Maldivian Rufiya (MVR; symbol MRf) = 100 laari. Notes are in denominations of MRf500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of MRf2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laari.
Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs
Most major island resorts, local and souvenir shops will accept American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Arrangements vary from island to island. There are ATMs widely available in Malé.
These are generally accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
There is little or no organized nightlife, although most resorts have informal discosaround the bar areas, sometimes featuring live bands playing either traditional or Western music. Beach parties and barbecues are also popular. On some evenings, many resorts have cultural shows and some show films.
Many different types of traditional national dancing and singing may be enjoyed across the islands.
Service charges are invariably added onto all chargeable services in resorts. Extra tipping is not expected, though cash tips (US $ 1 per bag) for porters is appreciated.
Lacquered wooden boxes are the most distinctive Maldivian handicrafts, and are most famously produced in Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll. The craft involves the process of shaping and hollowing out pieces of wood from endemic trees to form intricately crafted boxes, containers and ornamental objects. Beautiful reed mats are woven throughout the country, the most famous of which are those that are woven by the women of Gadhdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. Ranging from placemats to full-size single mattress mats, they are hand-decorated with intricate abstract designs.
There are two hospitals on Malé, the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the ADK private hospital. First-aid facilities are available on all resort islands. A decompression chamber is accessible in Malé in case of diving emergencies. Medical treatment in the Maldives can be very expensive and comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Exceptional and easily accessible underwater life makes the Maldives one of the world’s top diving and snorkeling destinations. All of the resorts have professional dive schools with fully qualified multilingual instructors offering a range of courses, from beginners to full PADI certification. Basic diving equipment is provided in all resorts and some also rent out underwater cameras. Dive schools organize daily dive boat trips to sites around the islands throughout the year. Night dives and special trips for more experienced divers are also available.
Valid passport for a minimum of six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
Tourist visas for 30 days will be issued on arrival only and are free of charge to all visitors in possession of valid travel documents.
Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the high commission/embassy for visa requirements
(a) Foreign visitors who enter the Maldives must be in possession of return or onward tickets and a minimum of US$100 and US $ 50 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives. (b) Tourist visas can be extended by 90 days (including the initial 30 days granted on arrival) by applying to the immigration department.
Visas are issued on arrival at the immigration desk at Maldives International Airport.
Tourist Info - Maldives
Location : A group of islands in the Indian Ocean, 500km (300 miles) southwest of the southern tip of India.
Area : 298 sq km (115 sq miles)
Capital : Malé.
Government : Republic since 1965. Gained independence from the UK in 1965. Democracy established in 2008
Language : The national language is Dhivehi. English is widely used as a business language in government offices and the commercial sector. Other languages are widely used within tourist areas.
Religion : The indigenous population is entirely Sunni Muslim, and the group practice of other religions is illegal.
Time : GMT + 5
Electricity : 230 volts AC(or 50 hertz) is the frequency at which electricity is available.Plugs used are of the round two-and three-pin type, although square-pin plugs are now becoming more common.
Telephone : Country code: 960
Mobile Telephone : Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent throughout the islands. Handsets can be hired by the day.
Internet : The Internet can be accessed from most areas of the Maldives. Malé, the capital, has a lack of internet cafes, but Wi-Fi is available in many cafes. Almost all resorts have Internet connections, though these are rarely free.
Post : Airmail to Western Europe takes about one week.
Post office hours : Sat-Thurs 0730-1330 and 1600-1750
Contact Information Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) 3rd Floor, H. Aage 12, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé, Republic of Maldives Tel: 323 3228 Website: www.visitmaldives.com