Maldives Destination Information
The Maldives Archipelago comprises some 1,190 islands (202 of which are inhabited) in a chain of 20 coral atolls, located in the Indian Ocean 416 miles/670 km south-west of Sri Lanka, covering an area of 116 square miles/300 square kilometres. Protected from monsoon devastation by barrier reefs (faros), none of the islands rises above 1.8 m. The Maldives group of Islands extends in a N/S direction from 00 41.48 S to approx 08 00 N, to the SW of the Indian subcontinent. Male’ the principal port, is centrally situated on the East side of the group.
Divehi, a Sinhalese dialect of Arabic extraction is the official language. Arabic, English and Hindi are also spoken.
The Maldive Islands, settled by its original Dravidian inhabitants from southern India perhaps as early as the 4th century BC, came under the domination of Indo-Aryans mainly from Ceylon who arrived 400 years later.
The king converted in AD 1153 from Buddhism to Islam, ordering the population to do likewise. The islands were ruled as a Muslim sultanate, with a brief interlude under Portuguese control from Goa (1558-73).
The British established a protectorate in Dec. 1887. The powers of the sultans were circumscribed by the provisions of a 1932 constitution, and a short-lived modernizing regime set up a republic (1953-4) before a coup restored the sultanate.
The Maldives joined the British Commonwealth as a special status member in July 1982 and became a full member on 20 June 1985.
Health – Medical facilities
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required only if the vessel has called at yellow fever area during last 30 days
- Permission to be obtained to bring animals including pets with valid health certificates
- Yachts entering Maldivian ports must display international quarantine signal until health formalities are completed by port health officer
Customs and Immigration:
The following is a notification from the Maldives Customs Services to yachts calling at Male’ commercial Harbour:
- All yachts are required to submit a port clearance, cargo manifest, passenger and crew list and where applicable other relevant documents
- Departure time should be reported and port clearance obtained
- All visitors, officers, crew and passengers of yachts are requested to use the Male’ Commercial Services (yacht agent)
- Foreigners are not allowed to land at Male’ after 10:00 pm without prior permission
- Foreigners landing at Male’ should go on board before 10:00 pm
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