MALDIVES

Date of establishment: July 26, 1965

Brief history:

  • Antiquity and the Middle Ages: The Maldives were inhabited in prehistoric times and became an important crossroads of trade and culture in the Indian Ocean. From the 12th century they became an Islamic state.
  • Portuguese rule: In 1558, the Portuguese came to the Maldives and introduced Catholicism. Portuguese rule lasted for approximately 15 years.
  • Ottoman rule: In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Maldives was part of the Ottoman Empire.
  • British Protectorate: In 1887, the Maldives became a British protectorate and was administered by British officials.
  • Independence: The Maldives gained independence on 26 July 1965 and became a republic.
  • Political changes: Since independence, the Maldives has undergone several political changes, including a brief period of republic led by President Mohamed Amin in the 1970s and the subsequent restoration of the monarchy.
  • President Gayoom’s rule: From 1978 to 2008, the Maldives was under the leadership of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who shaped the country for many decades.
  • Democratization: In 2008, the first democratic elections were held and Mohamed Nasheed was elected president. This period meant increased attention to environmental issues and climate change.
  • Political instability: Periods of political instability and changes in the presidency followed, including the forced resignation of President Nasheed in 2012.

 

International abbreviation: MV

 

Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR)

One Maldivian rufiyaa is divided into 100 laari. Maldivian rufiyaa notes and coins are of various denominations and are in common circulation throughout the Maldives.

 

Internet domain: mv

 

Dialing code: +960

 

Time zone: GMT +5

 

Geography:

The Maldives is famous for its coral atolls that are surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Atolls are made up of coral reefs and are home to abundant underwater life.

Of the total 1 190 islands and atolls, only around 200 are inhabited. The main island, on which the capital Male is located, is also the largest island.

They are known for their rich underwater life, including corals, fish, sharks, and other sea creatures.

The Maldives is threatened by rising sea levels as a result of climate change. Because of their low elevation, they are prone to flooding and erosion.

 

Highest peak:

The highest point in the Maldives is a natural hill located on Villingili Island (otherwise known as Villingili Male), which reaches an altitude of about 2.4 meters (7.8 feet) above sea level. However, this place is rather an exception, and most of the islands of the Maldives lie just above sea level.

 

Climate:

Average temperatures are around 30°C (86°F) during the day and 23-25°C (73-77°F) at night throughout the year.

They have high humidity throughout the year, which is typical of tropical areas. Humidity can be significantly higher during the rainy season.

The Maldives has two main rainy seasons. Monsoon rains come in the summer, from May to October, and bring higher rainfall, especially on the larger island of Male. The winter season from November to April is dry and sunny, which is the best time to visit in terms of weather.

The country lies in an area where hurricanes and cyclones can occur, especially during the rainy season. These storms can have a strong effect on the weather and infrastructure on the islands.

 

Fauna and flora:

The most prominent part are the corals. They are known for their coral atolls that form underwater ecosystems. Different types of corals include soft and hard corals that create breathtaking underwater scenes.

Coconut trees are very common and an important part of the life of the local people. Coconuts are used in local cuisine and their fibers are traditionally processed into various products.

On the islands you can find different types of mango trees, papaya, banana trees, and other subtropical plants.

They are known for their rich underwater life. There are a variety of fish, including parrotfish, sharks, manta rays and tropical fish. In the Maldives, you will also find various types of coral reef animals such as sea turtles and various invertebrates.

Although the Maldives are mostly coral islands, some species of birds can be seen. These include pelicans, gulls, and other seabirds. Sea turtles are commonly seen in coastal waters.

 

Agriculture:

Coconut palms are one of the main crops and play an important role in local agriculture. Coconuts are used for foods such as coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut pulp. Palm trees also provide wood and building materials for local residents. Rice cultivation is also important, especially on the larger island of Male, where there is plenty of land for agricultural purposes.

A variety of fruits and vegetables are grown on the islands, including papaya, bananas, asparagus, cucumber, and eggplant (a Maldivian vegetable).

Fisheries play a key role in the economy and food security. Fishing is a traditional occupation for local residents. Drying fish is also a common procedure for preserving fish for a longer period.

Some islands also grow sweet potatoes, which are an important part of the local diet.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Sand and gravel is quarried from local beaches for construction purposes, especially on larger islands such as Male Island. These raw materials are used in the construction and expansion of infrastructure on the islands. Coconut palms are the main agricultural crops, and coconuts and other parts of coconut palms are of economic importance.

 

Industry:

Industry is limited and underdeveloped compared to many other countries due to limited agricultural areas and geographical conditions. The Maldives is primarily dependent on tourism, which is a key source of income. They have several ports and the merchant shipping industry plays a role in agricultural imports and exports.

 

Services and other sectors of the economy: tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: coral islands and the coastline

The Maldives is known for its beautiful coral atolls, which form an underwater paradise for divers and snorkelers. Visitors can discover a variety of underwater life here, including corals, fish, sea turtles, and much more. The white sand beaches are known for their beauty and are ideal for sun lovers and relaxation by the sea.

They are home to many luxury resorts that offer first-class accommodation, services, and amenities, including over-the-water bungalows, private pools, and spas.

 

Waterparks in Maldives:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The president is head of state and government and is elected for a five-year term in general elections.

The parliament, known as the Majlis, is a bicameral legislative body. It consists of 87 members of the lower house (People’s Majlis) and 48 members of the upper house (Rada). The members of the Majlis are elected by the citizens of the Maldives.

The country has an independent judicial system that includes the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of the country, and other judicial instances. The courts are responsible for exercising judicial power and protecting the law. The islands are divided into several atoll administrative units, which have self-government in matters of local interest.

 

Capital city: Male

Malé is located on the island of Male, which is part of the South Male Atoll.

Malé is also the center of cultural events in the Maldives. It is home to a museum, art galleries, and historical monuments that capture the country’s rich history and culture.

 

Area: 298 km2 (115 square miles)

 

Population: 580 000 (2022)

The main ethnic group are Maldivians who make up the majority of the population. There are also smaller ethnic minorities such as the Sindhi and people from other Asian countries who have come to work in the tourism industry.

Islam is the state religion and plays a prominent role in the lives of the inhabitants. Most Maldivians are Muslim and Islamic traditions are deeply embedded in their culture and daily life.

The Maldivian language, known as Dhivehi, is the official language and is used in government documents and in communication between locals. However, English is widely spoken, especially in the tourism industry, and is one of the important languages of communication.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

 

National parks: