Maldives Facts


Maldives Travel Information

Maldives Facts

Maldives Travel Information


August, 2019

The Maldives experience is more than just a luxury getaway; it is an escape from the ordinary and a journey to an island paradise surrounded by pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, natural beauty, underwater adventures and culinary exploration. Let the nature create your very own picture-perfect getaway with a unique blend of breathtaking activities, cultural excursions and a lifetime of memories.

It's good to know the best time to visit in terms of the weather, or how to head to your hotel after you touchdown at Male airport. Whether you plan your trip for honeymoon or diving, Maldives welcomes you with exciting possibilities. Browse through our Maldives information sections to plan your visit ahead.

When to Go to Maldives

Temperatures in the Maldives stay at a wonderfully warm 25-30°C year-round and only drop a few degrees at night. Anyone in search of sunshine - and that includes 99.9% of visitors to the Maldives - is in luck. However, there are times of year that are sunnier than others.

High season runs from December to April, neatly capturing the Christmas and New Year markets. Expect resort rates to rise accordingly. Rain and cloudy skies are more likely between May and November. However, August often sees higher prices as Italians flock here during their traditional vacation month.

For divers, visibility is better on the western side of an atoll from May to November, and on the eastern side for the remaining five months. And the surf's up between March and October. Year-round, the thermometer hovers at about 30°C. READ MORE

Passport and Visa Requirements

All travellers to Maldives must be in possession of a valid passport no less than 6 months of time prior to expiration and travel documents. Visitors with this documentation will be issued with tourist visas on arrival (VOA) for a period of 30 day, free of charge. Whilst the VOA is a predominantly stable system, it is always a good idea to check the current situation with your government agency prior to travel. Click for the latest government travel advisories from the USA, UK and Australia.

Visitors entering the Maldives should have return or onward travel tickets and a minimum of US$100, as well as US$50 per person per day of their intended stay. Alternatively, they may give proof of a confirmed hotel reservation for the full period of their stay in the country.

Tourist visas on arrival are for 30 days, but this can be extended to 90 days by applying to the immigration department.

There is no departure tax.

Transfers & Getting Around

Island Aviation Services operates domestic flights between Malé and the islands of Dharavandhoo, Kaadedhdhoo, Kadhdhoo, Ifuru, Gan and Hanimaadhoo. A number of companies (notably Maldivian Air Taxi, Manta Air and Trans Maldivian Airways) operate seaplanes and/or helicopter services around the Maldives to reach those destinations not covered by Island Aviation Services.

Speedboats are also the most cost-effective option. Speedboats are operated by individual resorts and come in various forms, but all offer a comfortable start to your holiday.

To explore closer to home, walking is often best as most islands can be crossed on foot in half an hour. Malé is the exception, with taxis readily available, and bicycles are a good option on Addu Atoll, where several islands are linked by a causeway. READ MORE

Island Hopping

Not a problem, as local charter boats known as dhonis (traditional all-purpose vessels powered by a diesel engine) can be hired with ease from the ferry counter at each resort and can take visitors to island communities close to resort islands. To travel to the outer islands which are beyond the tourist zone, an Inter-Atoll Travel Permit is required; permits can only be issued to those visitors who are sponsored by a resident of the island they wish to visit. Read More ...

Customs Regulations

Please note that the Maldives is a Muslim country, and there are restrictions on items that can be brought into the country. These restrictions also apply to duty-free purchases, including alcohol.

Other prohibited items include:

  • Religious materials deemed offensive to Islam, including reading materials such as Bibles
  • Idols (for worship)
  • Pornographic material
  • Narcotics and psychotropic substances
  • Pets
  • Turtle shells, coral and shells
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Alcohol and Spirits
  • Food containing pork and its by-products

Money and Banks

ATMs are still relatively rare in the Maldives and there are none outside Malé. The best place to look for them is outside the major banks on Boduthakurufaanu Magu. Cash advances on credit cards can also be obtained over the counter at Male airport. Local banking hours are Sunday to Thursday from 7.30am to 2.30pm

The local currency is Maldivian Rufiya (MRF), which is comprised of 100 laari. 15.5 MVR is roughly equivalent to one US Dollar. There are no restrictions on changing any currency into Rufiya but Rufiya may be spent only in Malé, where traders are perfectly happy in any case to accept US dollars.

Most tourist destinations will accept all major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa). Hotel and travel expenses are billed in US dollars. This is the preferred currency for the resorts although they also accept credit cards and cash or travellers cheques in all major currencies - but not Rufiya. 

Dress

Please remember that the Maldives is a Muslim country. As a mark of respect, women are expected to keep their thighs and shoulders covered when away from the resorts.

Swimwear should be covered up in restaurants and bikinis are strictly prohibited outside of the resorts. Nudity is also prohibited.

Food & Drinks

The general standard of food and drink on a Maldives holiday is excellent, with many islands offering a choice of buffet and à la carte restaurants and well-stocked wine cellars. Seafood dishes top the menus, but you'll find flavours from all around the globe. Private dining experiences are incredibly popular, with options ranging from lobster dinners by candlelight to desert island picnics. The island's tap water is safe for drinking. Additionally, complimentary bottled water is supplied to all villas and suites.

Dining at Ithaa on Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an experience in itself; this is the iconic underwater restaurant located 16 feet below the ocean's surface. At Hurawalhi Island Resort you can venture six metres below the ocean's surface to 5.8 Undersea. READ MORE

Health

Medical treatment in the Maldives can be very expensive and it is strongly recommended that travellers purchase comprehensive health insurance before their visit.

In case of diving emergencies, a decompression chamber is also accessible in Malé, Baros Island and Kuramathi Maldives.

Family Holiday

Although it might not be the obvious choice for families, the Maldives is a natural playground and a number of resorts offer colourful kids' clubs, fun and educational activities, and family villas. Popular Kurumba Maldives is just ten minutes by speedboat from the airport – ideal for little ones needing to reach their destination quickly after a long flight. Niyama Private Islands has a second island which has a family focus, and Meeru Maldives ' gently sloping lagoon and wide beaches are ideal for younger guests. Read More ...

Electricity

The standard European non-grounded socket ( type C) is generally used in the Maldives. However, it is advisable to carry a plug adapter for appliances which do not fit into this socket.

Television

Cable TV is available on most islands. At COMO Cocoa Island, guests have access to satellite TV channels, video on demand, interactive information and music.

Telephones and Communication

Complimentary Wi-FI is provided throughout the resorts.

In general, mobile phone coverage is good on the islands, including remote atolls. However, travellers should check their international roaming agreement with their mobile phone provider to avoid unexpected charges.

SIM cards can be bought in Malé in order to make cheap local calls.

The international dialing code for Maldives is +960. Read More...

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in the Maldives and it is officially discouraged. However it is common practice to tip waiters and room staff at the resorts, gratuities for staff may be left at your discretion.

If a taxi is taken in Malé it is unnecessary to tip, as the fare is usually prepaid.

Time Zone

Standard time in the Maldives is GMT (+5), and the country does not observe daylight savings. Some resorts in the Maldives use Island Time which is one hour ahead: GMT (+6), in order to allow guests more time in the sun.

Speak Local Dhivehi

  • Hello : Assalaam Alaikum (Religious greeting for anytime of the day)
  • Good morning : Baajjaveri Hedhuneh
  • Good afternoon : Baajjaveru Mendhureh
  • Good night : Baajjavery reygandeh
  • How are you? : Kihineh?
  • Fine/Good : Ran'galhu
  • Thank you : Shukuriyya
  • Let's eat : Hingaa Kaan
  • A beautiful day : Reethi duvaheh
  • My name is... : Aharengenamakee…
  • Fish : Mas
  • Shark : Miyaru

Holidays and Festivals

  • January 1 New Year's Day
  • January* Islamic New Year
  • March* Mawlid al-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)
  • April* The Day the Maldives Embraced Islam
  • April 27 National Day
  • July 26-27 Independence Day
  • September* Ramadan begins
  • October* Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan ends)
  • November 3 Victory Day
  • November 11 Republic Day
  • December* Hajj Day
  • December* Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

*Dates of these Muslim festivals vary from year to year as they depend on various phases of the moon.

Maldivians are very proud of their country and deck homes and streets with red-and-green national flags on almost every holiday. Festivals are definitely for the whole family and men, women and children share in the food preparation, decoration and - a vital component of every Maldivian festival - the parade.

Celebrations are a blend of traditional and modern elements, so Bandiya Jehun (the traditional beating of metallic water pots to the tune of an accompanying song) or the reciting of Raivaru, a form of poetry sung in a slow, even tune, may easily be followed by a modern jazz number.

During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night, so normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day.

Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself, although this is generally unlikely to affect life on the resort islands. Eid al-Fitr may last anything from two to ten days, depending on the region.

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