The Maldives

Maldives is described as the sunny side of life. The country has a peaceful character in herself; where the laid back lifestyle of the islanders, the harmonious cultural activities which sets the atmosphere and the scrumptious cuisine of the everyday life describes its beauty to the visitors during their stay.

The Tourism Industry is developed with a distinctive concept under the title of ‘one island, one resort’. Each island consist of an exclusive hotel and runs with a workforce living in the resort entirely based on the hospitality sector. Each of these islands have their own house reef for the visitors to enjoy the natural aquamarine life. Typically all resorts are based on the laidback lifestyle though some resorts are managed as clubs with lots of activities every day.

Visitors have the opportunity to see the local inhabited islands as well as enjoy the uninhabited islands of the Maldives while on their holiday. Mode of transfer is normally speedboat and dhoni within the atoll though to reach from airport to the resorts there is the option of choosing between seaplanes, domestic airlines and speedboat as the mode of transfer. More than hundred resorts are operating in the Maldives which is scattered to all the atolls and consists of different luxury international brands and as well as Maldivian local brands.

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Weather & Climate


Since it’s located just below the equator, Maldives experience a tropical weather. It has two seasons as “Hulhangu – Wet” as southwest monsoons and “Iruvai – Dry” as northeast monsoons. The temperature is naturally at 32 degrees Celsius and it experiences rare thunderstorms but more sunny days throughout the year.

Location


Maldives; the jewel islands are scattered around the Indian ocean above the equator. Each atoll is formed around plenty of reefsencircling islands. Atolls are divided by a deep ocean from each other from North to the South. Most of the resorts are located in the Ari atoll and Kaafu atoll surrounding the International airport for easy access, though a few but as far as the most South and North do have resorts around the areas.

Population


The population of the Maldives, due it its geography is spread around the 90,000 square kilometers making it the most geographically dispersed country in the world. The population of 300,000 people inhabits in 192 islands in the country out of the 1192 islands. A significant number of around 100,000 of the population lives in the capital male’ and nearby Male’ atoll due to the abundant services like jobs, healthcare and education.

Culture & Language


A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world travelling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with handbeating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries. As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women – for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view – are not tenets of life here. In fact women play a major role in society – not surprising considering the fact men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around us.


Dhivehi is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese.

The Environment


This tropical country which lies under the equator is formed around twenty six atolls consisting of thousands of islands. The islands are formed around beautiful coral lagoons, reefs and a deep blue ocean where different marine species survives around. Maldives withstands in this delicate environment and sustains the economy around industries like fishing, agriculture and tourism which balances on it.

The islands where the population lives are typical tropical islands even though the vegetation differs. The inhabited islands are more surrounded by fruit bearing trees like breadfruit, drumstick, papaya, coconut palms as well as watermelon vines. They do have lots of shading trees like banyan tree as well. Most of the uninhabited islands on the other hand consist of lots of bushes like Magoo, Boashi and Kuredi as well as coconut palms on the island shore.

To sustain our Tourism industry, the government has implemented marine and land protected regions and areas throughout the country. One of the most highlighted area is UNESCO Heritage Biosphere Reserve at Baa Atoll. It is believed to promote sustainable tourism within this area through education and research development with the help of the local community base around the atoll.

In addition to this, there are also more projects in Maldives by different NGO’s and environment bodies held out throughout the years. Maldives Whale Shark Research program (MWSRP) in Ari Atoll and the government initiated Maldives Environment Management Project across the country is to be highlighted. The objectives of these programs are to improve and develop socially and environmentally sustainable environment for the years to live and to support the country’s main economy sectors.

Investing in Maldives


The country is reliant on tourism with more than quarter of the GDP contributed by this sector. Though there is an economic crisis over European countries; which were the major market of the sector, the positive growth of this sector has been increasing the last five years in an average of 5.2 percent with new emerging marketsand the significant increase in the Asian, Eastern Europe and American market.

Geographically Maldives islands are divided in different atolls but during the past three decades, most resorts were developed around the capital. However now, the development plan in progress by the tourism ministry involves introducing more resorts on atolls at the North and South.

The fourth tourism master plan is underway and one of the main segments in this positive strategy is to advance the human resource development in this sector. Though the influx of expatriate labors in increase, the Tourism act defines that each resort has to employ 50% of locals.  Maldivian economy and all jobs are related to the tourism industry due to the significant contribution on the GDP. Investors have the benefit of catering directly to the tourism market because all is linked to the products and services of tourism.

Another advantage for the investors is: it brings on a better community drive on local islands with the development. Investors have an opportunity to create local educational training programs in compliance with NGO’s and the government. The contribution will become beneficial for the investors as it creates more employment opportunities in the country as well as awareness.