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The Republic of the Maldives consists of 1,190 islands (fewer than 200 are inhabited) in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. The Maldives has a population of 379,174, of whom about 104,000 reside in Male, the capital city. Beautiful atolls, inhabited by over 1,100 species of fish and other sea life, attract thousands of visitors each year. Tourism facilities are well developed on the resort islands. The tsunami of December 26, 2004 damaged several hotels and facilities on some of the islands, but all damaged tourism infrastructure has been rebuilt. Read the Department of State Background Notes on the Maldives for additional information.



Image of Maldives
Country Name: Maldives
Continent: Asia
Capital City: Male
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Male:  ADK Hospital, IGM Hospital

Main Cities:


Country Size: 300 sq km
Population: 369,031



Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials

Currency: Maldive Rufiyaa (MVR)
Predominant Religions:

Sunni Muslim

National Holidays: Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
Economic Status:

Tourism, Maldives' largest industry, accounts for 28% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes.


National Security Service: Security Branch (ground forces), Air Element, Coast Guard

US Presence:
U.S. Virtual Mission in Maldives
210 Galle Road
Colombo 03
Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 (11) 249-8500
Document Requirements:

A valid passport, along with an onward/return ticket and sufficient funds, is required for entry. A no-cost visitor visa valid for thirty days is issued upon arrival. The Department of Immigration and Emigration routinely approves requests for extension of stays up to ninety days for travelers who present evidence of sufficient funds and who stay in a resort or hotel or present a letter from a local sponsor. Anyone staying over sixty days without proper authorization faces heavy fines and deportation. All visitors departing the Republic of Maldives (except diplomats and certain exempted travelers) must pay an airport departure tax, which is usually included in the price of an airline ticket. Travelers need a yellow fever immunization if they are arriving from an infected area. Arrival by private boat: Travelers arriving by private yacht or boat are granted no-cost visas, usually valid until the expected date of departure. Vessels anchoring in atolls other than Male must have prior clearance through agents in Male. Maldivian customs, police and/or representatives of Maldivian immigration will meet all vessels, regardless of where they anchor. Vessels arriving with a dog on board will be permitted anchorage, but the dog will not be allowed off the vessel. Any firearms or ammunition on board will be held for bond until the vessel’s departure. With the exception of the capital, Male, tourists are generally prohibited from visiting non-resort islands without the express permission of the Government of Maldives. Specific inquiries should be addressed to Maldives High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka at No. 25, Melbourne Avenue, Colombo 4, telephone (94) (11) 2587824 / 5516302 / 5516303, or the Maldives Mission to the U.N. in New York, telephone (212) 599-6195. Visit the web site of the Maldives Permanent Mission to the United Nations at http://www.maldivesmission-ny.com/eng/ for the most current visa information. Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information.

Major Airports:

Airports:  5, Airports w/paved runways:  2

Male International Airport (MLE/VRMM)
Male Airport, Maldives, Maldives Airports Company Ltd, Hulhule, Male, REPBULIC OF MALDIVES
Tel: +960 (0)333 8800, +960 (0)332 5511, +960 (0)332 2211
Fax: +960 (0)333 1515
Customs, hours: 24 hours
Tel: +960 (0)323409
Fax: +960 (0)322633

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

The Maldives has a low crime rate, but thefts of valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotels does occur.

Religious Laws: Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited. In the past, several non-Maldivian families resident in the Maldives, including some Americans, were expelled for allegedly engaging in religious proselytizing.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  53.25 deaths/ 1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL  64.76 years  (male 63.41/ female 66.19)

Immunization Indicators:

Required:  None

Recommended:  Hep A & B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters:  MMR, DPT, poliovirus

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue fever has caused epidemics in most South Asian countries. In 2005-2006, an outbreak of chikungunya affected thousands of persons in India. Filariasis is common. A sharp rise in the incidence of visceral leishmaniasis has been observed in several South Asian countries. Japanese encephalitis occurs widely except in mountainous areas of South Asia. Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection often contracted through recreational water activities in contaminated water, is common in tropical areas of the South Asia region. Indigenous wild polio was present in 2005-2006 in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; cases from Bangladesh and Nepal were confirmed in 2005-2006. Measles occurs in the South Asia region and can be a source of infection for unvaccinated travelers.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

The Maldives has limited medical facilities. There are two hospitals in Male. The hospitals perform general, orthopedic and neurosurgery, but the Maldives has no trauma units, and spinal surgery is not available. Persons needing treatments not offered in the Maldives require evacuation to Singapore. Two recompression chambers are available in the Maldives. One is on Bandos Island and the other is in Kuramathi.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 1
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) continues to cause outbreaks in domestic and wild bird populations and has caused human cases in several South Asian countries. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +960

Internet Country Code:  .mv


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