Travel Tips and Advice

International airport

Velana International Airport – Hulule Island is 2km (1.2 miles) from Malé (travel time by boat – 15 minutes). Boats from the various island resorts meet each arriving plane to take visitors to their accommodation. There is no scheduled transfer from Hulule Island to the other islands. If an advance booking has been made, representatives of the resorts will receive tourists at the airport and will take care of all onward transport arrangements.

Airport facilities include left luggage, first aid, bank, duty free shops, snack bar, post office and restaurant.

Duty-Free

The following goods may be imported into the Maldives Republic without incurring customs duty:
A reasonable amount of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco; a reasonable number of gifts.

Prohibited items

Pornographic literature; idols of worship; pork products and certain other animal products; explosives and weapons; alcoholic beverages. Drugs are strictly prohibited; the penalty for importing drugs for personal or other use is life imprisonment. Animals require a veterinary certificate.

The following may not be exported in any form: tortoise and turtle shells and products made of turtle shell (the Government has banned the killing of turtles), and black coral in whole form.

Social Conventions

Dress is informal, but locals who are Muslim will be offended by nudity or scanty clothing in public places, and the Government rigidly enforces these standards. Bikinis and other scanty beachwear are not acceptable in Malé or on any other inhabited island. When entering a mosque, the legs and the body, but not the neck and the face, should be covered. Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. The indigenous population not involved in the tourist trade lives in isolated island communities maintaining almost total privacy. During the month of Ramadan, eating and smoking in public is discouraged.

Tipping

This is officially discouraged.

Money

Most of the hotels, resorts and restaurants accept a wide range of credit cards. You will want to confirm with your hotel before you travel that your particular credit card is accepted, however most users of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will have no problem.

How ever it is important to have some cash on hand for your if you are traveling to a local island. Money change can be done at the bank at airport or withdraw cash from ATMs in Male.

Dollars and Euros are accepted for payment for hotels, outings, dining, and the like