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Maldives: Travel guide

Everything you need to know about one of the worlds’ most beautiful countries

Image Credit: Supplied/Jumeirah Vittaveli

Welcome to the Maldives. A beautiful island country with abundant natural beauty, bright turquoise waters and lush greenery. The Maldives is a popular destination for visitors from the UAE and a great place for couples or young families to escape.

The Maldives is blessed with year round tropical climate and beautiful sunshine. With an average temperature of 27 degrees, it provides perfect beach weather almost every day.


Geography

The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, by the Arabian Sea. Its neighbouring countries are India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is made up of 26 atoll stretches. Male is the capital and most populated city in the country and is located right in the centre of the widely dispersed country. The Maldives is made up of 1,192 islands and most of them are home to hotels, resorts and guest houses.


Getting there

Many airlines from the UAE fly to the Maldives including Emirates, Sri Lanka Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air India to name a few. The average cost of flights for a 4-day trip starts at Dh1,500 but can vary depending on when you fly.


Where to stay

There are a range of resorts at different price points.

1. Budget Stay: Arora Inn

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Aurora Inn has three stars and is located on Maafushi Island in Maldives, about 27 km from the city centre. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.

Starting at Dh110 a night including breakfast


2. Mid-range: Sun Island Resort & Spa

Sun Island Resort & Spa has four stars and is a 17-minute domestic flight (wheeled aircraft) from Male International Airport. Their restaurant features 9 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi. Each villa is fitted with a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Starting at Dh515 per night including breakfast


3. Total Luxury: Jumeirah Vittaveli

Maldives Vittavelli

The island that Jumeirah Vittaveli calls home is known as the Bolifushi Island, which is the island of shells. The resort is a short 20 minute speed yacht ride away from the airport. Jumeirah Vittaveli is full of a natural abundance of coral reefs and marine wildlife. The resort offers some of the most romantic villas in the Maldives including Beach Villas, Beach Suites, Water Villas and Ocean Suites. Each of them with their own private swimming pools along with direct beach or lagoons. They’ve also recently launched a property unlike anything else in the world; The Royal Residence.

Starting at Dh3,300 per night including breakfast


Visa requirements

There are no passports restricted from visiting the Maldives. As long as you have a valid passport, you can travel to the Maldives.


Best time to travel

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The Maldives has great weather throughout most of the year. The best time visit the Maldives however is between November and April. Then comes the monsoon, which starts in May and ends in October. There won’t be much to do during monsoon seasons, so it is worth it to pay more and go during the sunny weather.


Things to do in the Maldives

Go snorkelling

People Snorkeling in Crystla Blue Water

The most obvious thing to do in a country that is blessed with transparent water and a gorgeous atoll of coral reefs. Simply step into the water and observe the hundreds of different fish and colours you can find around the island.


Try your hand at scuba diving

Divers Under the Sea

The remote islands of the Maldives have nutrient rich waters that support a massive amount of diversity and abundance of marine life. A great spot to dive in the Maldives is the Boli South Corner. Strong currents flow through the narrow channel, attracting all kinds of tropical reef fish as well as large pelagics. Schools of snapper and hosts of fusiliers bring bright colours to the picture, while tuna, eagle rays, stingrays, reef sharks and even nurse sharks can be discovered at Boli South Corner.

Website bestdivesmaldives.com


Explore Maldivian cuisine

 

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The two main ingredients in Maldivian cuisine are coconuts and fish. The coconut is mostly consumed in all of its forms. You can enjoy them grated in salads, or they can be squeezed to obtain coconut milk, or as coconut oil in dishes that are deep-fried. A great dish to try is a Masuni Salad, which is made up of preserved tuna and freshly grated coconuts. Which brings us to the favourite fish enjoyed by people in the Maldives, the skipjack tuna. The tuna can be enjoyed n curries or eaten in a dry form as a salad.


Fish feedings

Most resorts in the Maldives have a sunset shark, stingray and fish feeding. It’s a very unique experience to see all these large fish in one place fighting over slabs of raw fish.


Try a floating holiday

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You don’t have to stick to one island in the Maldives, you can stay on a large yacht, designed for divers who want to explore more than just one island. Discover the rich marine life under the ocean on a luxurious private yacht experience.

Website: elitedivingagency.com


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