Deutsch
Visit Us:

 

The Maldives

Approx. 1'200 islands, of which a few are merely large sandbanks, divided into 19 atolls form the Republic of the Maldives. Of all these many islands only 250 are inhabited, and the total population just surpasses 250'000 people. The capital Malé situated at the end of the North Male Atoll has a population of about 35'000 people.

The tourists occupy their own resort islands, separated from the local population. Personal contacts with the Maldivians, who are rather reserved, is quite  difficult.  Until today 70 Resort Islands for the tourists have been developed. - We have selected for you a number of resorts which we would like to present to you.

The Maldives are not only a dream destination for Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and Wind surfing. Just to bathe in clear blue waters on a beach with coarse coral white sand is a sensation. - It is also the perfect retreat for those wishing to get away from it all and enjoy a totally relaxed and unsophisticated way of life and just lazing under a palm tree.

Historical Summary

It is assumed that the Maldives have been formed about 100'000 years ago when once sunken masses of land through tremendous geological movements were lifted just under or above the sea level. In the decades that followed the corals have made their contribution to the formation of the Maldives of today.

The first immigrants should have come, as in Sri Lanka, from South India. In the 5th Century a second wave of immigration took place, when tribes of Aryan descent from North India invaded the Maldives. Regular contacts with the outside world only took place when in the year 947 the first Arab merchants arrived. As a result the Maldives became an important trade centre for pearls, spices, copra, and dry fish.

At the end of the 16th Century the Portuguese tried to take up their position on the Maldives, thanks to foreign support the Maldivians were able to chase the Portuguese away. By the middle of the 18th Century the French established themselves on the Maldives, but as a result of the turmoil of the French Revolution that influence got lost.

In 1887 an English fleet landed in Male. A treaty was signed with the ruling sultan who could keep his position but had to grant to the British a yearly payment of tribute and the island of Gan in the south of the Maldives. In 1968 the Islamic Republic was proclaimed.

Travel Advisories

Beach & Sea

The house reefs around the islands bring about a very calm sea ideal for snorkelling and swimming. Due to the corals, bathing shoes are recommended. You do not have to be a diver to enjoy the many wonders of the tropical sea, while snorkelling you can also experience the underwater world. If you do not take along masks, snorkels, and flippers, they can be rented on the islands for about US $ 7.00 per day.

Nudism and topless are not permitted on the Maldives and offenders will be fined, the same goes for harpooning fish and destroying corals.

Climate

Due to its proximity to the equator the Maldives experience an average humidity of about 80 percent during the whole year and practically the same air (29° C.) and water (28° C.) temperatures. The Southwest monsoon from May to November brings relatively wet air masses, where as the Northeast monsoon from December till April bestows dry weather to the Maldives.

Currency

The local currency is the Mal. Rufiyaa. As per law the prices in all tourist resorts and hotels have to be quoted in US dollars and paid by foreign visitors in foreign currency. All major credit cards are accepted at major hotels and resorts, however most of the resorts will add a surcharge up to 6 percent for payments with credit cards. Exchange rate: 1 US $ = ca. 13 RF.

Electricity

The Maldives uses 220-240 volts, alternating current. The outlets are tree-pronged. All the resorts have their own generator(s).

Embarkation Tax

Upon departure at the airport an embarkation tax of US $ 10.00 per person will be levied.

Entertainment

For people who are looking for entertainment and nightlife the Maldives are not the ideal destination to spend their holidays. In the evening after dinner one spends an hour or so coazily at the resort bar or sits on the beach under the sparkling stars.

Excursions

Excursions are regularly organised to the neighbouring islands and also to Male. Very popular is the night fishing followed by a barbecue on the beach.

Import Restrictions

Please note that the importation of products from pork meet, alcohol, pornographic material, weapons, narcotics, and objects of a religious character are prohibited. The Maldives have a very severe narcotic law.

Language

The local language is called Dhivehi. On all the resort islands English is spoken.

Sports

On all the islands in our programme there are dive bases operating on their own. The instructors are mostly Germans or Swiss with a wide experience of diving. On offer are courses for beginners, advanced divers as well as excursions for experienced scuba divers. The minimum age at all the dive bases is 14 years. The prices include complete diving equipment. On the resort islands wind surfing boards and sailing boats can also be rented and occasionally also instructors are available.

Visa Regulations & Vaccination

As a rule visitors to the Maldives do not need an entry visa for a stay of up to four weeks, however the passport has to be valid for a least six months exceeding the date of leaving the Maldives. A vaccination certificate is only required for visitors arriving from cholera, yellow fever or malaria infested countries.

What to wear

T-shirts, light cotton dresses of the drip-try, wash-and-wear variety, shorts, light-weight suits are the most comfortable year round attire. In addition swimming gear and a light pullover. Sun glasses and a wide brimmed beach hat as well as enough sun cream with a high protection factor should not be missing in your luggage.


Fact sheet

 

Official Name:
Republic of Maldives
Commonly Name:
The Maldives
Location:
Indian Ocean
Area:
90,000 km ( of which about 10% is only land)
Number of islands:
1190 (approx.)
Population:
270,101 (census 2000)
Capital:
Male
Major Industries:
Tourism, Fishing and Shipping
Major Exports:
Tuna and Reef fish
Major Imports:
Consumer goods, capital goods and petroleum
National Symbols:
The National EmblemThe National Emblem comprises a Coconut Palm, a Crescent and Star, two National Flags and the traditional Title of the State.The National Flag The National Flag comprises a green rectangle with a red border and a white Crescent in the centre.
National Tree:
Coconut Palm
National Flower:
The pink rose
Official Language:
Dhivehi
Second Language:
English
Religion:
Islam (100% Sunni Muslim)
Government:
Democratic
Justice System:
The constitution of The Maldives which is based on Islamic Sharia
Head of State:
The President
Head of Government:
The President
Independence day:
26th July
Republic day:
11th November
Time difference:
+5hrs GMT
Exchange rate:
Rufiyaa(Notes) and Laari (Coins)
MRF 12.:72 per US$
MRF 12.:72 per US$
Holidays:
Friday and Saturday
Business Hours:
Government offices: 0730 1430        Banks: 0830 1330
Airports:
International:1 (Male' International Airport, located in the island of Hulhule) Domestic:4
Seaports:
1
Climate:
Tropical
Average Temperatures:
30.7 degrees Celsius (Max), 25.7 degrees Celsius (Min)
Average Rainfall:
1868.9 mm
Electricity:
240 Volts, 50 Hz
Radio Stations:
2 (TVM and TVM Plus, in Male'),  2 (broadcasting on 1449 kHz MW and 104 MHz FM)