Places in Maldives

Top events in Maldives

July
01

Huravee Day pays tribute to Sultan Hassan Izzudin, who freed the Maldives from South Indian invaders. Join in the traditional cultural...

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

393,988 (2013).

Population density

1,322.1 per sq km.

Capital

Malé.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1965.

Head of state

President Abdulla Yameen since 2013.

Head of government

President Abdulla Yameen since 2013.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round-pin plugs are used, although square-pin plugs are now becoming more common.

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: 15 April 2014

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.

Protests and demonstrations are not uncommon, especially in the capital Malé. You should take care, seek up to date information, and keep away from any demonstrations. Previous demonstrations have led to violence and arrests.

There is no British Embassy or Consulate in Maldives. If you need consular assistance you should contact the British High Commission in Sri Lanka. An honorary consul in the capital, Malé, can liaise with the British High Commission in Sri Lanka in emergencies.

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Most visits to Maldives are trouble free. The most common problems faced by visiting British nationals are lost and stolen passports, and swimming and diving related accidents.

Petty crime occurs. Take care of your valuables and other personal possessions.

Edited by Jane Duru
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