Maldivian Standard Time: Central European Time + 4 hours (Central European Summer Time + 3 hours)
Island Time: a few of the islands have their ‘own’ time e.g. Soneva Fushi, Alimatha, Kanifinolhu, Banyan Tree, Kuda Huraa, Komandoo, Kuredu, Maayafushi, Reethi Beach, Reethi Rah und Velavaru. (Male-Time + 1 hour).
‘Maldivian Time’ a familiar quotation for lateness which can happen at any time due to the peaceful style of life.
Maldivian Rufiyaa (MRF) and 100 Laaris are equivalent to 1 Rufiyaa.
Approximate exchange rate 1 US$ = 12,75 MRF.
There are banknotes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 Rufiyaa.
There are coins of 1 and 2 Rufiyaa – also 50, 20, 10, 5 , 2 and 1 Laari.
Import and export of the country’s currency is forbidden. There is no limit for foreign currency.
However the US$ is the ‘secret currency’ of the Maldives but it is rarely a problem to change Euros or Swiss francs.
In Male and on the local islands both US$ and MRF are accepted. It is a principle that hotel bills are made out in US$.
Credit cards and travellers cheques are accepted on all resorts and the big shops on Halule and Male. As a rule credit cards from the following institutions: American Express, Diners Club, EuroCard, JCB, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
On arrival, passports must be valid for at least a further 6 months.
Generally ( especially Europe) It is not necessary to aquire a visa before travelling.
A tourist visa (distributed at the airport) combined with valid travel documents and passport, entitles a length of stay up to 30 days.
In theory, on arrival, each tourist must have at his/her disposal US$ 25 for each day of his/her stay – this is hardly checked upon these days since credit cards exist.
Arriving from ountries where yellow fever occurs, an international vaccination certificate is required.
Most hotels and resorts add ‘Service Charge’ of 10% to the bill. This money is divided equally between the employees.
Naturally an extra tip helps in every situation….. the following amounts have become customary
Porter 1 US$ per bag
Waiter 5 US$ per week/person
Roomboys 5 US$ per week/person
Boat crew 1 US$ per transfer e.g. airport
All resorts have their own generator. Voltage is 220V.
The power points have a 3-hole socket the top middle hole does not provide power but has a locking device (which for example can be released with a ballpoint pen).
The Roomboys can usually provide adaptors.
100% Sunnite Moslems.
The Maldives are the only State in the world consisting of a 100% Moslem population.
The Islam is the national religion since 1153 (earlier Buddhism).
- Q?Postale-Services and Telephone
Letters(MRF 15) and postcards (MRF 10) to Europe can take between 6 and 12 days to arrive. Don’t forget to note ‘AIR MAIL’
The telephone costs to Europe are expensive. It is recommended to make enquiries before using the phone.
Many of the foreign mobile phones function on the Maldives. More information is available under www.dhiraagu.com.mv and www.wataniya.mv
Independant Republic since 26.07.1965.
Democratic election of parliament (Madschlis) which has 48 members.
The president is voted directly every 5 years. The present head of state is President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (born 29.12.1939). He was first elected in 1978 and his position reconfirmed in 1998.
The law system on the Maldives is based on Islamic law and has similarities to the English ‘common law’ (mainly in trading rights).
Size: ca.1,8 sq.km. ( at present land is being claimed artificially to enlarge Male).
Inhabitants in the capital Male: 72’000 (1998)
Shops in the capital open mornings between 07.30 and 09.30 and some do not close until 23.00 at night. On Fridays the shops do not open until 13.30.
Banks work daily from 08.00 until 13.30 and are closed Friday and Saturday.
Government offices work daily from 08.00 until 14.30 and are closed Friday and Saturday.
Business offices mostly open between 08.00 and 10.00 ‘lunch hour lasts ca. 1 hour’ and they close between 18.00 and 19.00. Friday is closing day.
Taxis in Male charge a flat rate from MRF 15 (US$ 1,5) when the taxi is stopped on the street or MRF 10 (US$ 1), if the taxi is called by phone.
The Dhoni-transfer to Hulule (airport) costs MRF 10 (US$ 1) per person.
In Male it is strictly forbidden to film and photograph all military establishments, coastguard boats, persons in uniform and inside the ‘New Friday Mosque’.
At present vaccinations are not compulsory. The Maldives have been free of malaria for years. It is, however, recommended to make enquiries regarding the actual situation (your doctor).
The Maldives are made up of coral islands grouped in 19 atolls.
Location: along the 73rd meridian in the Indian Ocean west of India i.e.Sri Lanka.
Position: Latitude: 07° 06 30 N to 00° 41 48 S and longitude: 72° 32 30 to 73° 45 54
Extent: Length ca.750kms (from north to south) width ca.120kms (from west to east).
Expanse: 1,190 mostly uninhabited islands with an overall area of ca.298 sq.km.
Sea expanse: ca. 107,400 sq.km.
Distance: Shortest distance to India: ca.340kms and to Sri Lanka ca.700kms.
- Q?Flight Transfer
Transfers, to most tourist Resorts are made by seaplanes since 1999. Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) and Maldivian-Air-Taxi, are the two operators. (The Resorts close to the airport, use speed boats)
The baggage limit by seaplane differs from the international flight baggage allowance 20kg per person including hand baggage!! Each additional kilo costs US$ 2. (Some Resorts do take charge of excess!)
Trips, short scenic flights and aerial photography flights are available, by the two sea plane companies.
The national airline “Island Aviation” flies to Gan,Hanimaadhoo, Kaadhedhdhoo and Kadhdhoo.
The Maldives are a strict Islamic country with 100% Moslem population and does not allow nudism, nor “topless”.
Breaches of the law will be heavily fined.
253,298 Inhabitants (census 1995)
260,000 Inhabitants (official estimate 1997)
Inhabitants in the capital Male: 63,000 (1995)
approx. 850 people per sq.km.
Population growth: 3,8% per year
Divehi is both the official language and the language of the country, a special form of the Singhalese language or Elu.
The trading language is English.
The written language is Thaana, similar to the Arabic writing.
Ethnically the population is a mixture of Singhalese, Arabs and a small Afro influence.
Birth rate: 30 per 1000 inhabitants (1994)
Child mortality: 30 per 1000 births (1994)
Death rate: 5 per 1000 inhabitants (1994)
Average age: 15,2 81994) (Not a misprint!)
Life expectancy: 69,12 years (1994)
Literacy skills: 98% (1994 age group 10 – 49 years old)
It is forbidden to import alcohol to the Maldives (refer Alcohol) and pork meat in any form!
Pornography is also strictly forbidden, what in Europe would be considered “normal” a front cover picture (topless) could be defined as “pornography” by customs officers.
Fire arms of all kinds and harpoons.
Videotapes will be retained for inspection by the customs (this procedure can last as long as 4 weeks).
Therefore take only tapes in their original SEALED condition.
The import of essential medication requires a doctor’s certificate.
Import of the country’s currency (Rufiyaa) is forbidden. There are no restrictions for foreign currency. Items of value which surmount 150.000 MRf , must be declared on entering the country.
The Maldives is one of the countries with extreme strict anti-drug laws.
Long term imprisonment is normal for the slightest quantity of drugs – even for a joint.
- Q?Embassies / Consulates
There is neither embassy nor consulate on the Maldives for Germany, Austria or Switzerland. The nearest representative for these countries is in Colombo / Sri Lanka.
Embassy of Italy in Sri Lanka
55, Jawatta Road
Colombo 5 – 00500 / Sri Lanka
Tel. 00941 588 388
British high Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka
190 Galle Road Colombo – 3
Colombo / Sri Lanka
Tel. + 94 11 2430308
7, Upper Chatham Street
Tel.0094 1 29403
Open weekdays 09.00 – 13.30
Embassy of France in Colombo, Sri Lanka
No. 40, Alfred House Avenue
Colombo-03 / Sri Lanka
Tel. 94 1 580431
Embassy of Japan in Colombo
Sri LankaNo. 20 Gregory’s Road
Colombo 7 / Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
(P.O. Box 822 Colombo)
Tel. : +94-11-2693831
40, Alfred House Ave.
Tel.0094 1 580 431 (432,433 & 434
Open weekdays 09.00 – 12.30
1 Park Drive
Tel.0094 1 84890
Open weekdays 09.00 – 13.30
U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka
210, Galle Road
Colombo 3 / Sri Lanka
Tel. +94 (11) 244-9070
These days when leaving the country, the customs officers check baggage thoroughly for corals, shells and other “souvenirs” from the sea! The general rule is: NOTHING is to be removed from the sea, dead or alive!!
Unfortunately there are still shops in Male where one can buy turtle shells, black corals and shark teeth besides numerous other kinds of shells. It is forbidden to export these articles as well.
In any case it should be quite clear to each and every tourist, even without import and export bans, that such souvenirs would be “looting” nature.
It is prohibited to take the currency (Rufiyaa) out of the country.
On the Maldives alcohol consumption is totally forbidden to the local inhabitants. (100% Moslems) Tourist Resorts, hotels, cruise boats and many safari boats have exceptions (alcohol licenses) for foreign guests. Nevertheless, even tourists are FORBIDDEN to import alcohol!
- Q?Ärztliche Versorgung
In Male selbst gibt es 2 Krankenhäuser und die einzige zahnärztliche Versorgung auf den Malediven.
Weitere ‘Kliniken’ gibt es auf verschiedenen Einheimischen-Inseln sowie auf der Touristeninsel Bandos (mit Dekompressionskammer).
Medikamente sind nur in Male erhältlich und dies auch nur in begrenzter Auswahl – die Versorgung mit Standard-Medikamenten ist sehr gut.
Tauchbasen haben meist einen kleinen ‘gesammelten’ Vorrat von gängigen Medikamenten.
Verschiedene Toristenresorts sowie einige Einheimischen-Inseln verfügen über ‘ärztliche Stationen’.
Zwischen den Malediven und Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz bestehen keine ‘Gesundheitabkommen’.
Es ist daher empfehlenswert, eine Auslandskrankenversicherung abzuschliessen, die den medizienisch
notwendigen Rücktransport mit einschliesst.
Taucher sollten zusätzlich eine DAN-Versicherung abschliessen (wird auch auf vielen Inseln angeboten – Kosten ca. 10 US$ für 21 Tage).