and amenities available. It’s a city of tall buildings, paved roads, and diligent people- always up and about. It’s a floating city with two soothing beaches on both east and west of the island and the island encircled by walls plaited by tetrapod blocks. Male’ houses the greatest number of retail outlets for shopping, all major government offices, private offices, hotels and historical monuments along with the best schools and health care facilities of the country. It’s a small city but always alive with people- in fact almost one-third of the country’s population resides here. Transportation is conveniently available by taxis that you may simply stop on the road if you need to get somewhere quick, but it’s a small city, walking isn’t at all hard or tiresome with such small ground to cover. 

 


HOW IS SHOPPING IN THE MALDIVES?

Male’ city is the shopping hub of the country. The whole city is flooding with retail outlets offering you garments, jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics, groceries, electronic gadgets, a collection of Maldivian handicraft and artefacts, and much more. There are restaurants, café’s, delis, bakeries and coffeehouses scattered all over the city which will work well for break spots after your shopping. Majeedhee Magu and Chaandhanee Magu will be the key shopping zones of the city. 


Resorts also provide you with most of the necessary materials you may need during your stay- from daily requirements to garments to beautifully done Maldivian handicrafts and artwork that will do well as souvenirs you can take home as a memory and show your friends and family back home.


Local islands may not have major retail outlets like Male’ but worry not, they also provide you with almost all the products and services you may need.

As for shopping practices- haggling or on the spot bargaining is not a customary practice in the country. All of the purchases come with a government tourism tax (TGST) of 12% charged to the price of the goods.



WILL I BE SAFE IN MALDIVES?

Sunny side of life doesn’t only refer to the picturesque sceneries of swaying palms and stunning beaches. Maldives really is a haven on Earth. As mentioned before, every resort is its own island with every inhabitant their catering to your needs. Most of the islands have around zero-crime rate so no need to worry about your visit to any of them. Maldivians are welcoming people and we offer you excellent hospitality and security. 



HOW ARE THE MEDICAL FACILITIES IN THE MALDIVES?

Every resort on Maldives have all fundamental medical facilities, first aid and emergency medical service available, usually with an in-house doctor and nurse. Every island has their own health facility or clinic and the atoll capital also has a hospital or a health care center.


The biggest hospital in the country is the government owned Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ city and the biggest private health care facility is ADK Hospital also in Male’. Both these hospitals provide modern, advanced medical care and specialized medical services. In Male’ you will also find a number of health clinics providing more specialized health care facilities.



WHAT DO I WEAR IN THE MALDIVES?

Maldives is the perfect place for you to bring out those summer clothes that you’ve been waiting all year to wear.  The high temperature makes it ideal to wear lightweight materials, usually cotton clothes, t-shirts, shorts, skirts, sundresses, etc.  Casual clothes are suitable, but of course if you are planning on a special photo shoot or an exclusive dinner, it’s all up to you. However, care needs to be given especially in the capital and local islands when it comes to traditional beachwear. Maldives is an all Muslim country and in order to not cause any offense and to respect the local customs, females are advised and recommended to wear more conservative modes of clothing instead of bikinis or other swimwear unless you are on the resort, an un-inhabited island, private picnic island, etc. It’s important to note that the Maldivian law prohibits any nudity and restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands unless a particular area is allowed to do so. 


If you are going to visit a local family home or places such as mosques, do remember to use a scarf/sarong (easily available from souvenir shops) to cover up your shoulders and thighs in order to respect the local traditional practices.



WHAT ARE THE WORKING AND TRADING HOURS OF MALDIVES?

Shops in Maldives open at different times but usually by 9am shops will be open and ready for business. The latest time for shops to close is at 10pm but keep in mind that Maldives being a Muslim country, shops will be closed for an interval of 30 minutes to one hour following prayer times. However, most restaurants and cafés operate until 12am. Do keep in mind that the timings of trading hours in resorts may be different to one another.


Business hours start from 7:30am until 2:30pm on all week days. But you should note that, in Maldives business weeks is from Sunday to Thursday making Friday and Saturday the weekend. You’ll come to find that most places and even shops are closed on Friday. 



HOW WOULD I GET TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE IN THE MALDIVES?

There are two telecommunication service providers and that is Dhiraagu and Ooredoo. These operators also provide internet services, telegrams, fax, and international direct dialing and roaming services. If you’re staying in the Maldives for some time and need to get in to contact with your friends or family or work back home, then you should buy a Maldivian SIM from either of these operators, which can be easily done but you may need to provide a photo ID. Both the operators provide their services all throughout Maldives and your SIM will be rechargeable through phone recharge cards or in credit transfers of different denominations by retail outlets and corner shops- of course a value added tax of 6% will be charged for every recharge transaction.



WHAT IS THE MALDIVIAN AIRPORT LIKE?

Maldives has only one international airport, which is the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Hulhule. Hulhule is an island situated rather close to the capital, Male’ City and just outside you will come to see ferry services operating to and from Male’ every 15 minutes. From Hulhule’ you can go to your respective destination from dhoni ferries, seaplanes and speedboats. Some resorts do not have ferry services and they operate and arrange their own transportation from the resort to the airport so if you make a booking, we will arrange for a travel agent ready to accompany you to your desired destination. 

Within the airport you’ll come across restaurants and food outlets offering meals and refreshments. You will be able to get money exchange facilities and telecommunication services as well. The duty-free shops offer a range of quality products from souvenirs, alcohol, perfume, garments to bags and other accessories along with excellent lounge facilities for the first-class traveler. 



WHAT IS THE CURRENCY USED?

The Maldivian currency is called the Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR) and is equivalent to USD $15.42. The currency notes are available in several denominations- from MVR 5, MVR 10, MVR 20, MVR 50, MVR 100, and MVR 500 to MVR 1000.


Payments will be accepted through cash or credit, in resorts and souvenir shops the USD is also accepted as legal tender. And all major credit cards are accepted but if you need to exchange cash, then money changing facilities will be easily available from the airport as well as banks.

 

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