Key Facts about the Maldives
Location The Indian Ocean, 500km southwest of the southern tip of India
Country name Republic of Maldives
Area 298 sq km
Capital city Malé
Government Republic since 1965; gained independence from the UK in 1965
Time Zone Five hours behind east coast Australia; three hours behing west coast Australia; GMT/UTC +5
Currency Rufiyaa (MVR)
Electricity 110/ 230 volts, 50hz. Three-pin square, three-pin round and two-pin flat blade
Religion Almost entirely Sunni Muslim
Language Dhivehi. English is spoken widely
Useful phrases Try these Dhivehi phrases: Assalaamu Alaikum – Hello (formal) and
Kihineh – Hello (informal); Haalu kihineh? – How are you?; Shukuriyaa – Thank you;
Aan – Yes; Noon – No; Ran'galhu – Good; Dhanee – Goodbye (informal)
Tipping Tipping is not encouraged in the Maldives however, if the service is good it is usual to tip waiters and room staff in resorts (unless a service charge has already been added).
Local etiquette Visitors are requested not to offend local sensibilities. Nudity and topless sunbathing is forbidden. Swimwear should be confined to the beach and resorts. When entering a mosque, your legs and body (except for your neck and face) should be covered.
Tip Hats and sunscreen are a must and sneakers or sandals are advisable for walking and swimming around coral. If you cut yourself on coral pour lemon or lime juice over the wound to relieve the pain, or use hydrogen peroxide.
Public Holidays New Year's Day; Eid-ul-Fitr; First day of Ramadan; Muslim New Year; Huravee Day (Feb); Eid-ul-Adha; Martyr's Day (April); Independence Day (26 July); Prophet's Birthday (June); National Day (Oct/Nov); Republic Day (11 Nov).