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Thudufushi Beach and Water Villas, Ari Atoll, Maldives
Diamonds Thudufushi Beach and Water Villas, a luxury resort on Thudufushi, Ari Atoll, Maldives.
Image: Martin Falbisoner
Maldives Flag
Flag of Maldives
Location map of Maldives. Where in the world are the Maldives?
Location map of Maldives
Destination Maldives, officially the Republic of the Maldives, a southern Asian chain of coral islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean. The atolls formed atop submarine mountain ridges [1]. The island nation shares maritime borders with India, Sri Lanka and the British Indian Ocean Territory (UK).

One of the world's most dispersed countries is made up of about 1200 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls spread over an area of 90,000 km², that's about the size of Portugal, or an area slightly larger than that of the U.S. state of Minnesota. But the smallest Asian country covers a land area of just 298 km², making it about the size of Malta or less than twice the size of Washington DC.

The Maldives has a population of about 347,000 inhabitants (in 2015). Capital and largest city is Male. Spoken language is Maldivian (Dhivehi), an Indo-Aryan language, spoken almost exclusively on the Maldives. Main religion is Islam (Sunni Muslim 98.4%)

Republic of Maldives | Dhivehi Raajje

Country Profile

Background: A Nation of Islands.

The latest archaeological evidence suggests that the Maldives islands were first inhabited in around 1500 BC. It seems likely that the islands were first permanently settled by Aryan immigrants who are also believed to have colonized Sri Lanka at around the same time. Subsequent migrations from Southern India and Sri Lanka, served to further expand the population of the Maldives. Arab traders profoundly influenced Maldivian society and culture, the Maldives officially converted to Islam in 1153 AD..

The Republic of Maldives has strategic location astride and along major sea lanes. The country became a republic in 1968, three years after independence from Britain. Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago.

related countries: United Kingdom


Official Name:
Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa
short form: Dhivehi Raajje
int'l long form: Republic of Maldives
int'l short form: Maldives

ISO Country Code: mv, MDV

Local Time = UTC +5h
Actual Time: Fri-July-19  18:49

Country Calling Code: +960

Capital City: Male'

Type: Republic.
Independence: 26 July 1965 (formerly a British protectorate).
Constitution: 11 November 1968.

Location: Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India.
Area: 298 km² (115 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Flat coral islands.

Climate: Hot and humid.

Nationality: Maldivian(s).
Population: 347,000 (2015).
Ethnic groups: South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs.
Religion: Sunni Islam.
Languages: Dhivehi (official); many government officials speak English.
Literacy: 98%.

Natural resources: Fish, corals.

Agriculture products: Coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish

Industries: Tourism, fish processing, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining.

Exports - commodities: fish

Exports - partners: Thailand 18%, France 12.1%, Germany 10.7%, USA 9.6%, Italy 6.8%, UK 6.4%, Sri Lanka 5.9%, Japan 4.6% (2015)

Imports - commodities: petroleum products, clothing, intermediate and capital goods

Imports - partners: UAE 18.4%, Singapore 13.8%, China 10.6%, India 10.4%, Malaysia 7%, Sri Lanka 5.6%, Thailand 5% (2015)

Currency: Rufiyaa (MVR)

Political system
The Maldives are a presidential representative democratic republic. Chief of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the Maldives National Defense Force is the president. The supreme legislative authority in the country is the People's Majlis, the parliament. Maldives' legal system is based on Islamic law with admixtures of English common law primarily in commercial matters. In 2008 a new constitution paved the way for first multi-party presidential elections. In October 2016 the Maldives announced to leave the Commonwealth.
The constitution and other laws and policies restrict religious freedom and, in practice, the government enforced these restrictions. Restrictions were not enforced for foreign tourists on “uninhabited” resort islands. [4]

Official Sites of Maldives

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

President's Office
President of the Republic of Maldives.

Republic of Maldives - the official website
Website maintained by the Ministry of Information, Arts & Culture.

People's Majlis
The Parliament of the Republic of Maldives.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maldives
Official website of the ministry.

Diplomatic Missions:
Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Maldives' representation to the UN.
Maldives Embassies
List of Embassies of the Republic of Maldives.

Department of Meteorology
Beside other meteorological information the site offers a weather forecast for the Maldives.


 Map of Maldives
Political and administrative map of Maldives.
Google Earth Google Earth Maldives
Searchable map and satellite view of Maldives.
Google Earth Google Earth Male'
Searchable map and satellite view of the Maldives' capital.

Map of Southeast Asia
Map of the Southeast Asia region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.  


Maldives News

In August 2016 the Maldives parliament passed a law criminalizing defamation and allowing the authorities to close media outlets for “defamatory” content.
According to RSF, the government of the Maldives continues to persecute the independent media. Maldivian journalists have been the targets of death threats [2].

Dhivehi Observer
A news website that promotes freedom, democracy and rule of law in the Maldives.
Haveeru daily
Maldives news, Maldives' oldest newspaper closed in 2016 after a controversial court into an ownership dispute.
Miadhu daily
National news posts.
Maldives Independent
English-language news website.
Maldives news (in Divehi).

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Mosque in Hulhumalé, Maldives 
Mosque in Hulhumalé, an artificial island in the south of North Male Atoll.
Image: Ibrahim Iujaz

Arts & Culture

The National Museum of the Maldives
Information about the Museum.

National Centre for the Arts
The National Centre for the Arts provides information about upcoming cultural events in the Maldives.

National Art Gallery
The website of the National Art Gallery with information about exhibitions, collections, artists, and events.

National Library
Official website of the library. (in Divehi and partly English)

Maldives Culture
The Australian based site is an independent internet magazine of Maldivian cultural issues.


Business & Economy

Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives, accounting for 28% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts.

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)
Maldives Central Bank.
Bank of Maldives PLC
The leading bank in the Maldives.

Foreign Investment Services Bureau
Invest Maldives is a government agency promoting, regulating and licensing foreign investments in the country.

State Trading Organization PLC
State Trading Organization website.

Trans Maldivian Airways
Originally called Hummingbird Island Helicopters, TMA is the oldest Air transfer operator in the Maldives.

Maldives Airports Company
Government owned company.
White sandy beaches of Maldives
The white sandy beaches of Maldives are threatened by marine litter, lots of plastic bottles and packets floating amidst the clear turquoise waters. Most of the inhabited islands stand in sad contrast to Maldives’ world-famous resorts. Along their white sandy shores, and around their little lanes, were heaps of garbage; piles of plastic bottles, nappies, tin cans, food packaging… you name it. [3]
Image: Élite Diving Agency

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Maldives - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Maldives
1190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls spread over 90,000 sq km. Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon.

Until recently, tourism was restricted to the Maldives resorts, built on uninhabited islands where all services are offered within the island, with no contact with the local people. Guests rarely move away from the resorts, managed mostly by foreign multinationals, whose revenues only minimally go to the local economy.

great site Visit Maldives
Maldives travel information by the official site of the Ministry of Tourism.

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
The official website of the ministry offers also information about Maldives tourism.

A Maldives portal covering travel information, local business and social information.

Maldives Tourism
An information source for the Maldives travel and tourism.

The Maldive Isles
A Maldives visitor guide.

Letsgo Maldives
Offers Maldives information and travel packages.
Maldives Resorts
Maldives Resorts © Visit Maldives


Ministry of Education, Maldives
Official website of the ministry.

Maldives National University
The first university established in the Maldives in 2011 was previously known as the Maldives College of Higher Education.

Environment & Nature

Maldives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed when Environmental Research Center and Maldives Water & Sanitation Authority was merged, the site provides also information about the fragile marine and terrestrial environment of the Maledives.


Maldives History
from Maldives Culture magazine.
Maldives History2
The Maldives Story
Four Eras of Maldivian History.
History of the Maldives
Wikipedia article about Maldives' history.

The National Museum of the Maldives
Site about Maldives' National Museum with a gallery and information on its collection.

National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research
Maldives Center for Linguistic and Historical Research. (in Divehi and partly English)


Sources and additional Information on Maldives

Amnesty International: Maldives

BBC Country profile: The Maldives

FAO: Maldives

GlobalEDGE: Maldives

The Heritage Foundation: Maldives

Human Rights Watch: Maldives

OEC: Maldives

Reporters Without Borders: Maldives

Wikipedia: Maldives

The World Factbook -- Maldives

 Support UNICEF

Other Countries in South Central Asia:
AfghanistanBangladesh | Bhutan | India | Iran | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan
Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka | TajikistanTurkmenistan | Uzbekistan

Major Cities in Southern Central Asia
Chandigarh, Chennai, Colombo, Dhaka, New Delhi, Islamabad, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kolkata,
Lahore, Male, Mumbai, Thimphu,