Maldives Holiday Travel Guide

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Maldives Holiday Travel Guide Money Matters

Quick Facts

Maldives Holiday and Travel Guide
Maldives Holiday and Travel Guide

Location
Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, on the equator.

Geography
1,190 coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 natural atolls. Stretches 820 kilometres north to south and 120 kilometres east to west. 202 are inhabited, 87 are exclusive resort islands.

Climate
Generally warm and humid. Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius.

Population
About 298,000 according to 2006 estimates. Origin of the Maldivians are lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 5,000 years ago. Early settlers were travellers on the Silk Route and from the Indus Valley Civilisation. Inherently warm, friendly and hospitable by nature, it is easy to feel comfortable and relaxed with a Maldivian.

Culture
The Maldivian culture is rich with flavours from most of the seafarers who set foot on its soil. Traditional dances and music may not be an everyday event but there are occasions where traditional music and dances are performed. Though traditional dresses are not used by present day generation there are many types of traditional dresses made for both sexes.

Like the unique geographical formation, the cultural events and ceremonials are unique according to the event that is celebrated or performed. Naming a newborn child, Bodumaloodhu (a prayer accompanied with festive meal), Eid festival and circumcision of male child are few events that take place where the taste of rich cultural 'cocktail' can be experienced. Bodu beru (big drum) performanceis the best-known form of performance of traditional music and dance where females and males participate. Bandiyaa (a dance performed by woman), Thaara (dance performed by male) is among the top traditional music and dances practiced in the Maldive Islands.

Traditional food basically fish used as the main component has been influenced from the Indian subcontinent. Garudhya (tuna soup), spicy curry and rice are the stable food of most of the population. Most other dishes such as western meals like pasta are normally modified with a flavour of tuna in it when prepared for local consumption. Other meats and chicken are normally eaten in special occasions.

Language
Dhivehi is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese.

Economy
The Maldives economy has been growing at an annual average of 10% for the past two decades. Tourism is the main industry, contributing close to 30% of the GDP. Fisheries and trade follow close behind. The Maldivian economy is regarded as exemplary in the region and welcomes foreign investment.

Currency
The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa and Laaree. The exchange rate for US Dollar at currently (2006) is MRf.12.75 for the dollar. One Rufiyaa is equivalent to 100 laarees. Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. Coins are in the denominations of MRf.2.00, MRf.1.00, 50 laarees, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laaree. The US Dollar is the most commonly used foreign currency. Payments in the resorts and hotels can be made in most hard currency in cash, travellers’ cheques or credit cards. Commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card.

Education
The functional literacy rate is 98%. Educational standards are among the highest in the region and schools follow the British system of education.

Health
Health care facilities are improving almost on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ is the biggest hospital in the country providing sophisticated medical care. ADK Hospital is the biggest private health care facility and follows high medical standards. Some resorts have in-house doctors. A decompression chamber is within easy reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency.

Local Time
GMT + 5 hours

Business Hours
From Sunday to Thursday 7.30 - 14.30 in the government sector and generally from 9.00 to 5.00 in the private sector, although most offices in the private sector open for a half day on Saturday. Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.

Communication
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.

Electricity
The electric system is 230-240 Volts -AC

Resort Names

Ananthara Maldives Ananthara Maldives
Angsana Resort & Spa Angsana Resort & Spa
Athuruga Island Resort Athuruga Island Resort
Bandos Island Resort Bandos Island Resort
Baros Maldives Baros Maldives
Dhonveli Beach & Spa Dhonveli Beach & Spa
Ellaidhoo Tourist Resort Ellaidhoo Tourist Resort
Embudu Village Embudu Village
Eriyadu Island Resort Eriyadu Island Resort
Holiday Island Holiday Island
Island Hideaway Island Hideaway
Kuramathi Cottage Club Kuramathi Cottage Spa
Kuramathi Blue Lagoon Kuramathi Blue Lagoon
Kuramathi Village Kuramathi Village
Kuredu Island Resort Kuredu Island Resort
Kurumba Village Kurumba Village
Laguna Maldives Laguna Maldives
Meeru Island Resort Meeru Island Resort
Olhuveli Beach & Spa Olhuveli Beach & Spa
Paradise Island & Spa
Royal Island & Spa Royal Island & Spa
Sun Island & Spa Sun Island & Spa
Taj Coral Reef Taj Coral Reef
Taj Exotica & Spa Taj Exotica & Spa
Vadoo Island Resort Vadoo Island Resort
Velidhu Island Resort Velidhu Island Resort
Veligandu Island Resort Veligandu Island Resort
Vilamendhoo Island Resort Vilamendhoo Island Resort
Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Vilu Reef Beach & Spa
White Sands Resort White Sands Resort

 

 
 
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