1 Do I need a visa? A 30-day free visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities, provided you possess a passport with at least six months’ validity, a return ticket, and enough funds to cover the expenses for the duration of your stay in the Maldives (US$100 plus $50 dollars per day or a confirmation of reservation in a tourist resort or a hotel). How long will it take me to get there? 4.5 hours (to Malé) from Singapore. The Maldives is 5 hours ahead of GMT (some islands are 6 hours ahead) and 3 hours behind Singapore. rufiyaa (MVR). Generally, you will not need rufiyaa as everything will be billed to your room at resorts and hotels and your bill can be settled with cash, credit cards or traveller’s cheques. Most local shops will accept US dollars; tipping is acceptable in this currency. Tipping is not compulsory as there is a service charge and a goods and service tax. ATMs do not exist outside Malé. 2 3 What’s the money situation? The official currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian When’s the best time to visit? Maldives has a tropical climate and can be visited at any time, although it does have two seasons: dry (December to April), April being the hottest month and December the coolest; and wet (May to November), when temperatures remain warm but rain and storms should be expected. May and October are the wettest months. 4


• The Maldives is the lowest country in the world, averaging 1.5 metres above sea level. The highest point stands at 2.3 metres. • The Maldives is a Muslim country and as such you can’t bring alcohol into the country or consume alcohol outside resort hotels. • It’s the smallest nation in Asia. • In 2009, Maldives held an underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness on climate change. • The Maldives is creating the largest marine reserve in the world.

What’s the lingo? Dhivehi and English. Here are some phrases of Dhivehi


to get you started: Hello

Assalaa mu alaikum What is your name? Kon nameh kiyanee? My name is __ Aharenge namakee __ How much? Agu kihaavareh? Thank you Shukuriyaa Yes Aan No Noon

6 Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? Maldivians greet each other with a smile or the raising of eyebrows. What’s a must-try dish? Garudhiya , a light fish soup served with steamed rice, lemon and chillies, and mas huni , shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions. What should I buy as a souvenir? There isn’t a huge range of souvenirs but underwater photos make for a good memory of the country’s amazing snorkelling and diving. Avoid coral products. 7 8 | Stockforliving


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