The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean about 500 Km from the southern tip of both India and Sri Lanka. It is the ideal exotic tropical island paradise. Independent since 1965 and a republic since 1968, the Maldives is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the non-aligned movement. It maintains a very cordial relationship with the international community.
Under the leadership of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, the country is a champion of global peace and environmental preservation. In 2011, the Maldives held a population of 320,081. A common language (Dhivehi) and religion (Islam) unite the people into a cohesive and peaceful society. The country has been inhabited for at least 25 centuries.
The Maldives comprises of more than 1190 islands grouped into atolls protected by surrounding coral reefs which attracts various species of marine life. Coconut palms and tropical plants grow in abundance on most islands. The Maldives straddles the equator and has a tropical climate. The southwest monsoon brings the most of the rain around June and July. Normally, the skies are clear during the northeast monsoon. As of the early 1970`s tourism has flourished in the Maldives. Surfers, divers, beach fanatics, game fisherman and all-round sea lovers find the Maldives an ideal holiday location. Throughout 2014 the Maldives Local Island Guest Houses have been increasing more and more and it is estimated that there will be more than 80 Guest houses in 2015.
The Maldives has increasingly become extremely accessible, especially by air. Scheduled and charter flights operate on a regular basis from points of origin in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Visitors from all countries are issued a thirty-day tourist visa on arrival.
Maldives at a glance
|Official name of the country||Republic of Maldives|
|Location||Indian Ocean, about 500km from Sri-Lanka and India|
|Geography||Coral islands grouped into atolls with fringing reefs|
|Area||90,000 sq km|
|Political Status||Independent Republic|
|Capital||Male (1.77 sq km)|
|International Airport||Male Ibrahim Naasir International Airport|
|Maldives standard time||+5 hrs GMT|
|Language||Dhivehi (English is widely spoken)|
|Currency||Rufiyaa (Rf. 1 = 100 Laari)|
|Exchange rate||1US$ = 15.42 RF|
|International dialing code||+960 Telecommunication organisation (Dhiraagu and Oredoo)|