Maldives

Maldives

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Maldives is Asia’s smallest nation, located in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka. It is an archipelago of approximately 1,190 islands, only 200 of which are inhabited. The population of Maldives is 340,000 people. The official religion is Sunni Muslim.

After being occupied by Portugal and being both a Dutch and British protectorate, the Republic of Maldives became an independent nation in 1965 and a presidential republic in 1968. However, it was not until the formation of a new constitution in 2008 that the Maldives had their first democratically-elected president in a multi-party, multi-candidate election. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government.

Due to climate change, the rising sea levels are a growing concern for the Maldives. This could greatly impact the nation since approximately 80 percent of the land area is one meter or less above sea level.

With its tropical climate and many resort islands, the Maldives is an increasingly popular tourist destination, welcoming millions of tourists every year.

Currency MVR: Maldivian rufiyaa
Language Maldivian (Dhivehi)
Capital Malé
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert April 09, 2021 - Maldives: Local Election on 10 April

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Maldives. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in this country through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis B in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats, but has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in the Maldives, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever has occurred in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika fever has occurred in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Maldives.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Maldives.

None required.

Safety and Security in Maldives

Emergency Numbers

119
102
118
1478 Tourist police
+960 3322111

Emergency response times may be slow as travel between islands is by boat or seaplane only, and many tourist islands are a considerable distance from the island of Maté, where medical services are primarily located. Travellers may want to consider travel insurance for medical evacuation.

Personal Safety

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft is common in Maldives. Always be alert in your surroundings and do not leave belongings unattended on beaches or at resorts. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drink out of your sight. Drug-related crime and gang-violence is increasing in Maldives, particularly in Malé.

There is limited road infrastructure in Maldives and travel between islands (apart from travel between the island of Maté and other resort islands) may be restricted by local officials. Drive on the left hand side of the road. Travellers should be aware that safety standards for travel (by boat, car or seaplane) may be lower. Furthermore, exercise caution when participating in adventure activities due to the lower safety and equipment standards.

Monsoon season (November-April in the northeast and May-October in the southwest) may also pose a risk to the traveller due to heavy rains and flooding. Due to its location in an active seismic zone, the Maldives is also at risk of tsunamis.

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, travellers should respect the religious and cultural practices of the country and avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public. Travellers should always dress conservatively to respect local sensitivities. The public practice of other religions, other than Islam, is prohibited in the Maldives.

Same-sex relations are illegal in the Maldives. All public displays of affection should be avoided due to the conservative nature of the country.

Areas To Avoid

On Maté island, it is recommended that travellers exercise a high degree of caution due to reports of gang and drug-related crime, potential civil unrest and the potential threat of terrorism. Avoid large public gatherings.

Political Unrest

Political protests and demonstrations occur frequently in Malé and some have become violent. Minimize safety risk by avoiding any areas where there are protests or demonstrations. Monitor local media for updates and information about political unrest.

Get A Free Account!

Sitata uses advanced software algorithms to monitor the world for disease outbreaks and safety hazards. Each travel alert published by Sitata is reviewed by staff to ensure it meets the concerns of a traveller.

Sign up for a free account so that you can prepare for your trip and view the latest alerts.

Plan A Trip