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Do I need a visa to travel to the Maldives?
You do not require a Visa prior to arrival in the Maldives. All tourists from all the countries are granted free 30 day visa upon arrival. However, all the visitors need a valid travel document. If a passport expiry date falls within 30 days of arrival, tourists cannot extend their stay beyond the passport expiry date.
What is the time difference?
Maldives is five hours ahead (GMT +5.00) of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
What vaccinations should I have?
Normally, no vaccinations are required by the Maldives authorities. However, if you are from a Central African nation or South American, or if you have traveled through these areas to get here you need to have a valid certificate indicating that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. If not you do not need any specific vaccination certificates to get into the Maldives. If you want to be extra careful, do consult your personal physician for his recommendations.
When is the best time to travel to the Maldives?
November through to April is the peak tourist season, and booking in advance is recommended. From May to October the cost of accommodation is comparatively lower as this is considered the low season. The Maldives experiences warm temperatures all year round (there is no need to a jumper or jacket at any time of the year, day or night), however December to April is considered the dry season with less rainfall, whilst you can expect to have more rain May to October. Temperatures still remain warm but the sky can be cloudy, more rain showers and humidity higher.
What currency do I need to take?
In Maldives we have our own currency called "Maldivian Ruffiya" (MRf). One United States Dollar is equivalent to 12.85 MRf (Maldives Monetary Authority buying rate) and this value doesn't vary much. You will find that most resorts quote prices in USD or Euro’s. The MRF is mainly used in Male the Capital or on local islands.
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Most major credit cards are widely accepted on the resorts and in some shops in Male. It is however very difficult to get cash advances off a credit card. Maestro card is not widely accepted on many resorts, so it is recommended to check before travelling.
Are ATM machines available?
There is an ATM machine at Male International Airport, as well as the HSBC bank in Male. Note that these machines will give out Maldivian Ruffiya and not USD’s.
Is tipping necessary?
You will find that all bills in resorts and restaurants in Male add 10% service charge. This service charged is divided between all the staff to help boost their otherwise relatively low salaries. Tipping however is totally dependent on the
service you receive and not compulsory, but will not the less be gratefully received.
Is the tap water safe to drink?
Each resort has its own water desalination plant and this water is fine to use to brush your teeth, however we recommend you drink bottled water. Bottled water is readily available in all islands.
Am I allowed to bring alcohol into the country?
Nobody is allowed to bring in liquor to Maldives, unless he or she has a special import license for liquor, beer and related products. If somebody has bought liquor and beer and related items on his/her way to Maldives from a duty free center, then products should be bonded in custom on their arrival to Maldives. And the goods will be released on their departure. Further nobody is allowed to bring in liquor, beer or related products to the Capital City/Island. Thus the Capital City Hotel's will not offer liquor, beer and related products.
Are there medical and hospital facilities?
Maldives has excellent medical and dental services, pharmacies, a large government hospital and many private clinics in the capital city of Male. Most of the resorts are also equipped with simple medical facilities and small clinics are usually located on nearby local islands.
What do I wear?
Dress code is generally casual, T-shirts, and light cotton clothes are the most suitable. Even on five star resorts the attire is smart casual. Nudity is forbidden in all areasand this includes no topless sunbathing. Swimwear should not be worn into restaurants at meal times and modest clothing should be worn when visiting local islands or the Capital Male.
Is it safe for tourists?
YES! The Maldives is probably one of the safest places in the world.
Are souvenir shops available?
You will find most resorts have a small souvenir shop; however prices can be a little bit more expensive. When visiting local islands on excursion you will normally find small shops selling sarongs, jewellery, T-shirts, handicrafts and various other gift items and these will generally be a little cheaper than on the resorts. If you also get the opportunity to visit Male the Capital then there is an abundance of small and large souvenir shops and again prices tend to be cheaper than on the resorts.
What is Ramadan and how will this affect my holiday?
Ramadan is the 9th Month of the Islamic Calendar and during this month, people of the Muslim Faith fast from Dawn until Dusk each day. The beginning of the Islamic lunar month depends on the actual sighting of the new moon. Thus Ramadan begins on a different day each year and moves forward. During this period there will be no disruption to facilities on your resorts, but you may find that service can be a little bit slower and excursion timings may slightly change. Shops in Male will open late afternoon. Restaurants in Male (other than those in hotels) are not permitted to open until after sunset.
Do I have to pay Departure Tax?
Departure Tax should have been included in the price of your airfare, so this is worth checking with the airline before you travel. Currently the airport tax is $12 per person and USD only is accepted.
What facilities are at the airport?
ATM Machine and Bank is available in the arrival terminal. There is a small pharmacy, Clinic, Phone and Internet shop, Souvenir Shop, Post Office, Café, Movenpick Ice-cream and small children’s play area all located between the arrival hall and departure hall. Once through Customs you have a selection of shops, including souvenir shops, dive shop, jewelers shops and Duty Free, along with VIP lounges, the two Café/Restaurants.
All items of luggage, suitcases and hand luggage are scanned on arrival and departure.
Check in desks for departures do not open until at least 2.5 – 3 hours prior to departure.