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Maldives Travel Information

The Maldive Islands are a huge tourist destination, popular with honeymoon couples, scuba diving fanatics and other beach and sun loving people. Every effort has been made to make each guest to these islands comfortable and safe. Do not take the following tips as warnings, only advice, remember being a knowledgeable traveler is a big step to a successful vacation.

Visa Requirements No prior visa arrangements are required. A tourist visa of 30 days will be given to visitors with valid travel documents, on arrival. Visitors should be in possession of at least US$25 per day to stay in the Maldives. For those coming from yellow fever infected regions, an international certificate of inoculation is required. Visa Requirements
   
Customs Strict laws prohibit the importation of pornographic material, firearms, alcohol and illegal drugs into the country. Exports of coral, shells and other object removed from the marine environment is also prohibited. Customs
   
Tipping is discouraged in the Maldives. Unofficially, if the service is good - and it usually is - it's quite customary to tip room staff and waiters in your resort. US$10 per week is a suitable amount. A few resorts add a 10% service charge, in which case there's no need to tip. Bargaining is limited to tourist shops in and around Singapore Bazaar in Male? and at island village souvenir shops where prices are not fixed. Tipping
   
Climate It’s generally warm and humid. The sun shines all year round generally and the average temperature is around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius. Climate
   

What to wear Nudism is an offence in the Maldives and this includes bare breasts. Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male', the capital island, it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without baring too much and when visiting inhabited islands, thighs and shoulders must be covered by both men and women.

What To Wear
   

Language Dhivehi is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by the Maldivians and every visitor can make himself understood when getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, Italian, French and Japanese.

Language
   

Currency The Maldivian currency is Rufiyas and Laaris. A Rufiya is equal to 100 laarees (coins). The Rufiyaa comes in the following denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. The American Dollar is the most common foreign currency. Payments in the resorts can be made in most hard currencies in cash, traveller's cheques or credit cards. The most commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card.

Currency
   

Health Care facilities are improving on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Male' is the biggest hospital in the country providing sophisticated medical care. ADK Hospital is the biggest private health care facility, and follows high medical standards. Experienced European doctors work at the AMDC Clinic, and some resorts have an in-house doctor. Decompression chambers are within reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency. The Maldives is tropical and generally a healthy environment abounds. Most will be safe here but please get advice from your doctor regarding vaccinations you may require before arrival.

Health Care
   

Local time GMT +5 hours

Business hours From Sunday to Thursday 7:30 - 14:30 in the government sector, and generally from 9:00 to 17:00 in the private sector. Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday

Local Time
   
Communication: Up to date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available on all resorts, and card phone facilities are available on all islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives telecommunications company, an affiliate of the British Cable and Wireless Company, provides mobile telephones for rental on a daily basis. Dhiraagu is also the Internet service provider. Communication
   
Food and Beverages Restaurants, coffee shops and well stocked bars in all resorts provide varied and delicious meals with wide choice of fresh fruit juices, punches, cocktail, wines and spirits. All resorts serve food and beverages to suite demanding palates, be it favourite international dishes and or the fresh and exotic delights of seafood. Many offer a-la-carte services that cover eastern and western flavours. Maldivian short eats served with tea or coffee are popular with most visitors as a snack in between meals while grills and barbecues are much in demand in most resorts. A few resorts have specialised restaurants each for favoured cuisines as European, Indian and Chinese. Food and Beverages
   

Electricity 220-40V, 50 Hz

 
   
When to Go If you're looking for a few extra hours of sunshine then you should visit the Maldives between December and April, which is the dry season. This is the high season, however, and resorts can be fully booked and prices are higher than the rest of the year. The Christmas-New Year period is the busiest and most expensive part of the high season. Between May and November it's still warm, but the skies can be cloudy, humidity is higher and rain is more likely. This is the low season, and there are fewer tourists and prices are lower. The transition months of November and April are said to be associated with increased water clarity and better visibility for divers. When to Go
   
Events and Public Holidays Most holidays are based on the Islamic lunar calendar and the dates vary from year to year. The most important religious event is Ramadan (known locally as rorda mas), the Islamic month of fasting. Other noteworthy events are Kuda Id, the sighting of the new moon (celebrated at the end of Ramadan), and the Prophet's Birthday, which commemorates the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. Fixed holiday dates include: National Day (the day Mohammed Thakurufaan and his men overthrew the Portuguese on Malé in 1573, the first day of the third month of the lunar calendar); Victory Day (victory over Sri Lankan mercenaries who tried to overthrow the Maldivian government on 3 November 1988); and Republic Day (which commemorates the current republic, founded on 11 November 1968). Events and Public Holidays
   
Alcohol and Drugs Maldivians, being Muslims, are prohibited by law from consuming alcohol, hence there is a strict restriction on the alcohol available in inhabited islands. Foreigners who reside in Maldives can have a private supply arranged by an authorised licensing procedure. All tourist resorts and hotels, as well cruise ships and yachts have alcohol for consumption for guests. The Maldives is amongst one of the toughest countries in dealing with drugs. Lengthy jail sentences are normal if found in possession or whilst using them, even with a marijuana joint. Please do not try to import any form of drug into Maldives. Also, please do not use drugs even if offered whilst here, it is not worth the risk. Alcohol and Drugs
   
Culture A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world travelling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with hand beating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries. As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women - for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view - are not tenets of life here. In fact women play a major role in society - not surprising considering the fact men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around us. Maldives Culture

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