The Maldives – a dream destination famous for its beautiful white beaches and breathtaking underwater scenery.
Sun, sand and sea, a thousand ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands, massive lagoons with different depths and infinite shades of blue and turquoise, dazzling underwater coral gardens; a perfect natural combination for the ideal tropical holiday destination. However there is more to the Maldives than just that.
Consisting of 1200 islands spread across the Indian Ocean and circled into 26 natural atolls boast rich cultural traditions, a history of kings and queens, pageants, feasts and festivals, their own language and script.
The Maldives Islands, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, made up of 1200 small coral Islands covers an area of 90,000 sq. km. The length of the country extends to 820 km and width is 130 km. It spreads across the equator from north to south.
Geographically it is divided into 19 atolls but for administrative purpose officially it is grouped into 20 atolls. Most of the islands are uninhabited and people are living only in 199 islands.
The Maldives are the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the lowest country on the planet. It is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world, at 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in)
Total estimated population is 246 thousands. The islands chain forms part of Laccadive Chagos submarine ridge, which extends into the Central part of Indian Ocean from the south west coast of India.
Since 1978, his economic policies have transformed a cluster of desert islands ringed by coral reefs into South Asia’s most exclusive holiday destination. Entire islands have been given over to luxury hotel developments and tourism has become the engine of the Maldivian economy.
With a per capita income of $2,280, the Maldives’ population of 250,000 Sunni Muslims is now one of the wealthiest in the region.
The Maldives is a democratic republic with President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom since 1978. He is South Asia’s longest serving ruler and currently in his sixth term in office. Although the Maldives does not have a party system, a 1998 constitution gave citizens the right to contest the vote for the presidency in parliament.
During his 25 years in power, the atoll nation in the Indian Ocean, became the premier tourist destination of the region. With its near-flat islands, none of which is more than six feet above sea level, the sunny side of the Maldives has remained a major tourist attraction. India and Sri Lanka are the country’s nearest neighbors.
The Summer never ends in the Maldives. Although it is warm throughout the year there are slight variations in the temperature during certain periods determined by the monsoons. The Northeast monsoons, from November to April is mostly dry with very little wind, while the Southwest monsoon from May to October brings some rain and wind. Being on the equator, the monsoons are mild and the temperature varies very little. The annual average daily temperature is between 30.4 and 25.4 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall is below 2m per annum.
Maldives History & Culture
Maldives was visited by people from all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These visitors left a strong influence on the people, their religion and the culture of the Maldives.
People & Language
The Maldives has a population of about 270,000 people (est. 1998). The Maldivians have a beautiful and harmonious blend of features from a mixture of Arabic to African, and Asian. The people live a simple, laid back, and contented life-style. With ready smiles, and always willing to lend a helping hand, the Maldivians are a friendly race and make visitors feel very welcome. Dhivehi, the language of the maldives, with its strong Arabic influence ia as exotic as it sounds.The language with its own script is spoken only in the Maldives.
Visit US Maldives website