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Maldives Travel Information - Banner
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About the Maldives
The Maldives is situated in the heart of the Indian Ocean. There are 1,190 islands within the archipelago-consisting of 26 atolls and spread around a 90,000 m2area. The islands are a few metres above sea level and only about 199 islands are inhabited. Marco Polo has called the islands "the flower of the Indies..." There is an abundance of marine flora and fauna, with over 200 species of coral. The ocean-has a great variety of fish, grey reef sharks, dolphins, butterflyfish, parrotfish, surgeonfish, Vermillion rock cod, giant leatherback turtles, moray eels, lionfish, scorpionfish... and the list goes on.

Getting There
Regular flights connect the Maldives to Colombo (Sri Lanka), Thrivandrum (southwest India), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and there are numerous charter flights from European centres in the peak season. Malé International Airport is the only international gateway; departure tax is 12.00 and is included in the ticket price. There are regular cargo ships, but they don't usually take passengers. The Maldives is not popular with private yachts because the reefs are so hazardous and cruising permits are restrictive and expensive.

Entry
All visitors must have a valid passport. For visitors from yellow fever infected areas, an international certificate of inoculation is required. No visa is required in advance. A tourist visa of 30 days will be issued to all visitors with valid travel documents. All Visitors who enter the Maldives should be in possession of a return air ticket and at least US$30, per intended day of stay.

During the period December to March when most of the resort islands are full it is advised that all visitors have confirmed hotel reservations before arrival. However for the convenience of visitors without advance bookings a Tourist Information Counter is provided at the arrival hall through which a booking may be made. Hotel information is also required for immigration clearance. All visitors who enter the Maldives should be in possession of a return air-ticket and at least US$25 per intended day of stay in the Maldives.

Language
The language of Maldives is Dhivehi, which belongs to the Indro-Indian group of languages. Researches have proved that the Maldives language has close resemblance to the languages of North India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.

Dhivehi is the official language of the country. The language has its roots in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. 'Elu', an ancient form of Singhalese, was originally spoken by the people of this country in ancient times.

Politics
Politics in the Maldives takes place in the framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President is the head of government. The President heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet which is approved by the Parliament. The President is nominated to a five-year term by a secret ballot of the Majlis (parliament), a nomination which is confirmed by national referendum.

Climate
The Maldives are formed of 26 atolls, or atholhu in Dhivehi — the source of the English word. These are not single islands, but giant ringlike coral formations hundreds of kilometers wide that have fragmented into countless islands. The Maldives enjoys a warm tropical climate all year round with temperatures varying from 33 .3°C to 26.3°C. The annual rainfall is around 29 cm. This is a destination that is always in season.

Time
The Maldives is five hours ahead, of Greenwich Mean Time, and half an hour behind India and Sri Lanka.

Currency
The Maldivian currency is Rufiyaa (RF) which is divided into 100 Laari (L). Coins in use are 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 Laari and one Rufiyaa. The notes in denominations of 2, 5;10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 Rufiyaas.

Dress
The Maldives is an Islamic country and nudity is strictly prohibited. Tourists are requested to wear clothes thighs and upper body while visiting inhabited islands. Beachwear and swimsuits are allowed in the resort islands..


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