Electrical current in Maldives is 230 volts, 50Hz. A
variety of plugs are in use, including the two-pin flat blade plug
and the round three-pin plug.
Dhivehi is the national language in Maldives. English is
widely spoken in addition to German, French, Italian and Japanese,
spoken by the resort staff.
Officially, tipping is not encouraged in the Maldives, but if
the service is good it is customary to tip waiters and room staff
in the resorts, even if a service charge has already been
Crime levels are low in Maldives but petty theft does occur. It
is best not to leave goods unattended on the beaches or in hotel
rooms. There is a measure of political instability and visitors are
advised to avoid gatherings and demonstrations, particularly on
Malé Island; however resorts in the Maldives are considered very
safe and there are rarely any disturbances.
Maldivians are all Muslim, and therefore Islamic customs should
be respected, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating,
drinking and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it
is forbidden by the Muslim culture. No pornography is allowed (or
any material considered offensive under Islamic law), and
homosexuality is illegal. Same-sex relationships are not tolerated
and carry jail sentences and fines. Alcohol consumption is confined
to the resorts. Dress is informal but nudism and topless bathing is
prohibited. On visits to inhabited islands it is important to
respect local customs that adhere to conservative dress codes, and
public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited.
The Maldives has strong anti-drug laws that carry severe
The Maldives does a lot of trade as everything is imported.
Business tends to be conducted in a more informal way, with more
casual attire in lightweight materials. Meetings are usually
scheduled for mornings and are typically conducted in English.
Women, in particular should dress conservatively. Business hours
are usually 7.30am to 2.30pm Sunday to Thursday.
The international access code for the Maldives is +960. The
outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001
for the United States). No city/area codes are required. IDD
facilities are available at all resorts and card phones are
available on all inhabited islands. The major islands are covered
by the mobile network; the local operators use a GSM 900 network,
which is compatible with many international cell phone operators,
but it is best to check whether your network has roaming agreements
with the Maldives. Dhiraagu, the Maldives Telecommunications
Company provides mobile telephones for daily rental. Internet
access is available in hotels and main tourist resorts.
Travellers to the Maldives, irrespective of age, do not have to
pay duty on cigarettes, cigars, tobacco and gifts within reasonable
quantities. Prohibited items include alcohol, firearms, pork,
opium, marijuana, cocaine, pornography and religious idols.