Like every other country on the face of this planet, Maldives is no exception. There are certain things unique to this lovely country that a traveler or a tourist must know before even start packing for the flight. Here are some of the important tips that you may find worthwhile. Even if you did your home work, please revisit as this may be regularly updated.
Important Social Observations
Dress is informal, but locals are Muslims and will be offended by nudity or scanty clothing in public places, and the Government rigidly enforces these standards. Bikinis and other scanty beachwears are not acceptable in Male’ (the capital) or on any other inhabited island. Descent piece of cloth is all what they ask for and its not too hard to find one. When entering a mosque, the legs and the body, but not the neck and the face, should be covered. Handshaking is the most common form of greeting although very close friends may hug and kiss on the cheek.
The indigenous population not involved in the tourist trade lives in islands’ communities maintaining almost total privacy. The same dress code must be observed during day trips or excursions. A large number of locals smoke, but smoking and eating during Ramadan in public places are not allowed. Smoking in the government buildings and enclosed restaurants are also prohibited. If you are in doubt on any social context, please feel free to ask your host resort/hotel or your tour guide, they will be more than willing to help you.
Although tipping is discouraged it is commonly practiced on some islands. It is always good to ask a staff before starting to tip, about the properties policy on tipping. If you feel you must tip or service is exceptionally good, than never wait….read on.. its not too long….
Hulhule International Airport – Hulhule Island is 2km (1.2 miles) from Male’ (travel time by boat from Male’ 7 minutes aprox). Boats from the various island resorts meet each arriving plane to take visitors to their accommodation. There is no scheduled transfer from Hulhule Island to the other islands except Male’. Hulhule is a simple charm of an island made to become an airport. This airport has almost all the facilities you may be looking for in an airport. Amenities and facilities such as restaurants, duty free shopping, toilets, showers, prayer rooms, left luggage, first aid, bank, snack bar and post office; this airport fits well into the international standards. If your flight may be delayed or if you have more than 4 hours to wait in the airport, you may choose to take a ride to Male’ for little shopping and site seeing. The fare is 10 MRF per trip and if you have USD, than 1 USD per trip. So, do you think you should change some at the airport? If an advance booking has been made, representatives of the resorts will receive tourists at the airport and will take care of all onward transport arrangements.
There is no departure tax collected at the airport. This leaves you with 10 more US Doller to hit the sake bar.
The following goods may be imported into the Maldives Republic without incurring customs duty: A reasonable amount of cigarettes (maybe 10 packs), cigars and tobacco; a reasonable number of gifts. You have want to leave a little money to shop at Airport duty free. There are wide variety of shops specially souvenirs, electronics, cloths, confectioneries and a lots of gifts to take back to those lovely nice and nephews.
Alcoholic beverages, this means any alcohol (although some tourists say that champagne is not alcoholic). It is sometimes frustrating that the most expensive bottle of champagne that you may bring to surprise your fiance’ gets held at the customs and you get disappointed. The trick to avoid this disappointment is to avoid bringing it in the first place. Trust this website, that you can get most expensive bottle of wine in the Maldives. Try asking your Agent / Resort in question. Other prohibited items include pornographic literature; idols of worship; pork products and other animal products; explosives and weapons;
Drugs are strictly prohibited; the penalty for importing drugs for personal or other use is life imprisonment. Animals require a veterinary certificate.
The following may not be exported in any form: tortoise and turtle shells and products made of turtle shell (the Government has banned the killing of turtles, sharks), and black coral in whole form. If you need further clarifications, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Care about your personal health
Please make sure your personal health is kept intact while holidaying in the Maldives. Sun screen, lose clothing, re-hydrating and contact lenses are important to take care of.