The facts about Maldives in this article won’t help you save money, buy cheaper tickets or plan your trip here. But you will definitely learn more about this paradise, its interesting and unusual traditions, prohibitions and facts.
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Maldives without these websites
Table of Contents
General facts about Maldives
I’ll talk about general facts about Maldives, some of which you know or have heard, and some of which may surprise you.
- The Maldives is a coral-originated island nation.
- According to many, the Maldives is the Indian Ocean, but in reality, it is the Laccadive Sea. For more information, see the article: “Which sea is in the Maldives.”
- The Maldives consists of 1200 islands, almost 1000 of which are uninhabitable.
- The country stretches almost 1000 km, but the total area of the Maldives is only 298 sq km. For example, the area of London alone is 1700 sq km, which is six times larger.
- There is only one city here, which is the capital of the country, Male. The area of Male is 6 sq km. It’s an island 2 by 3 km. All other settlements are villages.
- The Maldives is located on the equator. Most of the country is in the northern hemisphere, and the southernmost islands are already in the southern hemisphere.
- 100% of the population of the Maldives Republic are Muslims. If a citizen of the country changes religion, he automatically loses his citizenship. For more information about religion in the Maldives and how it affects/does not affect tourist leisure, see the article: “Religion in the Maldives.”
- The currency of the Maldives often tops various rankings as the most beautiful money in the world. For information about currency, where to exchange, what to bring with you, and card payment, see the article: “Currency in the Maldives.”
- On these islands, there are no terrestrial predators such as snakes, venomous spiders, lions, and others. All predators are only found in the ocean. There are no crows or pigeons, but there are many parrots.
- Islands that measure 1000 meters by 1500 meters and can be walked around in 30 minutes are considered very large.
- The country has no rivers, lakes, or fresh water sources. Each island has its own desalination station.
Interesting facts about Maldives
And now some interesting facts about Maldives, which may surprise.
- The Maldives is the lowest country in the world, with its highest point – at only 240cm.
- The summer is all year round with only a 2 degree Celsius difference in temperature between the coldest and warmest months.
- Pork is completely prohibited in Maldives. It is neither grown, imported, nor sold anywhere.
- Tuna is the Maldives’ main seafood product. It is consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tuna is used in all aspects of the national cuisine, including soups, main dishes, salads, snacks, and even as a sweet ingredient mixed with coconut. Read all about the Maldives’ cuisine and what a tourist should taste in our article.
Interesting to know:Maldives is Asia.
- The weekend on the Maldives is on Friday. Nothing works in the country, not even government ferries and private transportation between islands. If you arrive in Male on Thursday evening, you won’t be able to reach your desired holiday island until Saturday, unless you are willing to pay a high price for exceptions.
And now for some eye-opening content. The local islands of the Maldives lack a proper sewage system. Well, there is one, but it leads straight into the ocean. Each island has a large pipe that extends 300-400 meters into the ocean, where sewage from all toilets, etc. is dumped.
That’s why in every bathroom and hotel room, tourists are warned not to flush toilet paper or other hygiene products down the toilet. Everything else is organic matter that is quickly consumed by the appropriate fish and organisms.
The same goes for clean energy. This equatorial country is abundant with sun, but there are almost no wind turbines or solar panels. Each island has a diesel power plant that is regularly supplied with diesel fuel and provides electricity to the entire island. These power plants run around the clock, emitting their pollution into the atmosphere.
The Maldives is not about ecology and respect for nature.
What is prohibited in Maldives for tourists
And now, the chapter where you will learn about the restrictions in the Maldives. Some of them will have separate in-depth articles, as the topics are extensive and cannot be fully explained in just a few sentences.
- Alcohol is banned on the Maldives. It’s not allowed to be imported into the country and will be confiscated at the airport. It’s not sold in stores, not produced (even beer), and not found on restaurant menus. However, there are loopholes. A more detailed article about this delicate topic: Alcohol on the Maldives.
- An interesting fact about Maldives: At the level of law, all dogs are prohibited in Maldives. There are no dogs on the islands. A tourist cannot even take their beloved pet with them during their vacation, even if they are very wealthy. But there are cats.
It is often written that one cannot take shells and corals from the Maldives, but this is not entirely true. The Maldives are 100% coral origin islands, formed over millions of years as a result of coral activities. Dead pieces of coral and shells can be found in large quantities on any beach, and they can be taken.
Cannot be exported:It is not allowed to export coral reefs that have been broken off from the reef. This is not even possible. Also, souvenirs made from turtle shells are prohibited. You can bring 2-3 shells in your suitcase without any issue.
What else is prohibited in Maldives:
- It is prohibited in Maldives to fly drones on nearly all resort islands, while they are allowed on local islands.
- Which is a better place to go for a vacation: resorts or local islands?
- On local islands, it is prohibited in Maldives for women to swim in a swimsuit (or even without a swimsuit) – there are special bikini beaches for this. You can find more information about beach vacations on paradise islands in the article by the link.
- Lastly, any form of missionary activities is strictly prohibited in Maldives and is punishable by imprisonment. In simpler terms, spreading any religion besides Islam is not allowed. If you are a deeply religious person and wish to bring your icon and pray in solitude, do so in the privacy of your room. It is not necessary to display such activities in public.
Finally: I hope that this small part of the restrictions and interesting facts about Maldives has helped you prepare better for your vacation. There’s nothing super critical or that can get in the way of a fairy-tale holiday. In fact, most of these facts or restrictions may not even affect you, but it’s good to know them nonetheless.
Forewarned is forearmed!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives
- Flight tickets and the best deals
- Hotels and guesthouses on any island: Booking
- Tour packages (from budget to luxury): Expedia
- Comprehensive insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual SIM card with internet package at the same price as in telecom store in Male