Places in Maldives

Top events in Maldives

July
26

The Maldives celebrates its independence from Britain in 1965 with street parades and dances in Male.

Beach huts in the Maldives
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Beach huts in the Maldives

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Maldives Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

298 sq km (115 sq miles).

Population

393,595 (2014).

Population density

1,320.8 per sq km.

Capital

Malé.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Abdulla Yameen since 2013.

Head of government

President Abdulla Yameen since 2013.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plug types vary; it's best to check with your hotel before you travel, but European-style plugs with two round pins and British-style plugs with three square pins are both commonly used.

The Maldives is a by-word for luxury, romance and tropical bliss; a beautiful string of low-lying coral islands in the Indian Ocean, and a paradise for diving enthusiasts and sun seekers alike.

The country's 26 natural atolls and over 1000 islands have uniformly perfect white sand beaches lapped by turquoise lagoons the temperature of bath water. Tourism only began in the 1970s, but it is now the Maldives’ most important industry. Tourism in the Maldives concentrates on the luxury market, meaning that the country is home to some of the world’s best hotels.

Yet even in paradise trouble can bubble beneath the surface. It is precisely because the Maldives is so low-lying (80% of the territory is less than 1m/3.3ft above sea level) that their very existence is threatened by global warming. As such, since the 2008 election of young reformer Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives have worked hard to become one of the most environmentally friendly countries on earth, and continue to do so under new president Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 29 July 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Crime

Crime levels in Maldives are relatively low, but petty crime, including the theft of goods left unattended on the beach or in hotel rooms, does occur. You should take care of your valuables and other personal possessions, especially when travelling in Malé. Use safe deposit boxes on island resorts.

Gang related violence including knife crime in locally populated areas, including the capital Malé, has increased recently. There is no evidence that British nationals are being targeted. You should be vigilant when travelling to areas outside of resorts.

Local travel

The majority of visitors to Maldives spend their time on resort islands and would only visit the capital island, Malé, if they choose to go on a specific excursion there. The international airport is on a separate island within the larger Malé atoll. There are also many resort islands within Malé atoll. Advance approval is normally required to visit most non-resort islands, other than the capital island. Travel between islands is by boat or seaplane, and many of these services stop before sunset.

Sea travel

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, especially for shipping which does not take appropriate precautions or follow agreed shipping industry best practice guidelines. The Maldivian authorities are currently detaining a number of individuals suspected to have been involved in piracy outside of the Maldives’ Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).

See our Piracy in the Indian Ocean page.

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