ABOUT MALDIVES – general introduction

The Maldives has always been a unique nation. Apart from a period of Portuguese domination in the Sixteenth century and carrying the status of a British Protectorate from 1887 to 1965, the archipelago has been an independent archipelago for at least twenty-five centuries.

Local traditional fishermen boat (dhingi)

Local traditional fishermen boat  & Sir Francis Haddock Unicorn Vessel

The Maldives is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement. The Maldives maintains a very cordial relationship with the international community and the Maldivians themselves take pride in their hospitality and friendliness! The population of the Maldives currently stands slightly in excess of a quarter of a million. A common language (Dhivehi) and a religion (Islam) have been two blessings that unite the people into a cohesive and peaceful society. Pride is taken in tradition though not at the expense of development and modernization.

Maldivians are generally not race conscious, perhaps because the country has been inhabited for centuries during which visitors from as far apart as China, Africa, Arabia and Persia have been assimilated into the society. This tradition of welcoming visitors continues?.

We dare you to come here and count exactly how many islands there are in the country. They say that counting the islands including the sand spits is like trying to count how many stars there are in the sky! So, the commonly agreed upon figure of 1190 is but an approximation. These islands are grouped into natural atolls that are protected by surrounding reefs. The islands are of pure white coral sand are low lying, the highest point on any give island being no more than a meter and a half above sea level. Coconut palms and an abundance of tropical plants make these islands an idyllic place for your holiday if you want to see nature at its best.

dhivehi_thaana

Dhivehi alphabet

The Maldives actually straddles the equator. The climate is tropical with no major seasonal differences. Though the southwest monsoon does bring most of the rain, mostly around June and July, tropical rain showers can occur any time! The skies are usually clear and the sun shines brightly. That is when the cooling sea breezes, about which poems have been written, bring about the romantic in you.

If you are a surfer you will find just the right waves in some places. If you are a divining enthusiast, be prepared for a binge! The white coral beaches are simply unbelievable. The fishing is out of this world. Perhaps because of this, the Maldives is increasingly becoming one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world. We chip in by making our tourist resorts provide all the mod cons to make you all the more comfortable.

And coming here is as easy as catching a plane. Catch one of the many scheduled or charter flights operating on a regular basis from points of origin in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. You, as our welcome guest, are issued thirty-day tourist visa on arrival at  Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

IMG_3337 (Small)

Ibrahim Nasir international airport (Male)

Location: Indian Ocean, about 500 Km from Sri Lanka and India.
Political Status: Independent Republic.
Religion: Islam.
Geography: Coral islands grouped into atolls with fringing reefs.
Climate: Tropical, Average temp. 30 deg. C.
Access: Scheduled and charter flights from Europe, Middle East, Asia, US and S. Africa.
Visa: 30-day tourist visa on arrival.
Customs: No illicit drugs, pornography, firearms, alcohol, dangerous animals.

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