Heading off on holiday to the Maldives from Singapore: The Basics
Currency: Rufiyaa, Laree, and US dollars are accepted in most resorts
Language: Dhivehi and English
Religion: Sunni Muslim
Emergency number: 102
Who needs one?
No visa is required to enter the Maldives. Easy!
Medical facilities are limited to two hospitals on the capital island, and neither has a trauma unit. Treatment can be expensive so make sure your travel insurance is comprehensive.
Learn the Lingo
Hello: Assalaamu Alaikum
Thank you: Shukuriyaa
What time is it? Gadin kihaa ireh?
Yes/ no: Aan/ noon
How much does this cost? Agu kihaavareh?
Let’s Explore: Hot Spots
The Maldives is less about choosing a destination and more about choosing a luxury resort! Malé has a bit more going for it than many people think, and it at least gives a taste of Maldivian “street” culture, plus mosques, markets and more.
There are really only two decisision to make regarding a Maldives itinerary: either you fly into Malé and then take a ferry to one of the resorts that are located closer to the capital, or you opt for a connecting sea-plane flight to a more far-flung atoll. If you choose the latter, it will often mean you’ll require an overnight stay in Malé itself.
Times & Dates
4 ½ hours
Time difference from Singapore
3 hours behind
When to go
The dry season between December and April is the most popular, with accommodations particularly in demand at Christmas and New Year. Between May and November, the weather is still hot but there is a greater chance of rain.
9 July: Ramadan. All Maldivians mark the month of Ramadan, but service at the resorts should remain uninterrupted.
26 July: Independence Day. Commemorating the Maldives’ independence from the British protectorate in 1965.
11 November: Republic Day. This is a day that wishes peace and prosperity for its islands inhabitants. Expect parades with an Arabian influence.
Before you go, watch…
The Island President. The story of the ousted President Nasheed and his fight for democracy and against climate change.
Before you go, read…
The Strode Venturer by Hammond Innes. A 1965 thriller novel set partly in the Maldives.
Maldives: Kingdom of a Thousand Isles by Andrew Forbes. History, culture, politics, economics: all are covered in considerable detail in this guide.
While you’re there, please don’t…
go from beach to bar or restaurant in you bikini. Although the resorts are tolerant, you will be asked to cover up in areas other than the beach. And definitely don’t go topless, it’s illegal.
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