HOLIDAYS - Destination: Maldives
The collection of resorts and cruise boats we offer give you a variety of ways to experience Maldives. Be it supreme luxury, a honeymoon getaway, romantic spa retreats or utter relaxation.
And for the adventurer in you a some of the finest cruise boats to explore Maldives to its fullest. Dive in an abyss of color and marine life or discover some of the finest surf points in the Maldives. The choice is yours..
Whatever your holiday dreams maybe we will be your personal travel partner to the Maldives.
Consisting of 26 natural atolls stretched from north to south on the equator, Maldives has been described as a surreal picture of a thousand pearls sprinkled on a sea of blue velvet. Maldives islands number about 1200 with countless sandbanks and innumerable reefs.
Glistening turquoise lagoons, soft white sandy beaches and endless hues of blue sky makes up a holiday destination unlike any other.
Till tourism began in the early 70's Maldive Islands remained untouched by the outside world, accessible only to adventurous seafarers. It's isolation, fascinating history and blend of cultures has created a unique nation with a tradition and a language solely thir own.
On the equator, southwest of Sri Lanka
Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius.
About 298,842 according to 2006 census.
Local language is Dhivehi though English is widely spoken.
Maldives: Quick Facts
On the equator, southwest of Sri Lanka on the Indian Ocean.
Stretches 820 kilometres north to south and 120 kilometres east to west. 1,190 coral islands, forms an archipelago of 26 natural atolls. 202 are inhabited, near 100 are exclusive resort islands.
Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius.
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 to wear modest clothing.
About 298,842 according to 2006 census. Origin of the Maldivians is lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 5,000 years.
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.
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 20% of the GDP. Fisheries and trade follow close behind. The Maldivian economy is regarded as exemplary in the region and welcomes foreign investment.
The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa and Laaree. The exchange rate for US Dollar at the time of writing is MRf.11.82 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.
The functional literacy rate is 98%. Educational standards are among the highest in the region and schools follow the British system of education.
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 Maldives resorts have in-house doctors. A decompression chamber is within easy reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency.
GMT + 5 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.
Up-to-date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available on all Maldives 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.
The electric system is 230-240 Volts -AC
|Did you know:
|No Visa is required prior to your arrival in Maldives. All tourists are granted free 30 day visa upon arrival.
Business Hours in Maldives: 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.
Destination: Travel Advisory
The Maldives is hot throughout the year. Light, summer cotton and linen wear is ideal. Pack lots of tee shirts, beachwear, light skirts, cotton shirts, slacks and shorts. At the resorts where you'll have to walk on soft sand most of the time, going barefoot may be ideal for some.
However on visits to inhabited islands, where most of the streets are of compact sand, or Male' where most of the streets are paved, casual shoes or sandals are easy to walk on.
Regulations and norms
It must be said that official regulations do not allow public nudity anywhere in the Maldives. Even at the beach on your resort, swimming or snorkeling around your cruise boat. At least bikinis or swimming trunks are a must. Most resorts do not allow swimwear inside the restaurants, to avoid offending fellow holidaymakers. At the in-house bars or restaurants casual cotton tropical wear is highly recommended.
Visiting inhabited islands or Male' the capital requires paying a little attention to what you wear. Most resorts would advice you on this before you leave on excursions. Please be sensitive to local norms, culture and traditions. On such visits it is important to be clad in a decent garment, which covers one's body from the shoulders to the knees. If you envisage attending a formal meeting or making a formal visit, do bring along light formal wear.
All resorts have first aid facilities and on some you can get the services of a resident doctor and facilities for minor treatment. Some have clinics with separate observation rooms and small pharmacies. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and the ADK Hospital are the two major hospitals in Male'.
In addition there are a number of smaller clinics where you may consult a doctor. In both the IGMH and ADK doctors are on duty 24 hours of the day. Both conduct surgery and offer a number of specialist services.
Personal Medical Requirements
If you suffer from a permanent disability or chronic illness it is advisable to inform your resort before arrival and find out whether they can cater for your specific requirements. Most resorts cater for special dietary requirements without additional charges. If you are dependent on any medications please bring along an ample supply, together with a valid prescription in case you are required to produce it at Customs.
The first thing you'll notice as soon as you get off the plane at Male' International Airport is that the airport is on an island all by itself. From the air it looks like a giant aircraft carrier, the runway occupying most of the island. Catch a glimpse if you can.
In fact to build the airport two islands have been connected through reclamation. However it is a full fledged international airport that can cater to the largest of aircraft and is well equipped with modern facilities. Located just over a kilometer away from Male' the capital, the airport is connected to the rest of the country by boats and seaplanes.
A number of international airlines connect the Maldives with the major cities of Europe and Asia. A few steps from your plane take you inside the arrival terminal. At Passport Control entry formalities are simple and casual. A 30-day holiday visa is granted free of charge on arrival. You may be asked where you are staying. Most arrive in the Maldives with a prior booking at one of the resorts. At Port Health, immediately after Passport Control, you may be required to produce a certificate of inoculation if you have recently passed through a country in which contagious diseases have been reported. If you need an extension of your visa you will have to apply to the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Male'.
At Customs as a rule all baggage is screened electronically. It will be convenient to have the keys to your luggage at hand, in case you are asked to open an item for inspection. It is prohibited by law to import alcoholic beverages, pornographic materials and idols of worship. Strict penalties apply to those attempting to import illegal drugs into the country. If you are bringing in a lot of photographic or diving equipment it is advisable to inform your resort of the details prior to your arrival or bring a list with details such as serial numbers of the equipment, to avoid delay at the airport upon arrival. You will be expected to take them back with you. Import duty is payable for any items left behind.
As you leave the Customs and out of the arrival terminal, you will be welcomed by a representative of the resort at which you have made your booking. The representative will guide you to the transport to your resort, which would have been arranged prior to your arrival. If you do not have a reservation, you may make a booking at a resort at any of the resort counters lined on both sides of the lounge just outside the arrivals terminal. You could also get help and advise at the airport information counter operated by the Ministry of Tourism. A number of representatives from travel agencies in Male' would eagerly offer to help you. Make sure they represent genuine agencies. They are expected to display an identification tag. Touting is strictly prohibited and stiff penalties apply to reps who violate regulations.
Health and Diving
If you are planning to take up diving during your visit, it is a good idea to consult your physician and do a medical check-up to see if you are fit enough. For safety, when diving it is important to exercise caution; follow the right procedures, use proper equipment and most important follow the directives of your instructor or guide. This is important even if you are an experienced diver. As one would understand instructors and guides working here are well versed in the subtleties of the local conditions, be it currents or tides. A decompression chamber is available, in case of a diving emergency.
Be careful where you eat and drink when in the Maldives. Registered outlets are usually safe. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables from dubious sources or of unknown nature without consulting someone you can trust. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Use sun creams of a high factor especially during the first few days. A variety of sun creams and lotions are available in all resort shops and boutiques.