PLAN YOUR VISIT

TRAVELLER INFORMATION

VISA & IMMIGRATION
The beautiful country of the Maldives welcomes everyone with open arms. Accordingly, the Maldives is one of the easiest countries in terms of visa and immigration arrangements.

Any tourist from any nationality is granted a free 30-day visa on arrival to the Maldives. Hence, there is no need for you to undergo any hassle with regards to obtaining prior visa. Once you reach the airport, Immigration personnel will assist you with the visa procedures.

OBTAINING TOURIST VISA
The free 30-day visa is granted upon complying with the following procedures:

  • Visitor should have a valid passport or travel document authorised by a sovereign state.
  • Visitor should have a valid return ticket to exit the Maldives.
  • Visitor should have the financial capacity to cover the expenses for the duration of the stay or a confirmed reservation from a tourist Hotel or Resort in the Maldives. The financial capacity is measured by US$100 + $50 dollars per day.

VISA CONDITIONS
The Department of Immigration and Emigration reserves the right to issue a visa for any number of days, not exceeding the 30 day limit.

Immigration department reserves the right to deport any person:

  • Using the tourist visa to work in the Maldives
  • Participates or incites unlawful activities
  • Disrupting the political and religious harmony of the country
  • Becoming a nuisance to the public
EXTENDING TOURIST VISA
The free 30 day visa period can be extended for a further 60 days, totalling 90 days including the original free visa period of 30 day.

To extend the Tourist Visa the following procedures should be followed:

  • Extension application should be made through the “Visa Extension Application Form” to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, before the expiry of the free 30 days visa.
  • Department of Immigration and Emigration will re-evaluate the financial capacity of the applicant.
  • A fee of MVR 750 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Rufiyaa) will be levied for visa extension.
Visit the website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration http://www.immigration.gov.mv for detailed information about Tourist Visa and immigration requirements.

CURRENCY & BANKING

The national currency of the Maldives is Rufiyaa. Previously MRF and Rf was used as the symbol for Rufiyaa. However, currently the ISO recognised code for Rufiyaa is MVR. One Rufiyaa is subdivided into hundred laaris (cents). Presently 1 US Dollar is equivalent to MVR 15.42.

Historically the Maldivians used cowry shells as their currency to trade with the outside world. Modern banknotes were first issued in the Maldives on 5th September 1948.

RUFIYAA BANKOTES AND COINS
There are six distinct denominations of Rufiyaa banknotes presently in circulation. Available denomination of Rufiyaa banknotes includes; MVR 5, MVR 10, MVR 20, MVR 50, MVR 100 and MVR 500. The design of the Rufiyaa banknotes depicts drawings of coconuts, Maldivian boats, and historical buildings.

BUYING MALDIVIAN RUFIYAA
Most currencies can be exchanged to Maldivian Rufiyaa through banks and licensed Money Exchangers. Money exchanging services is provided round-the-clock at the arrival terminal in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE).

Most commonly used International currencies in the Maldives includes; US Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euros. Most of the islands, liveaboards, hotels, restaurants, travel agents and souvenir shops accept foreign currency and credit card payments.

BANKS AND CREDIT CARDS
The Maldives Monetary Authority acts as the Central Bank of the country. The Bank of Maldives, having branches across the country is the National Bank of the Maldives. Other reputed local and International Banks also operate in the country.

The normal banking hours are generally from Sunday to Thursday 08:00hrs-15:00hrs. Most Banks are closed on weekends, public and bank holidays. Local and International Banks provide ATM services to customers. Local Banks may charge a nominal fee for ATM transactions involving International Credit Cards.

Major International Credit Cards like American Express, Visa Card, Master Card and JCB Card can be used in the Maldives for financial transactions.

Visit this link to get daily updated exchange rates of major foreign currencies: http://www.bankofmaldives.com.mv/exchange-rates

COMMUNICATION, ELECTRICITY & SAFETY

The beautiful Maldives Islands are scattered across the Indian Ocean and are connected by a modern high powered communication network. Local Company Dhiraagu and International Company Ooredoo provides telecommunication and internet services across the Maldives. Correspondingly these companies supply efficient fixed line, GSM, mobile and internet services. The dialling code of the Maldives is +960. International roaming services are also available in the Maldives. You can easily purchase a mobile SIM card from any of the service providers using your passport as documentary evidence. The communication networks in the Maldives provide ISD and STD services as well.

Electricity is accessible generally without any intermission in every inhabited islands. The voltage of the electricity provided in the Maldives is 220-240 volts. Additionally the utility frequency of the power supplied is 50 Hz. Commonly the British standard three-pin rectangular plugs are used in AC power plugs and sockets. Nonetheless, other types of power adaptors and converters are also promptly obtainable should your electronic devices require them.

Before arriving to the Maldives it is important to subscribe for adequate insurance that covers for medical emergencies. Your insurance details and emergency contact numbers should be brought with you when visiting the Maldives.

The equatorial sun emits dangerous ultraviolet rays at midday. If you are sunbathing when the sun is hot and bright, always apply sun protection lotion or cream. You can acquire such protective lotions from the island shops. Necessary precautions and measures are in place to avoid unfortunate accidents in the water. Always follow the instructions provided by your instructors when you go for diving or any other water related activity.

If you are going for snorkelling do remember to take necessary precautions. Snorkelling is one of easiest ways to explore the underwater life present in the house reef. Before starting your snorkelling adventure, you must test the simple snorkelling gears to see whether you are comfortable in them. Always be wary of changing water current and wind. Never drift further away from the lagoon or boat while snorkelling.

Two prominent hospitals in the Maldives are located in the Capital Male’. Namely the State run Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and the privately owned ADK hospital. Specialist doctors and clinics are also operated in the Capital City. Additionally health care facilities are readily available in inhabited islands. The Maldives is a relatively crime free country. However, it is advisable to keep your room and personal belongings safely locked away.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation within the Maldives is straightforward, even though the islands are dispersed across the third largest ocean on earth. Once you reach the Maldives, speed Launches will deliver you a journey to remember and you can discover many islands en route. You can reach Male’, directly from the International Airport island Hulhule’, by embarking on the ferry boats operated round-the-clock between the islands. While in Male’, you can use, the local cabs for transport and sightseeing.

Commonly Boats and Speed Launches are used to travel between the islands and atolls. Maldivians are avid builders of seagoing vessels. Get pleasure from the sea breezes and exquisite sights while travelling by sea. Local boats called “Dhoni”, which are powered by diesel engines, are commonly used for sea journeys.

WHAT TO PACK

The Maldives enjoy a sunny climate for the better part of a year. Hence, locals and visitors alike prefer to dress in lightweight clothes. Since the Maldivians observe the religion of Islam, it is advisable to dress conservatively when visiting inhabited islands like the Capital Male’ City.
The Maldives is all about the white sandy beaches and underwater beauty. Hence, pack a lot of swimwear and beachwear.

In addition to the clothing, you can include the following items when you pack for your dream holiday in the Maldives:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Digital camera
  • Camcorder
  • Money belt
  • Hat or Cap
  • Torch light
  • First aid kit
  • Electricity adaptor
  • Mosquito or insect repellent

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