Sunday, July 13, 2008


Area : 90,000 sq.kms (1,190 islands)
Geographical Location : Indian Ocean
Immediate Neighbours : India & Sri Lanka
Status : Republic
Population : 2,86,368 (1993 official estimate)
Capital : Male (Area 1.77 sq.kms)
Airport : Maldives International Airport on Hulule Islands, 2 kms east of Male
Maldives Standard Time : +5 hrs GMT
Religion : 100% Sunni Muslim
Language : Dhivehi, English
Literacy Rate : 98.2% (Age group 10-45 years)
Temperature : 30.4degree C (Mean Max)
25.4degree C (Mean Min)
Monsoons : South-West : May-October
North-East : November-April
Average Annual Rainfall : 1948.2 mm
Currency : Maldivian Rufiyaa (1US$ = Rf 11.72)
Working House : Banks 8am - 1.30PM (Sun to Thur)
Government Office : 7.30am - 2.30 pm (Sun to Thur)

Fridays and Saturdays holidays.
Private Offices : Open between 8 am and 10am and close between 6-8 pm with a lunch break.
Credit cards : American Express, Diners Club, Eurocards, JCB, Marstercards, Visa.
Road Transport: Travel on most of the islands takes no more than half-an-hour on foot.
Bicycles and motorbikes are popular modes of transport.
Water Transport: Local boats or dhoanis (average speed of 7 knots) are the most common means of water transport. One can make use of the regular ferry service operating between Male and the International Airport. Modern speedboats are also available for hire.
Season: From November through April being the peak season, reservations for stay must be made well in advance. From May to October the demand and costs for accommodation are comparatively lower. In June and July, the Maldives experience regular showers with monsoons bringing in more wind and rain.
Social Customs: Handshaking is the most common form of greeting.
Currency: The basic monetary unit in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MRf). They come in denomination of 500,100,50,20,10,5, 2 notes & coins) and 1 (coins only).
Customs Regulations : It is prohibited by law to import Alcoholic beverages, pornographic literature or pictures, narcotics, firearms and idols of worship. With the government imposing a ban on the killing of turtles, export of tortoise shell and coral is forbidden.

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