Like pale green pearls, the coral islands of the Republic of Maldives are strewn across the Indian Ocean.
The Maldives continue even now to be the epitome in carefree island vacations. An almost unlimited number of water sports and of course, a lovely world beneath the waves, draw visitors from around the world every year. But wellness is also a beloved subject for this island nation and is offered with the highest standards in our hotels.
The Maldives consists of over 1,000 coral islands grouped in a double loop of 26 atolls, spread over approximately 90,000 square kilometres. These atolls are composed of coral reefs and sand bars and rise from the Indian Ocean, about 700 kilometers south-west of Sri Lanka. Two hundred of the 1,192 islets are inhabited and about 88 islands are exclusive sea resorts. Male is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Maldives. It is located on the southern tip of North Male Atoll, in the Kaafu Atoll. Male International is the only international airport and flights arrive here from major cities throughout the world. The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and area.
Legend has it that Maldives was populated as early as 1500 BC, by most likely explorers from India and Sri Lanka, then Ceylon. Between 1558 and 1573, the Maldives were taken over and ruled by the Portuguese. The British took over in 1887 and the islands regained independence in 1965. Maldives was a sultanate through its known history and became a republic in 1968. The president is elected every 5 years by a public referendum.
The Maldivian Rufiya is divided into 100 laari. There are no cash machines and travellers cheques are used, but there are foreign exchange facilities available at resorts and banks.
The language of the Maldivians is Dhivehi, a language with its roots in Sanskrit has been influenced heavily from Arabic and English, especially since the introduction of English as a medium of education in the early 1960s. Because of the wide dispersion of islands, the vocabulary and pronunciation vary from atoll to atoll, with the difference being more significant in the dialects spoken in the southernmost atolls.
Local time is 5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 10 hours ahead of North America Eastern Standard Time.
The economy of the Maldives is growing at an average rate of over 10 percent for the past two decades. Tourism is the main industry, contributing almost 20 percent to the GDP. Fisheries and trade follow close behind. The Maldivian economy is regarded as an example in the region, and welcomes foreign investment.
Even with the rapid increase over the past few decades, the population of Maldives is nearly 270,000 and the country remains one of the smallest independent nations in Asia. About a quarter of the population resides in Male, the capital. The rest is dispersed sparsely in the rest of the 200 inhabited islands. Women have always had important role in the family and community and in today’s society women hold strong positions in government and business.
Light cotton clothing is best to wear during your stay in the Maldives. Because it is generally hot and humid, shorts, t-shirts and loose fitting skirts are the best types to wear in the resorts. When visiting inhabited islands such as Male, visitors should dress modestly. During the “wet” season (May through November), a light rain jacket is recommended.
Nudism is prohibited.
Visitors coming from yellow fever infected areas are required to have an international certificate of inoculation. If you take prescription medication, remember to take it with you. As a precaution, it is advisable to drink only bottled water and to take some along with you during excursions. First-aid facilities are available on all resort islands. For divers, decompression chambers are accessible to most resorts in case of a diving emergency. Consult with your doctor and the Travellers’ Clinic for their suggestions for your particular needs.
Maldives offers many attractions the most popular being, secluded Island Resorts, Cruising Vessels, Diving & Snorkelling, Water Sports, Fishing, Visit to Male for excellent shopping facilities and exotic atmosphere.