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Maldives Travel Advice

Customs and Duties

Customs duties are a primary source of government revenues and vary from 5–20% on essentials to 35–200% on luxury goods.

Libraries and Museums

A National Library founded in 1945 contains 30,000 volumes and serves as a public library facility. A National Museum was founded in 1952 in Malé to conserve and display historical items.


Several sport clubs and a Muslim religious organization operate in Malé. The Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also in Malé along with the Maldives Traders' Association. The Maldives National Youth Council was formed in 1984 to assist in organizing national programs for youth. Scouting programs are available for youth as well.

Internal Travel : Maldives Transport

Getting Around By Air

Internal air services in Maldives are to Malé with Kaadedhdhoo, Kadhdhoo and Gan. There are also services to Hanimaadhoo in the north.

There are also two seaplane companies operating seaplane transfers from Malé airport to individual resorts. These are Trans Maldivian Airways  and Maldivian Air Taxi. These services are also available for trips around the islands.

Getting Around by Water

High-speed boats usually meet arrivals at the airport, supplied by the resort they are booked with, and boats are available for hire at the ferry counter near the jetty area. The speedboats connect the airport with North and South Malé Atolls.

Getting Around by Road

Travel on individual islands does not present any problem since few of them take longer than half an hour to cross on foot. In Malé, it is possible to take taxis.

Getting There by Water

Many cruise ships stop over at the Maldives islands as part of their itinerary.

Money and Banks

The currency of the Maldives is called the Rufiyaah, which is linked to the dollar at around 12.75 Rufiyaah to the dollar.

Banks are all located in Male and some of the larger inhabited islands.  You won't find banks or ATM machines at resorts or smaller local islands.  Small shops on local islands are unlikely to be able to accept credit card payment for goods, so make sure you have enough cash to cover your shopping needs before you leave your resort. Some resort islands will cash travellers' cheques for dollars, but will charge you a hefty commission. Most resorts and many local islands will accept the dollar (bring small denominations such as $1, $5 and $10) as payment.  Most larger resorts also take Euros, pounds sterling, yen and other major currencies - so check with your resort before converting money into local currency because you usually will not need to.  If you try to pay your room bill at large resorts in rufiyaah, the resort might convert it back to dollars, so you effectively lose out twice on the exchange rate.

Most resorts operate on a signing system, where you don't carry any cash. You sign for all items and then settle up with travellers' cheques or credit card at the end of your stay. Everything is priced in dollars, Tipping on resorts, again at the end of your stay, is in USD and local islands price souvenirs in, and seem to actively want, USD rather than rufiyaah.

The resorts

All Maldivian resorts are on their own island. These range in size from 2.5km across to just 150m across. Most resorts offer excursions by boat to local fishing village islands, or to the capital Male, but otherwise you will stay on the resort island for the duration of your stay. There are approximately 90 resort islands to choose from ranging from affordable to ultimate luxury.  Costs of meals, drinks etc in resort will be high.

Top Things to do

The Maldives are a tropical paradise, and people visit for the beaches and the water sports - the underwater life is amazing and the Maldives has a reputation as a diver's paradise.

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