Capital: Male
Population: Maldives has a population of nearly 270,000. Quater of this population lives in the capital Malé. Other large populations are in Hithadhoo in Addu Atoll with 9,640 inhabitants, Fuamulah and Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll with population of 7,243 and 6,354 respectively.
Languages: Maldives main language is Dhivehi, but English is spoken widely all across Maldives and tourists can make themselves easily understood.
Time: GMT + 5 hours
Currency: + The approximate exchange is One US dollar equals to 11.82 MRf. US dollar is the most commonly used foreign currency, medical standards. Some resorts have in-house doctors. A decompression chamber is within easy reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency.
Religion: Islam is the main religion in Maldives. The main events and festivals in Maldives follow the Muslim Calender.
Electricity: The electric system is 230-240 Volts -AC


Climate

Maldives has a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round. There is sunshine throughout the year and little variations in daily temperatures. The hottest month on average is april and December being the coolest month. The average temperature of the region lies around 29-32°C. The weather in Maldives is mainly determined by the monsoons. January to April are relatively dry months, whereas May and October are on average the wettest months.

Visa

Entry Requirements

If you are a British tourist, you are eligible to obtain a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival in Maldives, provided you hold a valid ticket to continue your journey out of Maldives and have enough funds to cover your stay. Staying longer than 30 days without the proper authority is an offence.

Those intending to work in Maldives require a work permit in advance of arrival. A security deposit must also be paid to the Ministry of Finance, current rates can be found here.

For further information and advice on entry requirements you should contact the High Commission of the Republic of Maldives in the UK or the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Maldives.

Local laws and customs

Maldives has very strong anti-drug laws. Importation or possession of drugs in Maldives can carry severe penalties, including life imprisonment.

Local laws reflect the fact that Maldives is a Muslim country and serious violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

It is an offence to import into Maldives: explosives, weapons, firearms and ammunition; pornographic material; materials deemed contrary to Islam, including “idols for worship” and bibles; pork and pork products; and alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are only available on resort islands and should not be taken off a resort. The export of tortoise shell and coral is forbidden.

Dress is generally informal but you should be sensitive to local dress standards when visiting inhabited islands. Nudism and topless sunbathing are prohibited throughout Maldives including on resort islands.

Same sex relations are illegal and convicted offenders could face lengthy prison sentences and fines. Mariners in possession of firearms must surrender them to the local authorities. Any unregistered firearms will not be returned to the owner.

Things to do

Scuba diving: All resorts in Maldives caters for scuba divers. The diving schools are all well equipped and there are equipments for hire. For learners the resorts offer a variety of dive courses which are conducted in several languages.

Snorkelling: Snorkelling provides the visitors to explore the underwater world over the shallow reefs of the island. The snorkelling equipment is available at all resorts.

Surfing: For surfing it is advisable to choose one of the resorts on the eastern side of North Malé Atoll. Period from May to October is often wet and is the best period for surfing.

Fishing: Fishing is a popular pastime among locals and one of the most popular fishing is night fishing in which the boat leaves the island and anchors at the reef before the sunset. There is also Morning fishing which involves trolling usually outside the atoll along the reef. Mostly all resorts plan night fishing but morning fishing has to be organised on request.

Food

Maldives mainly comprises of sea therefore the most prominent element if Maldivian food is fish mostly tuna. Maldivian cuisine includes Arabic, Indian, Sri Lanka and Oriental tastes.