Maldives Travel Information
Local time is GMT+5
Electrical current in Maldives is 230 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use, including the two-pin flat blade plug and the round three-pin plug.
Dhivehi is the national language in Maldives. English is widely spoken in addition to German, French, Italian, and Japanese, spoken by the resort staff.
Visitors to the Maldives should take precautions against mosquito bites as cases of dengue fever and Chikungunya virus have been reported. Visitors who will be spending a lot of time outdoors and are at risk of animal bites may be advised to get a rabies vaccination.
There are very few fully equipped hospitals on Male and in Hulhumale. Though most resort islands are within reach of a doctor, many are several hours' travel away from the comprehensive facilities on Male. Travel insurance is advised for travel to the Maldives.
If visitors require a certain medication on holiday, it is best to bring it in its original packaging, with a dated and signed letter from a doctor detailing what the medication is and why it is needed.
Tipping is not officially encouraged in the Maldives. But it's customary to tip waiters and room staff in the resorts if the service is good, even if a service charge has already been added.
Crime levels are low in the Maldives but petty theft does occur. It is best not to leave goods unattended on the beaches or in hotel rooms. There is a measure of political instability and visitors are advised to avoid public gatherings and demonstrations, particularly on Male Island, as these can turn violent. However, resorts in the Maldives are considered very safe and there are rarely any disturbances.
Maldivians are predominantly Muslim, and therefore Islamic customs should be respected, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture.
No pornography is allowed (or any material considered offensive under Islamic law) and homosexuality is illegal. Same-sex relationships are not tolerated and carry jail sentences and fines. Alcohol consumption is confined to the resorts.
Dress is informal but nudism and topless bathing is prohibited. On visits to inhabited islands it is important to respect local customs that adhere to conservative dress codes, and public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited. The Maldives has strong anti-drug laws that carry severe penalties.
The Maldives does a lot of trade as everything is imported. Business tends to be conducted in a more informal way, with more casual attire in lightweight materials. Meetings are usually scheduled for mornings and are typically conducted in English. Women, in particular, should dress conservatively. Business hours are usually 7.30am to 2.30pm Sunday to Thursday.
The international access code for the Maldives is +960. Travellers can purchase local SIM cards for unlocked phones; all resorts, hotels and guesthouses offer free WiFi.
Travellers to the Maldives who are older than 16 years of age do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco; other personal items up to the value of 6000 MVR. Prohibited items include alcohol, firearms, pork, narcotics and psychotropic substances, pornography, religious materials that may be offensive to Islam, and religious idols for worship.
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