Travel Guide

Maldives country profile

Maldives country profile

The Maldives is an archipelago of more than a thousand coral island grouped in 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. Located along major international shipping routes. The economy is mainly on tourism and the islands have been developed for the top end of the tourist market.


The National Flag

The national flag is a green rectangle with a white crescent in the centre surrounded by a red border. The green rectangle denotes life, progress and prosperity. The crescent represents the Islamic faith of the country and the red border, the sacrifices made by national heroes in their fight for independence and national sovereignty. 


Full name

Republic of Maldives


Area

298 sq km (1,192 Islands)


Archipelago

Length: 823 km, Width: 130 km


No. of naturally formed atolls

26


No. of administrative atolls

20


Largest atoll

Huvadhu atoll (Gaafu Alifu and Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll)


Smallest atoll

Gnaviyani atoll


Capital

Male’ city (1.77 sq km)


Main cities

Male’, Addu, Fuvammulah and Kulhudhuffushi


Administrative provinces

  1. Upper North Province (Haa Alif Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll and Shaviyani Atoll)
  2. North Province (Noonu Atoll, Raa Atoll, Baa Atoll and Lhaviyani Atoll)
  3. North Central Province (Kaafu Atoll (North and South Male' Atoll) Alif Alifu Atoll (North Ari Atoll), Alif Dhaalu (South Ari Atoll) and Vaavu Atoll)
  4. Central Province (Meemu Atoll, Faafu Atoll and Dhaalu Atoll)
  5. South Central Province (Thaa Atoll and Laamu Atoll)
  6. Upper South Province (Gaafu Alif Atoll and Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll)
  7. South Province (Gnaviyani Atoll (Fuvahmulah) and Addu Atoll)


National Emblem

The coconut palm on the national emblem represents the livelihood of the nation and the crescent and star supported by two national flags signify the Islamic faith and of the State and its authority. The traditional title of the State reads Ad-Dawlat Ul-Mahaldeebiyya meaning the State of the Maldives.


Population

436,330 (2017 estimate)


Religion

Islam


Language

Dhivehi is the national language. English is widely spoken in business sectors.


Literacy rate

98.2%


Life expectancy

76 years (men), 79 years (women)


Gross National Income (GNI) per capita

US $9,310 (2018 estimate)


Internet domain

.mv


International dialling code

+960


National flower

Finifenmaa or Pink rose (Rosa polyantha)


National tree

Dhivehi ruh or Coconut palm


Time difference

The Maldives is 5 hours ahead of GMT. Some resorts set clocks to their own time.


Weather

The Maldives has a tropical climate with warm temperatures and a great deal of sunshine throughout the year. The weather in the Maldives is largely determined by the monsoons; the south-west monsoon form May to November and the north-east monsoon from December to April. While the south-west monsoon brings rain, stronger winds and often cloudy skies, the north-east brings the driest periods and calm seas with clear blue skies.


Temperature

30.4 C (Mean Max)

25.4 C (Mean Min)


Airports

Main Airport, located in the centre of the Maldives, is the Velana International (Male') Airport on Hulhule island, two kilo meters from capital Male'. Other International Airports include, Gan International Airport at south end of the Maldives, Hanimaadhoo International Airport at Northern part of the Maldives and Maafaru International Airport at north of the Maldives. There are 10 more domestic airports in the country. 


Currency

The currency of the Maldives is the Rufiya, which is equivalent to a 100 Laari. The Rufiya is presented in the following denominations;

Rufiyaa: 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 

coins 2, 1, Laari: 50, 25, 10, 5, 1. The Maldivian currency has gone through several changes over the centuries.

US$ is the main currency used in the resorts. However all major currencies are accepted. 


Credit cards

All major credit cards are accepted at resorts, and in big shops and restaurants in Male’.


Maldivian Souvenirs

There is a wide variety of souvenirs available in the souvenir shops dotting in the main shopping area of Male’, the resort souvenir shops and the shops on inhabited islands that you may get the chance to visit on island hopping or other excursions.

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