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Maldives – truly a magical tourist destination host these beautiful islands tucked away from the hectic urban world. 1,190 islands are strung together as 20 atolls scattered across the Indian ocean giving way to these tropical islands with crystal clear waters caressing the pure white sands of the palm fringed beaches that has to be seen to be believed. Each coral ring made up of a group of islands naturally arranged in perfect union of serene beauty dazzling under the sunny sky.
The crystalline waters only but just begin to tell you of the deeper treasures that lie beneath for this is a nation where 99.9% is water, for one to truly fall in love with Maldives, you have yet to dive deeper. Such facts attract tourists seeking our luxury resorts dotted across the Atolls.
To travel around the Maldives, one needs to make the journeys across these waters, and Vermillion Ferry services as a public Transport Service Providers take much pride in being a part of this experience everyday.
Blessed with such exotic beauty its no surprise that tourism is the biggest contributor for Maldives’ economy. Today with even more effort to grow this thriving industry, the government promotes to build and develop more resorts and expects GDP growth of around 4% in 2011.
Tourism is the biggest contributor for Maldives’ economy accounting for 28% of the country’s GDP while Fishing is the second leading sector of our economy. Over 90% of the government tax revenue is from import duties and tourism-related taxes. New implementations introduced in January 2011 includes a new Goods and Services Tax on Tourism (GST), and a new Business Profit Tax to be introduced during the year which is expected to increase the government’s revenue.
It is of grave concern for all Maldivians that the damage caused by erosion and the threat of global warming on the low laying islands of which 80% is just about 1 meter above sea level could prove to be irreversible in the long run.
High Profile, well respected foreign hotel chains and world-renowned brands have been attracted to the great possibilities of marking a presence in this beautiful country. Listed below are some of the hotel chains and brands that have established themselves in the Maldives.
Taj – Vivanta
Naide – Diva
One & Only
Southwest of Sri Lanka, on the equator.
1,190 coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 major atolls. Stretches 820 kilometres north to south and 120 kilometers east to west.
Generally warm and humid, with sun shining all year through. Average temperature around 29 – 32 degrees Celsius.
What to wear
Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male’, the capital island and other inhabited islands it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without baring too much.
Islam. Maldives is a 100% Muslim country.
A proud history and rich culture evolved from the first settlers who were from various parts of the world travelling the seas in ancient times. The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with handbeating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries. As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women – for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view – are not tenets of life here. In fact women play a major role in society – not surprising considering the fact men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around us.
Dhivehi is the language spoken in all parts of the Maldives. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood getting around the capital island. In the resorts, a variety of languages are spoken by the staff including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese.
Tourism is the main industry with fisheries and trade following close behind.
The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa and Laaree. The exchange rate for US Dollar at the time of writing is MRf.15.82 for the dollar. One Rufiyaa is equivalent to 100 laarees. Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. Coins are in the denominations of MRf.2.00, MRf.1.00, 50 laarees, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laaree. The US Dollar is the most commonly used foreign currency. Payments in the resorts and hotels can be made in most hard currency in cash, travellers’ cheques or credit cards. Commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card.
The functional literacy rate is 98%. Educational standards are among the highest in the region and schools follow the British system of education.
Health care facilities are improving almost on a daily basis. The Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ is the biggest hospital in the country providing sophisticated medical care. ADK Hospital is the biggest private health care facility and follows high medical standards. Some resorts have in-house doctors. A decompression chamber is within easy reach of most resorts in case of a diving emergency.
Government Working hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Sunday to Thursday
Private sectors: 9:00 -5:00 (Sundays to Thursdays) and half day on Saturdays(varies).
Bank hours: 9:00am to 03:00 pm Sunday to Thursdays
Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.
Up-to-date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives Telecommunications Company also provides mobile telephones for daily rental. It is also the Internet service provider.
The electric system is 230-240 Volts -AC
V Risked, V Revolutionalized, V Proved, V changed Maldives in style & V are Vermillion...."to serve millions"