Maldives is an island nation of 1192 tiny coral islands in the Indian Ocean. It is located about 700 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka and about 400 kilometres south-west of India. Maldives is an independent republic with about 328,000 in population. Maldives is a member of United Nations, Common Wealth, South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation - SAARC and many other international organisations. It gained independence on 25th July 1965, prior to that Maldives was among the English colonies.
If you are thinking about Maldives economy, major economic activities are tourism and fishing. The islands of Maldives are too small for big industrial projects. Hence, local products are very few and 99% of daily goods are imported. To manage its huge import expenditure the country is heavily relying on tourism income. Maldives is one of the top destinations for beach tourism and honeymoon holidays.
The islands of Maldives are very tiny, you can conveniently walk to from one end to the other in almost all islands including capital Male'. All islands of Maldives have white sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons with varying sizes and depths, each island is separated by sea. These islands are dispersed over an area of 90,000 square kilometre in Indian Ocean. Out of 1192 islands, the residents live in 200 islands. Capital Male' is home for over 100,000 people and remaining part of the population lives in other 199 islands. Most of the islands have a population of less than 2,000 residents.
Dhivehi is the local language which is special to only Maldivians. But, English is widely spoken across the country and is considered as second language. Local currency is Rufiyaa, but US Dollars are accepted in all resorts, hotels, guesthouses without needing to exchange. Resorts also accept other major currencies such as Euro, Sterling Pound etc. Major credit cards accepted in Maldives are Visa and Master, some resorts accept JCB, American Express and other cards too. If you want to know more about Maldivian lifestyle there are several tourist guides written in English, you can find these at souvenir shops.
Maldives is a muslim country with a modern democracy, and is open for global tourism. A 30 day tourist visa is granted to every traveler on arrival to the airport, no prior visa arrangement is necessary. You may book hotels before your arrival to Maldives or after, prior booking is advisable as all accommodation units get occupied in high season, also your resort may need time to arrange transfer. The resorts arrange transfer between airport and resort. The resorts closer to airport offers speedboat transfer while little distant islands offer seaplane which is great for an island country like Maldives. Your travel experience in seaplane is very different from your international flight, it is an exciting photo flight, dont forget to keep your camera handy. More distant resorts are reachable via domestic flight which is cheaper and faster than seaplane.
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (Male' International Airport) is the main airport, located near capital Male'. You can fly direct from many European airports, Singapore, Dubai, Colombo and other common hubs. Read other posts to read more about Maldives hotels and resorts.