Maldives

Maldives

Geography

On the equator with 1,190 coral islands forming an archipelago of 26 atolls, Maldives is in the Indian Ocean with an area of 300 square kilometers. The island, which is officially known as The Republic of Maldives is located south-southwest of India and stretches 820 kilometers north to south and 120 kilometers east to west. Maldives is just two meters above the sea level and is also known as the country with the lowest highest point in the world.
With the sun shining throughout the whole year, the climate in the region is always warm and humid with a mean temperature of 29 to 32 degree Celsius. Considering the rainfall in Maldives, Northeast monsoon ranges from November to March while Southwest monsoon from June to august.
Vegetation in Maldives is limited due to the abundance of salt in the coastal region and there are only few plants like flowering plants, shrubs and hedges. Though the national plant of the Maldives, Coconut palms are able to grow almost everywhere in the country. The limited vegetation in the country is supplemented by the excess of coral reefs and the diversity of marine life.

Population

The population in the Republic of Maldives is rapidly increasing and approximately estimated as 350, 000 in 2006 with a density of 1,105 per square kilometers. About 25% of the population resides in Male, the capital of Maldives. Outside the capital the highest population resides in places like Hithadhoo in Addo Atoll, Fuamulah and Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll. The community primarily includes Muslims and known as the smallest Muslim nation in the world with the official language of the country, Dhivehi.

Time

Maldives belongs to the +5 hours Greenwich Mean Time.

Economy

Tourism is the largest industry in Maldives which is followed by fishing, agriculture and manufacturing. Tourism accounts around 28% of Maldives’ GDP and more than 60% of the country’s foreign receipts. Development of this sector gave a wide range of business opportunities for the Maldivians, including mat weaving, lacquer work, handicraft, garments and cottage industries.

Currency

A unit of currency used in the Republic of Maldives is known as the Rufiyaa, which is divided further more into 100 Laari. All resorts as well as hotels in Male accept US Dollars, travelers’ checks and recognized credit/debit cards. Though currencies like British Pounds and Euro are accepted, it is not widely received as USD. The only time you need the Maldivian currency is when you purchase or dine in small local shops and boutiques.

Communication

Maldives has a good network of communication system with the latest technology and international satellite system. Both private and international telephone calls could be made safely from all resorts and communications around the atoll.
Almost all resorts based in Maldives provide internet access with fairly large individual internet cafe’ providing exceptional service in the capital city, Male.


Healthcare

Though the healthcare in Maldives is limited, it is sufficient with all resorts having first aid services and some having their own doctor to treat the tourists on their vacation. There are two hospitals in Male for extensive healthcare and pharmaceuticals with many drug stores for minor ailments. International health care policies are valid in Maldives as well.
Food and water are safe to drink in all resorts based around the country although you may opt for canned beverages and bottled mineral water.

Visa

All visitors to the Republic of Maldives with a valid international travel document, valid return air ticket and US $30 per day for the period of stay in Maldives are issued with a free 30 days visa upon arrival. No prior visa is required to enter the country and the entry permit will be issued at the designated ports of entry upon arrival.

Tourism

Tourist attractions in Maldives range from beaches, islands to fishing villages. Out of the 1,190 islands in Maldives only around 200 of them are inhabited. Out of these 88 are luxury resorts, which offer a different tropical experience from others around the world. Water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving and water scooters along with under water coral watching, dolphin watching and parasailing ensure to offer you an adventurous riveting moment in your life. The country is also in demand for the spa resorts for tourists looking for a complete rejuvenation. Male National Museum, Grand Friday Mosque and Baa Atoll are few other important tourist attractions based in Maldives.

 




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