Maldives - Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

Destination Maldives

  • Where is the Maldive islands?

    Maldives is an island nation of a total 1190 islands, formed in 26 natural atolls. Located in the Indian Ocean, south-west of Trivandrum, India and east-west of Sri Lanka (approximately 1 hour flight from Colombo or Trivandrum). The closest neighbors are India and SriLanka. Only 200 of these islands are inhabited while more than 80 of the island are developed into resort islands. The population is around 340,000 and almost a quarter live on the capital Male' island, which is just 10 minutes boat ride from the International airport. Male' is the commercial hub of the country.
    Related links: Tips for the free traveler/ Male' - the capital island

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  1. How do we reach the islands?

    The international airport is located on the island of Hulhule. There are more than 2 dozens of international schedule flights flying into Maldives from major cities in asia, middle east and Europe. These include SriLankan Airways, Qatar airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Indian Airlines, Balkan, Bulgarian Airlines, LTU, Condor, AOM French, Austrian Airlines and Malaysian Airlines, with some of these airlines flying daily, weekly or twice a week.
    Another 14 companies offers regular charters, among them include Britannia Airways, Balair, Monarch Airlines, Lauda Air, Air Europe of Italy, Sterling Airways, Air Holland, South African Airways, Air Tours International connecting the Maldives to many centers of the world.
    Related links: Live flight schedule for the day / Maldives Airports Home

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  2. What is the currency used and should tourists bring their own currency?

    In Maldives they have their our own currency called "Ruffia" (Rf). You can read more about the Ruffia currency on the MMA web site MMA is the governing body for Maldives financial system.
    All the resorts, hotels, live-aboard and most of the souvenir shops accept major credit cards, which includes American Express, Visa card, Master card and JCB card. The most frequently used foreign currency is the US dollar and almost all items are priced in US dollar.
    There is a local bank branch at the arrival terminal at the International airport. They can exchange your currency to US dollars and please take note that only the currencies listed on the MMA web site (see below links) can be exchanged at the published rates.
    Related links: MMA Current exchange rates from MMA | Bnak of Maldives Current exchange rates from MMA

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  3. Where is the capital of the nation?
     
    The Capital of the Maldives is Male' pronounced "Ma-ley". The population is about 70,000 and is home for almost one-forth of the total  population of the country. This is the base for all the economic activities. The city also has a few places of historical interest.
    Related links: Capital Male'.

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  4. Hotels on the capital?
     
    Male' has a few hotels offering quality accommodation and a number of guest houses for standard, affordable accommodation and service. Most of these hotels are only a few minutes walk from the jetty where all the ferry boats arrive from the airport.
    These hotels are used by expatriates coming for business and as transit hotels for tourists coming on evening flights and going to resorts which does not offer night transfers. There are also some hotels which offer serviced apartments for long stays.  
    Related links: List of hotels in Male' and available facilities.

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  5. I'm looking for a dive map?
     
    We do not have a dive map but you can identify the protected marine areas on our map of resorts. We have dive maps for some of the resorts which are available from the download page for each resort / hotel.
    Related links:Clickable map of Resorts

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  6. What sort of diving are available in Maldives?
     
    The Maldives are a region that is perfectly suited for drift diving. In the Maldives, there are three categories of dives, the dives done inside the atolls, the dives done outside the atolls, the dives done inside the channels, or passes in this same order are generally classified the different levels of skill. Therefore, a diver shall have, diving from the shore, diving from a moored boat, drift diving.
    Related links:Diving in Maldives

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  7. What is the normal water temperature?
     
    Ocean water temperatures rarely vary beyond 27 - 30° C although thermo clines can sometimes be experienced at depths below 20 meters.
    Related links:Climate in Maldives for the Diver

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  8. What thickness of dive suit should I bring with me?
     
    Lycra 3mm wetsuits are popular in tropical waters but some divers prefer a 5mm suit if doing more than one dive a day.

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  9. How deep can I dive in Maldives?
     
    The maximum depth is not to exceed 30 meters. Make all your dives no-decompression dives.
    Related links:Diving Safety in Maldives

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 Travel Advice

  1. Do we need a Visa to enter Maldives?

    No prior visa is needed to enter Maldives and all tourists are given a free 30 days visa on arrival. Tourist visa can be extended upto 90 days for a fee of approx. USD90.00 and upon approval.
    Related links: Maldives immigration authority

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  2. Flight ticket procedure in Maldives?
     
    There are certain scheduled flights like, the SriLankan, Indian Airlines etc., which require the passengers to reconfirm their return flight 72 hours before their flight. The airline urge to reconfirm your tickets by getting a "reconfirmed stamp" from the airline agent in Male, which means you cannot reconfirm over the phone and the tickets have to taken to the airline office or agent. You can hand-over your tickets to the your local agent or resort representative, who will safeguard your tickets and reconfirm them in time. The tickets will be handed back to you at the airport on your departure day.

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  3. Can I use my Visa credit card or debit card to get cash from the banks?
     
    The bank at the airport and banks on the capital island all have cash machines where you can use your VISA, MASTER or American express debit or credit cards. Most the of the shops and souvenir shops on the capital island, Male' accept all major credit cards and traveler's checks but non of these shops can get you cash-out.
    Related links: Bank of Maldives

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Accommodation

  1. How are the resorts built?
     
    More than 80 of the uninhabited islands have been developed as resort islands. Each island represent one resort and most of the resorts are located in Male',  and Ari atoll. These island vary in size and shape. Some are only 40 meters wide and some 1Km in width. The number of rooms vary from 8 to 350. All rooms are built a few meters from the beach and they come in individual bungalows and room blocks of 2 to 4. Some resorts also have got rooms built on concrete or wooden stilts in the lagoon - These water bungalows are very popular among tourists.
    Related links: Resorts in Maldive

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  2. Why are these resorts uniquely different from other resorts?
     
    Maldives offers very exclusive, unique holidays. In addition to the reason that these resorts are built on individual small islands, most of the resorts are developed , emphasizing the conservation of the environment and keeping in mind the fragile eco-system surrounding these islands. Maldives is special in that there is no other destination like the Maldives. Tourists have made these islands there second home.

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  3. What activities and sports can we have on these islands?
     
    There are islands offering nothing but relaxing and comfort. Most of the resorts offer a variety of sports and water sports, which include volley ball, beach volley, snooker, billiard, table-tennis, badminton, football, squash, tennis, carom, swimming pool, etc. Available water sports include Wind surfing, wave surfing, catamaran, sailing, fishing, night fishing, big game fishing, Para-sailing, banana riding, jet-ski, etc.. Almost every island has a dive center.

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  4. We are coming for our Honeymoon. Can you suggest any resorts?
     
    We have hand-picked a few of the resorts suitable for Honeymooners. These resorts are mostly small resorts offering individual bungalows and water bungalows. For those couples looking for high standard and more facilities and sports we have also included a few posh resorts too within 4 to 5 star range.
    Related links: Honeymooner's Resorts

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  5. Can you recommend me some dive resorts?
     
    Every resort island has a dive center on it and there are some resorts who give dive enthusiasts special attention and islands which a geographically located around famous dive sites. We have created a page for the these dive resorts.
    Related reading: Dive Resorts

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  6. I'm looking for surf resorts?
     
    During the recent years surfers has shown great interest in the Maldives. The surf spots located on the East edge of the Male' atoll are famous among surfers. The resort islands near these sites offer boat service to surfers but there is one resort, Lohifushi island which gives special interest to surfers.
    Related links:Surfing in Maldives

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  7. Do you have a resort map?
     
    We have a clickable resort map showing all resort islands in the Maldives and this map also shows marked by the Maldivian govt.
    Related links:Clickable map of Resorts - includes all resorts

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  8. I'm looking for a complete list of resorts?
     
    A complete list of resort islands ordered in alphabetical order is available on this site.
    Related links:List of Resort in alphabetical order

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  9. I'm looking for resorts with water bungalows?
     
    You can view the list with descriptions to find which resorts offer water bungalows.
    Related links:Resort list with description and over-view picture + Filtered Search

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  10. How are transfers arranged to the resorts?
     
    The main transportation is done either by speed boat or by Sea plane. Most of the resorts located in Male' atoll are accessed by speed boat and fast motor boat, while resorts in atolls far from the airport offer either speed boat and sea plane or sea plane transfers.

    The speed boat jetty on the airport is only a 2 minute walk from the arrival terminal. The sea plane guests will have to take a 5 minute bus ride to the other side of the airport island to reach the sea plane terminal.

    There are several resorts that do not offer night transfers, so tourists flying in by evening flights will need an over-night stay either in the hotel in the capital Male' or the airport hotel.
    Related links: Maldivian Air Taxi / Trans Maldivian Airways

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  11. Can you arrange night transfers?
     
    There are no night transfers for some of the resorts further away from the airport. The guests arriving from evening flights will have to stay a night in one of the hotels in Male' or the airport hotel. The capital Male' is only 10 minutes by boat from the airport island. We will arrange this stay if need be. A 3 star hotel in Male' would cost around USD 70.00 with breakfast and airport transfers for two adults.

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  12. What water sports are available on the resorts?
     
    We have listed for each resort a list of recreational facilities and sports available.


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  13. Which resorts offer baby sitting facilities and day care center?
     
    Most resorts do accept families but only a few offer baby sitting service and/or day care center. 
    Related links:Family Resorts



  14. Will there be anyone to meet us at the airport on our arrival?
     
    We offer a very personalized service. You will be met on your arrival and departure. The representative will assist you with your transfer to the resort or hotel. If your reservation includes a night in Male' or the airport hotel this will also be arranged by the representative and the next day morning the representative will meet you to arrange your transfer  to the resort.

Miscellaneous...

  1. ?
     


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Live aboard

  1. Why is live aboard more suitable for divers?
     
    Taking a diving cruise is certainly the best way to experience the allure of this marvelous archipelago, since it also allows one to explore the most unspoiled sea-beds, which cannot be reached from the tourist villages. The boats used on these tours are comfortable wooden motor-yachts of at least twenty meters (about sixty-five feet) in length, with well- ventilated double cabins, toilets with showers, and plenty of living room. This hotel-boat, capable of accommodating no more than ten passengers, is followed by a support boat which—equipped with a compressor, tanks, and weights—makes it possible to do scuba diving in the safest and easiest way.
    Related links:Live-aboard Introduction

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  2. How much of Maldives is covered by the live aboard?
     
    Depending on the length of stay the live-aboard cover up to 2 to 3 atolls. There are no limitations of which atolls you want to dive and you will need prior authorization if you want to dive atolls further away from the airport where there are no tourist resorts. The live-aboard have specific routes for combined trips so only group charters can bring alterations to the usual route.

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  3. What sort of trips are live-aboard normally used for?
     
    The live-aboard are not limited to diving alone. These vessels can also be used just for leisure, study tours to the inhabited islands, fishing trips, surfing trips or just simple short snorkeling trips.

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  4. Can we have a twining holiday, live-aboard plus a resort?
     
    There are many tourist who prefer a twin holiday. Usually they spend their first week on a live-aboard diving or just relaxing and enjoying the sea and the second week at the resort.

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  5. Can we go to further atolls on the vessels?
     
    Yes, this is possible and you may require prior authorization. You can only do this for charter trips only.

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  6. How big are the vessels and how is the accommodation on them?
     
    There has been a lot changes to the sizes, facilities and service provided by these vessel during the past few years. There are vessels ranging from 17m in length for groups of 6 to vessel as large as 45 meters capable for groups of 20 or more.

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  7. How are the live-aboard organized, do they have a schedule?
     
    Nowadays the live-aboard operations are a little different. The smaller vessels are now mostly used for leisure, and fishing tours while the larger vessels now mostly operate as dive centers. They have a 7 to 14 day schedule and roam inside and from one atoll to another. The divers will be able to join them any day by speed boat or sea plane depending on the location. Groups also charter these vessels for a week or more. If you wish to charter a vessel you to book very well in advance.


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Rates, Booking and Payment

  1. How do I get the rates for the resorts?
     
    You will be able to get a full quotation for your holiday including transfer charges of your choice using the online rate database. The system will offer you an instant quote customized for the dates, transfer and meal plan you require. You will be able to send in your booking or query requests from the results page quotation page.
    The instant quote forms will remember your dates and other settings so need to be entered only once. You can get quotes either for all room categories for for single room category. There is also the option to send these quotes to your email inbox for later use and comparison.

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  2. How do I make a reservation?
     
    To send a booking request, you can first get quote and then send the booking request from the resulting page. We also take email and phone requests, but prefer online requests as the online form will gather all the information we need. Requests by email should have all the information that we need, including home and office phone numbers as these details are important.

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  3. I want to know the availability for this resort?

    We do provide availability for some of the resorts via the instant quote form. For other resorts you will need to call, email or send us a query to get the availability. We usually respond within 2 hours during office hours or you can also live chat from our web site to get the availability.

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  4. Can you arrange me flights too?
     
    Yes, there are a few major cities than we can arrange tickets along with the hotel, transfers etc. The instant-quote form will have the option to select a city and the quote will include the airfare as well. You have to send us a query, call or live chat with us to get the flight availability. If you are from the UK, since our ticket agent is a licensed ATOL agent, we allow you to pay them directly for the tickets and keep you protected.

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  5. How do I cancel a confirmed reservation?
     
    A reservation can be cancelled only by email or fax (written cancellation) and applicable cancellation charges will apply.
    Related links:Cancellation Policy


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  6. I want to make some changes to my reservation?
     
    Any amendments to a reservation should be informed by writing. Cancellation charge will apply for changes made within the cancellation charge period. Please refer to our Cancellation Policy to get the details.

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  7. I want to make a late reservation, can you help?
     
    We will be happy to help you with late booking requests. All requests should be submitted via the web site and all necessary details should be filled to avoid further delay. All late reservation has to paid in full immediately upon confirmation. You can also contact our representative or call us from the airport if you arrive Maldives without any booking.

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  8. How do I pay for my holiday?
     
    With the confirmation of the booking we will send you a full quotation of your holiday and payment instructions. All reservations has to be reconfirmed within 48 hours to avoid automatic cancellation. You can either pay with your credit card or you can wire transfer the amount to our account. Upon confirmation we will charge you a non-refundable USD 30.00 and the balance has to be paid 90 days before your arrival or immediately if you arrival is less than 90 days.

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  9. Can I pay with the credit card online?
     
    No, at the moment you will need to fax or mail us an authorization form with your signature, along with the credit card copy (both sides). This applies to all card member NOT present transactions due to security reasons. This procedure helps to secure both the card holder and the bank.

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  10. I am not happy paying online, is there any other method?
     
    At the moment we do not accept online payments due to security reasons. We accept credit card payments with pre-authorization or you can make the bank to bank wire transfer.

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  11. What Credit Cards do you accept?

    At the moment we accept American Express, Master card and Visa cards. If you have a PayPal account you can use any other major credit cards.

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  12. Can I pay in Cash on arrival?
     
    We accept cash on arrival only if a part of the payment (first 7 nights) be made before your arrival.

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  13. Do I get any confirmation or voucher after I book the holiday?
     
    Once you send in the booking over the web site, you can login to view the status of your booking and print vouchers once it's all confirmed and paid. You will need your booking ID and email address to login. The person handling your booking will always keep a friendly message along with each booking to let you know of the status and if we need any details from you to go ahead.
    Please bring this 2 copies of the voucher along with you when you arrive, as the resort will not accept you with out this copy or may delay your check-in.
    Related links: Login link

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  1. What is included in the quote?

    Our instant quotes include your return transfer (both ways) on your chosen transfer mode, your accommodation on your chosen room type, meal supplements if chosen, return flights if chosen, all taxes and service charges. This means there are no hidden charges or extra taxes that you need to pay at the time check-out.

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  1. Is diving included in the quote?

    The instant quote does not include diving or fees for an extra activity. You have to book and pay for any extra activities like diving on arrival. Some dive centers can also be booked in advance before your arrive.

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  1. What does return transfer in the quote mean?

    Return transfer means transfer both ways. If you would like to get a quote with just one way transfer, get a quote and send us a query or just recalculate the quote by halving the transfer quote.

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  1. Is a deposit required and when is the full payment due?

    A non-refundable deposit of 5% of the quoted amount (minum 30.00 on quoted currency) at the time booking. The full payment is required 60 days before your arrival date. If your arrival is within 60 days to your arrival we charge the full amount at the time of confirmation.

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  1. Why do I need to fax authorization form and photo copy of my credit card?

    This is a security verification procedure adopted by our bank to avoid any fraud on 'card holder not present' transactions specialy for amounts higher than average transactions. This would secure you, both our banks and ourselves from unauthorized payments from your credit card.

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  1. Will you still keep my booking if my card payment is declined or i fail to pay in time?

    Due to the high occupancy the hotels, resorts they have strict cancellation policies. If we cannot receive the payment in time we will have to release your booking immediatly if your arrival date is near. However we do give enough time for the deposit if the booking is made well in advance.

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  1. What is your cancellation policy?

    It is a requirement that all guests read and accept our booking and cancellation policy at http://www.mal-dives.com/condi.html

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  1. Can I pay by bank to bank wire transfer?

    Yes, if you wish to pay by wire transfer just mention this in the comments when you send in the booking and we will send you our account details at the time of booking confirmation.

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