MALDIVES > FACTS ABOUT THE VISITORS
Hulule Airport is the Maldives' prominent access to outside world. It was formerly
an airstrip is an island which looks more like an aircraft carrier from the
air that has set into a modern international airport. Passengers can enjoy the
sightseeing flight while brought to the far-flung resorts by the helicopter
and seaplane services, while the internal flights to northern and southern atolls
also operate from Hulule There is an airport restaurant serving simple meals
and snacks in the airport, while the money changing facilities are also provided.
Hulule's rate reasonably well in comparison with the region's other airports.
Each resort makes its own arrangement as no regular ferry services to the resorts.
A ferry service goes to and from Male', with frequencies dependent on order.
The fares are varies, a sharing dhoni may require only a few Rufiyaa, while
several dollars needed for a speedboat. Departure formalities are more lenient,
while a number of duty free shops offer a wide range of items. The airport can
seem deserted just minutes after departure of the flight, since the airline
Counters are only open and operated during flight times.
Your flight to the Maldives will land on Hulhule island. From the air, this
island looks more like an aircraft carrier with the only runway which begins
and ends in the water. This unique landing will be your first Maldivian memorabilia,
as you will not find such runway elsewhere on the earth. The Hulhule island
is just over a kilometer from Male, which factually too small to have an airport,
despite it status as the capital island of the Maldives. For several years the
island of Hulhule serves as the holiday destination for the Sultans - kings
who ruled before the country changed into a Republic in the early 1950s.
The weather in Maldives is considerably sunny as the temperature measured between
28-31 degrees of Celcius. Please apply skin lotions on your body to avoid the
bad impact of ultra-violet rays within continuous sunlight exposure
Transport from Hulhule, to your next stop is mainly by 'dhoni' or Maldivian
ferries which usually could accommodate about 30-40 people and take about 10
-15 minutes to reach Male'. You could possibly bargain a fare with the Captain
of the dhoni, known as 'Falhuveriyaa'. It is economically cheaper to join with
other tourists to form a group and share the dhoni fare.
Visitors can also choose the faster transportation by speed boats which can
accommodate 5-7 people, and will only takes about 5 minutes to reach Male'.
For further destination, a helicopter transport is available. The spectacular
trip will display you the incredibly impressive scenery of endless waters with
large spectrum of colours, which range from the deep blue seas to the light
green lagoons. Transport by helicopter is expensive but indeed worth the price
During the busy tourist season (December to March), it is advised that all visitors
have confirmed hotel reservations before arrival. However, for the convenience
of visitors without advance bookings, the Ministry of Tourism has set up a Tourist
Information Counter at the arrival hall through which a booking may be made.
Hotel information is also required for immigration clearance.
There are several places of interests in the Maldives. Tourists can visit the
Friday Mosque or Hukuru Misikiy set within a short distance away from the presidential
residence. The mosque dates built on 1656 and contains woodcarvings presenting
explanations of the adaptation of the Maldives to Islam. The adjoining courtyard
dwells the tombstones of past leaders. The drum shaped Munnaaru, built in 1675,
towers over the capital convening the devout to prayers five times a day. Thousand
devotees flock at this mosque to save prayers on Fridays. When prayer time is
over, the people might make their way to the seafront's busy Marine Drive which
its diversity clearly embodies the distinction of life in Male. Visitors can
also enjoy the busy activity in late afternoon or early morning at the fish
market or drop in local stores which sell varied stuffs. Having a relax time
in the cafe overlooks the ever-changing dazzling waters of the harbour will
bring you to other peaceful side of the country.
No prior visa arrangements are required, but some requirements must be fulfilled
to obtain a 30 days tourist visa. A visitor must own a valid travel documents
and properly completed embarkation/disembarkation cards which usually provided
at during the inward flight. Beside that, visitors must also have a Return Air
Ticket or at least US$ 50.00 per intended day of stay in Maldives. Any amount
of Foreign currency can be brought in without declaring and can be taken out
without any restriction.
A valid certificate against Yellow fever is required for visitors entering Maldives
from Yellow Fever-infected areas. Yet, immunization against Cholera is not required.
Some health authorities suggest visitors to take the preventive medication against
malaria, even that the malaria case is tremendously rare.
The art of doing nothing once applied to entrance requirements in the Maldives,
when it was one of the few places in the world that did not stamp passports
on arrival or departure. Today, entering the Maldives, tourists require a valid
passport, adequate funds to support their expenses during their stay, and an
onward or return ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase a ticket.
If they meet the entrance requirements, visitors get a 30-day visa on arrival.
A landing card must be filled, but photographs are not required. On a case-by-case
basis if required, an extension of stay will be established. Application needs
to be made to the Immigration Department before the first visa expired
Some items are forbidden to be imported to the country, in which a legal permission
is required. The forbidden items including firearms and explosives; Pornography
of any kind, including what would be considered "acceptable erotica"
in all western (and most eastern) societies, pork and all products containing
pork, narcotic drugs, poisons and hazardous, irritable or industrial chemicals;
Alcohol - items purchased on the trip will be held in Customs bond for collection
NOTE that all resorts in the Maldives have permits which allow the controlled
import of alcohol and pork, so visitors who need either need not worry. Items
exceeding a total value of USD200 needs to be declared, and import duties will
have to be paid on items which are not taken back by the visitor. For any other
information please consult the Customs Officer.
However, visitors need not to worry whatsoever, since all resorts in the Maldives
have permits allowing the controlled import of alcohol and pork. Items with
value exceeding US$ 200 needs to be affirmed, and import duties of items that
are not taken back by the visitors must be paid. More information on Formalities,
please consult the Customs Officer
The export of controlled items such as ambergris requires a special permit
and payment of export duties. Airport departure service charge US $15 per passenger
(These taxes are subject to change)
WHAT TO WEAR
Though that most of the larger resorts would prefer guests to dress appropriately
smart casual when visiting bar or restaurants, especially at evening, in general
the dress code in Maldives is definitely informal. Due to the relaxed pace of
life, light cotton clothes and casual shoes or sandals are the most comfortable
year-round attire. A wide brimmed beach hat and sunglasses are recommended for
those who tan or burn easily. However, some modesty and decorum is highly appreciated
in Male' and other Islamic islands. Removing footwear when entering mosques
is a must. Generally, casual dresses, such as: T-shirts and cotton clothing
are most suitable, while in the inhabited islands, it is suggested that women
wear modest clothing without baring too much.
In Male', visitors can get some information from the Ministry of Tourism or
the Ministry of Information, but there is little at these locations that cannot
be found in a good guide book. Yet, for those interested, there are some publications
which mainly free providing some details of the Maldivian economy, health and
Telecommunication has rapidly developed within this decade. The cutting edge
technology and international satellite links bring a sophisticated communications
system to Maldives. Dhiraagu, the Maldives telecommunications company in Male,
an associate of the British Cable and Wireless Company provides the 24 hours
International Direct Dialing telephone and telegraphic services. All resorts
have IDD facilities, even though only a few of the larger ones have telephones
in the room.
The General Post Office operates various postal facilities, such as selling
stamps, mail courier as well as other premium services. Mail delivery vary from
weekly to fortnightly depends on the destination and the flight frequency. Mail
delivery to the remote islands faces vast difficulties, but various efforts
taken to overcome them. Long before the tourism arose in the islands, Maldives
has been famous for its fabulous stamps, which was the major income for the
country. Up till now, the Maldives' post office maintains the worldwide network
to philatelists around the globe. A set of Maldives stamps is a colourful and
memorable souvenir to take home.
There are two local daily newspapers published in Divehi. Both papers include
one or two pages in English, with the concerned much on regional matters. Several
local periodicals are also published, mainly in Divehi. Some resorts provide
international dailies such as the Herald Tribune and weeklies such as Time and
Newsweek. These are also available in Male'. The Government radio and television
stations broadcast regular news and entertainment programs, which do not normally
run for 24 hours except on special occasions. Yet, most resorts have now set
up satellite television receivers for screening CNN and regional relays.
Foreign parties tend to film features, documentaries and advertisements in the
Maldives require a special permission from the Maldives Ministry of Information.
More information on application for permission, please contact:
Ministry of Information, Arts and Culture
Tel: (960) 323838
Fax: (960) 326211
Maldives is 5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). When it is 1200 (noon)
in the Maldives, the time in some other places are as presented below, refers
to GMT. In summer, allow for Daylight Saving Time (GMT+1 hour).
07.00 in London
08.00 in Paris, Rome, Geneva, Madrid and Bonn
10.00 in Athens, Cairo, Lusaka and Johannesburg
11.00 in Moscow
12.00 in Karachi
12.30 in Colombo, Bombay and Delhi
14.00 in Bangkok
15.00 in Singapore
16.00 in Tokyo
17.00 hrs. in Sydney
23.00 hrs. (previous day) in San Francisco
02.00 hrs. in New York
Due to the Maldives' law, it is forbidden to import some controlled items into
the country. All addictive drugs is prohibited to be imported, in which the
penalty for importing of such drugs is severe, usually life imprisonment.
Spear Gun, Harpoons, or Hazardous Chemicals, as well as all types of Poison
and Acids are banned. In addition, it is illegal to import Dangerous Animals,
such as Dogs, Pigs/Pork , as well as products made out of Endangered Species.
Meanwhile it is advised not to purchase Liquor on the Flight to Maldives, due
to the restriction in liquor import. If liquor is imported without an official
license it should be declared at the customs and will be returned to you on
departure. However, liquor and Pork products are available at the Resort Hotel
Other prohibited items include the Pornographic materials in any form, Private
Jet, and Private Yacht. For private jets to fly into or over the territory of
the Republic of Maldives it is necessary to apply permission to the Director
of Civil Aviation, not less than 72 hours in advance of the intended landing
or over flight. For more information you may contact:
Department of Civil Aviation
Tel: (960) 322406
Fax: (960) 323089
A special clearance permission will be established from the Customs upon a
notification of 3 days prior to arrival. Once the customs are notified, all
clearances from Maldives Port Health and Department of Immigration & Emigration
will be taken care.
For more information you may contact:
Tel: (960) 323413
Fax: (960) 322633
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)
Major Industries: Tourism, Fishing and Shipping
Major Exports: Tuna and Reef fish
Major Imports: Consumer goods, capital goods and petroleum
National Symbols: The National Emblem
The 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)
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
Currency: Rufiyaa(Notes) and Laari (Coins)
Exchange rate: MRF 12.:72 per US$
Official Weekly Holidays: Friday and Saturday
Business Hours: Government offices: 0730 - 1430 Banks: 0800 - 1330
Airports: International: 1 (Male' International Airport, located in the island
Average Temperatures: 30.7 degrees Celsius (Max)
25.7 degrees Celsius (Min)
Average Rainfall: 1868.9 mm
Electricity: 240 Volts, 50 Hz
Television Channels: 2 (TVM and TVM Plus, in Male')
Radio Stations: 2 (broadcasting on 1449 kHz MW and 104 MHz FM)