Travel tips
    1. Cover yourself properly when visiting inhabited islands and Male'. For men shorts and a shirt are acceptable.
    2. Women are expected to cover their bodies and thighs.
    3. While swimming trunks, bikinis and other beachwear is the norm on the resort, they are not acceptable on inhabited islands.
    4. Remember that nudism in public places is prohibited.
    5. Traditionally Maldivians eat with their fingers. If you wish to follow the local tradition keep in mind that it is considered unhygienic to touch food with the left hand. If in doubt use a spoon.
    6. Be conscious of the delicate local environment. Do not touch or pick corals when diving or snorkeling.
    7. The Maldivians use the Islamic greeting "Assalaam Alaikum"to greet friends and strangers alike. "Shukuriyya" means thank you.


People from different parts of the world came across this island nation as it lay in the sea routes to Malacca and China. Speculations indicate that the earliest settlers could have been Dravidians from southern India and the Yakka and Naga people from Sri Lanka. Aryans from the Indus Valley probably followed them. But with the coming of the Arabs, the influence of Islam gradually replaced Hinduism and Buddhism practiced by the early settlers. Being on the main seaway around the Indian subcontinent, the islands have long been a meeting point for Arab, African, Malay, and Indonesian mariners. The faces that we see today reflect all these influences contributing to a racial and cultural melting pot.


Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. Dress is informal. Light cotton clothes are recommended. Nudity is forbidden. Swimsuits and beachwear are to be confined to resort islands. When visiting an inhabited island or the capital, shorts and T-shirts for men, and blouse or T-shirts with skirts or shorts that cover the thighs, made of non-diaphanous material, for women, are a minimum requirement. Maldivians traditionally eat with their fingers. It is also considered unhygienic to touch food with the left hand. Use a spoon, if in doubt.


The basic monetary unit in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MRf). They come in denominations of 500,100, 50, 20, 10, 5 (notes), and I and 2 (coins only). A Rufiyaa is 100 Laari, coming in coins of 50, 25,10, 5, 2 and 1. In the early days cowry shells were used instead of money. Coins, minted in silver, were introduced for the first time in the late 16th century under the rule of Sultan AI-Ghazee Mohammed Thakurufaanu. The present currency was introduced on October 7,1983. There are no restrictions on import or export of currencies. Major foreign currencies are converted to Rufiyaa at banks, resort islands, hotels and prominent shops. Hotel bills can be paid in cash, travellers' cheques or credit cards. Credit cards most commonly used are American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, JCB, Mastercard and Visa.

Usefull Words

Numbers   Small Talk   At the market  
one ekeh Where Kobaa? How much is this? Kihaa Varaka?
two dheyh Why Keeve? Cheap Agu heyo
three thineh When Kon iraku? Expensive Agu bodu
four hathareh Who Kaaku? Fruit Meyvaa
five faheh Thank you Shukuriyaa Banana Dhonkeyo
six haeh Whose Kaakuge? Mango Anbu
seven hatheh What Kon echcheh Papaya Falho
eight asheh   Keekey Fish Mas
nine nuvaeh Wait Madu kurey Reef fish Faru mas
ten dhihaeh Come Aadhey Dried fish Hiki mas
twenty vihi Yes Aan Vegetable Tharukaaree
thirty thirees No Noon    
fourty saalhees Don't know Neyge In the restaurant  
fifty fansaas Who is that E ee Kaaku? Tea Sai
sixty fasdholhas Them Emeehun Short eats/savories Hedhika
seventy haiydhiha Whose is this Mee Kaakuge? Rice Baiy
eighty addiha I Ahahren Curry Riha
ninety nuvadhiha me Mas Fish curry Mas riha
hundred satheyhka Him/Her Eyna Chicken Kukulhu
    Male Firihen Beef Gerimas
Greetings   Female Anhen Water Fen
Hello As-salam Time   Milk Kiru
  Alaikum What time is it? Gandin Kihaaire? Sugar Hakuru
How are you Haalu Kihineh? Clock/Watch Gadi    
Good Ragalhu Dawn Fathis    
I am going Aharen Dhanee Morning Hedhunu    
Noon Mendhuru    
Afternoon Mendhurufas    
Evening Haveeru    
Night Reygandu    
Today Miadhu    
Tomorrow Maadhan    
Yesterday Iyye    
Now Mihaaru    
Later Fahun