Tips & Facts
through April being the peak season, reservations for stay
must be made well in advance. From May to October the demand
and costs for acconommodation are comparatively lower. In
June and July, the Maldives experiences regular showers with
monsoons bringing in more wind and rain.
Customs: Handshaking is the most common
form of greeting. Dress is informal. Light cotton clothes
Nudity is forbidden. Swimsuits and beachwear are to be confined
to resort islands. When visiting an inhabited island or the
capital, shorts and T-shirts for men, and blouse or T-shirts
with skirts or shorts that cover the things, made of non-diaphanous
material, for women, are a minimum requirement.
basic monetary unit in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa
(MRf). They come
in denominations of 500,100,
50,20,10,5,2 (notes and coins) and 1 (coins only). A Rufiyaa
is 100 larees, coming in coins of 50,25,10,5,2 and 1. In
the early days cowry shells were used instead of money. Coins,
minted in silver, were introduce for the first time in the
late 16th century under the rule of Sultan Al-Ghazee Mohammed
Tthakurufaanu. The present currency was introduced on October
7, 1983. There are no restrictions on import or export of
currencies. Major foreign currencies are converted to Rufiyaa
at banks, resort islands, hotels and prominent shops. Hotel
bills can be paid in cash, travelers’ cheques or credit
cards. Credit cards most commonly used are American Express,
Diners Club, Eurocard, JBC, MasterCard and Visa.
Regulations: It is prohibited by law to import the following items into
literature or pictures; narcotics; firearms; idols of worship;
dogs; live pigs, pork or any porcine product; dangerous animals
and exobiological material; dangerous chemicals; fog signals
and fireworks; and spear/dart guns. With the government imposing
a ban on the killing of turtles, export of tortoise shell
and coral is forbidden.
Shopping: Male’ is the ideal
place for shopping considering the choice of items available.
minimum duty on most
of the items, price in Male’ have become competitive.
Best buys include handicrafts like reed mats and lacquered
wooden boxes, electronic items and souvenirs like coral rings
and sea shells. Goods ranging from hi-fi stereo systems and
cameras to watches and cosmetics can be purchased from well-stocked
duty free shops at the Departure Terminal of Male’ International
Airport. In the capital, the STO Trade Center with its many
shops is one place where you can find a variety of items.
Shops pull down their shutters for about 10 to 15 minutes,
five times every day, for prayers. Most shops on resort islands
are open throughout the day and close at dusk. Maldives is
a very safe place to be in for tourists.
telecom network linking the various islands of the Maldives
for local calls
only, easyline which includes operator assisted international
calls, and Quickline with full IDD access world-wide; public
and private cardphones; DhiMobile SMS, VoiceMail and pre-paid
service; fascimaile, 24-hour telex, and worldwide telegram
services; a radio maritime service; a fully-automatic atoll
communications service to over 140 islands in 20 atolls;
the National Paging Service; fully-automatic telephone and
telex Inmarsat service to ships and oil rigs; internet dial-up
service; Web Hosting and Domain Name Registration service;
Cyber Cafe, amongst a host of other services. The facilities
are provided by Dhiraagu, the Maldives telecom company.
and Miadhu are the major daily newspapers, in Dhivehi. All
have pages in English.
boats, or dhonis (average speed 7 knots),are the most common
can make use of the regular ferry service operating between
Male, and the International Airport. Modern speedboats are
also available for here. Safari vessels are an ideal way
to explore atolls.
Road Transport: Travel on
most islands takes no more than half-an-hour on foot. Bicycle
modes of transport. Taxis are unmetered, changing RF 15,
if hailed on the road. On the other hand, if you call a taxi
by telephone from the taxi service, it will cost only RF
10 per trip.
Air Transport: Apart from
international flights operated by Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur),
Sri Lanka (Colambo), Singapore, the U.A.E. (Dubai), Seychelles
(Mahe), and a number of European countries to and from Male’ International
Airport, there are also regular domestic flights operated
by Island Aviation to Hanimaadhoo, Kadhdhoo, Kaadhedhdhoo,
and Gan. Inter-island services are operated by Trans Maldivian
Airways and the Maldivian Air Taxi, the latter having the
largest air feet. Sight-seeing trips, flights to uninhabited
islands, photo-shooting trips, executive charters, and medevac
operations are also carried out by them.