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 everyday life describes its beauty to the visitors during their stay.
From its humble beginning in 1972, the Tourism Industry of Maldives has today become renowned in the world for its ultra-high standard of service and quality and innovative products and services. From introducing the world’s first underwater restaurant to the world’s first underwater room and world’s first underwater spa, the drive for innovation never ceases here.
The industry first developed with a distinctive concept under the title of ‘one island, one resort’, whereby each island consists 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.
Today, the industry has expanded to include hotels and guest houses situated in local islands as well as liveaboards offering unique experiences. Tourists are now able to have a taste of all these experiences by opting for split-stays between resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards.
Since it’s located close to the equator, Maldives has a tropical climate. It has two distinct seasons known as “Hulhangu” – Wet / Southwest Monsoon that runs from April – November and “Iruvai” – Dry / Northeast monsoon that runs from December – March.
The temperature is generally between 28 – 32 degrees Celsius (year-round) and though we have the occasional thunderstorm, the majority of the days throughout the year.are sunny.
The islands of Maldives are scattered around the Indian ocean close to the equator (in fact 2 of the southernmost atolls fall just below the equator). Each atoll is formed around plenty of reefs encircling the islands. Atolls are divided by a deep ocean from each other from North to the South. All of the atolls have resorts and guesthouses and there are also liveaboards that can now travel across the Maldives and venture into any atoll of your choosing.
The population of the Maldives, due to its geography is spread around 90,000 square kilometers making it the most geographically dispersed country in the world. The population of 450,000 people inhabit 192 islands in the country out of the 1192 islands. A significant number of around 200,000 of the population lives in the capital Male’.
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 hand beating 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 by getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese.