Quick facts about Maldives
The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, about 500 Km from the southern tip of both India and Sri Lanka. It is the ideal exotic tropical island paradise. Independent since 1965, and a republic since 1968, the Maldives is a member of the United Nations, the commonwealth and the non-aligned movement. It maintains a very cordial relationship with the international community.
Under the leadership of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, the country is a champion of global peace and preservation of the environment. The population of the country currently stands at 2011 est about 320,081. A common language (Dhivehi) and religion (Islam) unite the people into a cohesive, peaceful society. The country has been inhabited for at least 25 centuries.
The Maldives comprises of about more than 1190 islands grouped into atolls protected by surrounding coral reefs, which attracts various species of marine life. Coconut palms and tropical plants grow in abundance on most islands. The Maldives straddles the equator and has a tropical climate. The southwest monsoon brings the most of the rain, mostly around June and July. Normally, the skies are clear during the north east monsoon. As of the early 1970’s tourism has burgeoned in the Maldives. Surfers, divers, beach buffs, game fisherman and the sea lovers find the Maldives ideal.
The Maldives has increasingly become extremely accessible, especially by air. Scheduled and charter flights operate on a regular basis from points of origin in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Visitors are issued thirty-day tourist visa on arrival for All countries.
Some information that might be useful
A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world travelling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with hand beating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries. As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women – for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view – are not tenets of life here. In fact women play a major role in society – not surprising considering the fact men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around us.
WHAT TO WEAR
Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male’, the capital island and other inhabited islands it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without baring too much.
Up-to-date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives Telecommunications Company also provides mobile telephones for daily rental. It is also the Internet service provider.