Maldives Essentials

Passport and Visa Requirements
All travellers to Maldives must be in possession of a valid passport.  Tourist Visas are issued at the time of arrival to all visitors in possession of valid travel documents.  Tourist visas are issued free of charge.

Visitors entering the Maldives should have return or onward tickets and a minimum of US$100 and US$50 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives.

Tourist visas can be extended by 90 days (which includes the initial 30 days granted on arrival) by applying to the immigration department.

There is no departure tax.

Prohibited Items
Please note when traveling to the Maldives, there are restrictions on items which can be brought into the country. In particular, alcohol, including duty-free purchases, are not allowed as this is a Muslim country. Other items include:

  • Religious materials deemed offensive to Islam, including reading materials such as Bibles etc
  • Idols (for worship)
  • Pornographic material
  • Narcotics and psychotropic substances
  • Pets
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Alcohol and Spirits
  • Food containing pork and its by-products

Please contact us if you would like clarification prior to your travels.

Money and Banks
Local banking hours are Sunday to Thursday from 7.30am to 2.30pm, with ATMs widely available on Malé.

Most tourist destinations will accept all major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa). Travellers cheques in US Dollars are also generally accepted.

The local currency is Maldivian Rufiya (MRF), which is comprised of 100 laari.  
100MRF = US$6.50

Health
First-aid facilities are available on all resort islands. There are two hospitals on Malé—the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the ADK private hospital.

Medical treatment here can be very expensive.  It is strongly recommended that travellers have comprehensive health insurance before visiting the Maldives.

In case of diving emergencies, a decompression chamber is accessible in Malé.

Electricity
The Maldives usually use the standard European non-grounded socket, which is the most common in the world.  However, plug sockets can vary and it is very worth carrying an international adapter.

Television
Cable TV is available on most islands. 

Telephones and Communication
Complimentary WiFI Internet connection is provided throughout the resort

In general, mobile phone coverage is good on the islands.  However, do check your international roaming agreement with your mobile phone provider. 

SIM cards can be bought in Malé in order to make cheap local calls.

The international dialling code for Maldives is +960

Postal Service
MPL (Maldives Post Limited) provides a comprehensive postal service.  Letters and cards take approximately seven to 10 days to reach international destinations. The main Post Office, the MPL Headquarters, is situated in Male. There are about 215 agency post offices and nine regional post offices in the Maldives.

Water
Tap water is usually not considered drinkable.  It is advised that visitors drink bottled water. At Cocoa Island, in-room complimentary filtered water is provided and replenished daily.


Tipping
Tipping is not customary in the Maldives and it is officially discouraged. However it is common practise to tip waiters and room staff at the resort.  The official tipping advice for staff is approximately US$10 each per week.

It is prohibited to tip airport staff.

If a taxi is taken in Malé it is unnecessary to tip, as the fare is usually prepaid.

Dress
As a mark of respect, please remember that Maldives is a Muslim country.  Women are expected to keep thighs and shoulders covered outside of the resorts.

Swimwear should be covered up in restaurants and it is worth remembering that bikinis are strictly prohibited outside the resorts.

Nudity is also prohibited.

Time Zone
Standard time in Maldives is GMT (+5)

Crime
There is very little crime in the Maldives, especially in the resorts.  The Maldivians are generally honest, helpful people.  Having said that, use common sense, take the usual precautions and don’t leave cash or valuables on view.