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Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Republic of Maldives
Capital City: Male
Language Spoken: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
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3 15 N, 73 00 E
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m
low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise
arable land: 13.33% permanent crops: 30% other: 56.67% (2005)
depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching
The Maldives have a hot tropical climate. There are two monsoons, the southwest from May to October and the northeast from November to April. Generally the southwest brings more wind and rain in June and July. The temperature rarely falls below 25°C (77°F). The best time to visit is November to Easter. Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens throughout the year. Light waterproofs are advised during the rainy season.
time difference: UTC+5
359,008 (July 2006 est.)
0-14 years: 43.4% (male 80,113/female 75,763) 15-64 years: 53.5% (male 98,040/female 94,029) 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 5,477/female 5,586) (2006 est.)
total: 17.9 years male: 17.8 years female: 18 years (2006 est.)
2.78% (2006 est.)
34.81 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
7.06 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
total population: 64.41 years male: 63.08 years female: 65.8 years (2006 est.)
4.9 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Most business takes place during the morning. An informal attitude prevails. Appointments should be made well in advance. For business meetings men normally wear a shirt and tie and a lightweight or tropical suit. Women wear a lightweight suit or equivalent. Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Office hours are generally 0730-1430 Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are official rest days.
Although there is a low rate of crime in Maldives, petty crime does exist. Valuables left on beaches are subject to thievery. Visitors should also now that there are severe penalties for drug offenses.
There are three hotels on Mal? and one on Gan; there are also 43 guesthouses on Mal? and rooms in private homes, although most visitors stay on resort islands. There are over 70 resorts that vary from extravagantly luxurious to fairly simple. Accommodation almost invariably consists of thatch-roofed coral cabanas with in-suite facilities. The rooms are fan-cooled although some have air-conditioning and/or a refrigerator.
Telephone IDD is available. The country code is 960 and the outgoing international code is 00. Fax: Services are available in Mal? and the resorts. Telecommunications in the Maldives are good - telex and telegram services are available to and from anywhere in the world from the Telecommunications Company in Mal?, Dhiraagu and the resorts.
is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round-pin plugs are used, although square-pin plugs are found now and again. Electricity 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round-pin plugs are used, although square-pin plugs are now becoming more common.
Mal?, the capital, has a few simple restaurants which serve local and international food. On the other islands, there are a few restaurants in addition to those run by the resorts. Cuisine is international, with all foodstuffs other than seafood imported. There are no bars, except in the resorts, where there is a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink available, reflecting the demands of the visitors. Things to know: All bars are situated in tourist resorts (no alcohol is available on Mal?). All accept cash, but normally add orders onto the total bill. Locals do not drink at all. During the month of Ramadan (see Public Holidays), visitors are not allowed to drink alcohol in public except in the tourist resorts.
? Seafood is widely available, such as tuna, groupa, octopus, jobfish and swordfish.
? Kavaabu (deep fried snacks made from rice, tuna, coconut, lentils, and spices).
? Curries, such as chicken or beef, are widely available. Curry leaves are added to a lot of Maldavian dishes. National drinks:
? The Maldive Lady (a powerful and delicious cocktail, whose composition varies from bar to bar and island to island).
This is officially discouraged. Note All bars are situated in tourist resorts (no alcohol is available on Mal?). All accept cash, but normally add orders onto the total bill. Locals do not drink at all. During the month of Ramadan (see Public Holidays), visitors are not allowed to drink alcohol in public except in the tourist resorts.
There is little or no organized nightlife, although most resorts have informal discos around the bar areas, sometimes featuring live bands playing either traditional or Western music. Beach parties and barbecues are also popular. On some evenings, many resorts have cultural shows and some show videos.
* Please see passport section below
Passport valid for six months required by all.
1. Tourist visas for 30 days will be issued on arrival only and are free of charge to all visitors in possession of valid travel documents.
Foreign visitors who enter the Maldives must be in possession of return or onward tickets and sufficient funds to cover duration of stay.
Tourist visas can be extended for a minimum of three months for a fee of Rf750 (US$77 ).
Three months to one year.
Visas are issued on arrival at the immigration desk at Maldives International Airport.
(a) Valid passport and travel documents. (b) Fee. (c) Return or onward ticket. (d) Proof of sufficient funds to cover duration of stay (US$30 per person per day) or a confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay.
Visa extensions can be requested on arrival at Maldives International Airport, and will be issued immediately provided nationals are holding valid travel documents.
No Test Required
None if airport tax has been paid before; otherwise, US$12.
22 Nottingham Place, London W1U 5NJ, UK
Tel: (020) 7224 2135.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1700.
The 26 December 2004 tsunami caused damage to a number of islands in the Maldives, including some resort islands. The large majority of resorts are now operating normally.
Travelers should avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings, especially on Mal? Island and the Southern Islands where there was some violence in demonstrations in August 2005.
The threat from terrorism is low, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Petty crime occurs: you should take care of your valuables and other personal possessions.
Possession of illegal drugs carries severe penalties.
Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:
Maldivian Rufiya (MVR) = 100 laari. Notes are in denominations of MVR500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of MVR2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laari.
There are no restrictions on import or export of either local or foreign currencies. An explanation must be provided when carrying large quantities of currencies.
Major currencies can be exchanged at banks, tourist resort islands, hotels and leading shops. Payments in hotels can be made in most hard currencies (particularly US Dollars) in cash, traveller's cheques or credit cards.
Most major island resorts, local and souvenir shops will accept American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa. Arrangements vary from island to island, and it is advisable to check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other facilities which may be available. There are ATMs at a few places on the Capital Island.
These are generally accepted in Sterling and US Dollars. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
|City/Region||City/Area code||Followed by|
|Alif Alif||666||+ 4 digits|
|Alif Dhaalu||668||+ 4 digits|
|Baa||660||+ 4 digits|
|Dhaalu||676||+ 4 digits|
|Faafu||674||+ 4 digits|
|Gaafu Alifu||682||+ 4 digits|
|Gaafu Dhaalu||684||+ 4 digits|
|Gnaviyani||686||+ 4 digits|
|Haa Alif||650||+ 4 digits|
|Haa Dhaalu||652||+ 4 digits|
|Hulumale?||35||+ 4 digits|
|Kaafu||664||+ 4 digits|
|Laamu||680||+ 4 digits|
|Lhaviyani||662||+ 4 digits|
|Male?||34||+ 4 digits|
|Meemu||672||+ 4 digits|
|Noonu||656||+ 4 digits|
|Raa||658||+ 4 digits|
|Seenu||689||+ 4 digits|
|Shaviyani||654||+ 4 digits|
|Thaa||678||+ 4 digits|
|Vaavu||670||+ 4 digits|
|Villingili||39||+ 4 digits|
Basic dental care is available in the main private hospital in Male
Some medication is available in the private clinics
Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in the Maldives
Medical facilities are limited, and some medicine may be unavailable. Doctors and clinics often require immediate cash payment for health services.
Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.
AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.
Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.
Insect-borne illness: Dengue fever - occurs Hemorrhagic fever (Crimean-Congo) - occurs Leishmaniasis (visceral)- prevalent Sandfly fever - prevalent Food-borne and water-borne illness: common throughout the area, in particular cholera and other watery diarrheas, the dysenteries, typhoid fever, viral hepatitis, and helminthic (parasitic worm) infections. Brucellosis - common Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) - common Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year.
AIDS: According to the Department of State, testing is required for long-term visitors. Foreign test results are not accepted. Contact Maldives' embassy for details. Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas.
No recent disease outbreaks
|ADK Hospital||Henveiru, Sosun Magu Male 20-02|
Criticism of the state is limited, and the Government occasionally closes media outlets for this reason. Self-regulation by the media has meant that there has been only isolated official action against journalists.
Press: Local dailies which publish in the Divehi language have some English-language pages and concentrate on local and regional topics. The Maldives News Bulletin is published weekly in English. The other dailies Aafathis Daily News (website: www.aafathisnews.com.mv), Haveeru Daily (website: www.haveeru.com.mv) and Miadhu News (website: www.miadhu.com) have English sections. Information about local events is widely available on all the resort islands.
TV: The Government controls the sole TV service, Television Maldives. Television Maldives (TVM) operates two channels.
Radio: The Government decided in 2005 to allow license applications from would-be private radio broadcasters. The Government controls the state radio station Voice of Maldives. Radio Eke is also state-owned.