Maldivians are a warm, welcoming people and their way of life revolves around the sea. They fish and bring their catch home, where it is cooked and enjoyed by the family.
A melting pot of Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Middle Eastern, and African influences make up the Maldivian culture. You can experience this unique blend firsthand by attending cultural performances or sampling local cuisine.
The Republic of Maldives is a country made up of a chain of nearly 1,200 islands that lie south-west of the Indian subcontinent. It is governed by the Constitution and a president is elected for five years.
The Maldives gained independence from Britain in 1965 and established a republic the following year. The government was headed by Ibrahim Nasir, who ruled until 1978 and was the first Maldivian president to be elected indirectly by the Majlis (legislature).
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom replaced Nasir in 1978 for a term of five years, and his reforms helped increase employment opportunities for islanders. His focus on development was seen as a benefit to the local economy, although the country suffered a significant recession in 1985.
Tourism has become the main economic driver for the country. Scores of islands have been developed for the upper end of the tourist market, and this has brought with it financial benefits to a wider area of the nation than was ever before possible.
The Maldives is a popular destination for luxury holidays and offers a wide range of accommodation, from small, simple resorts to the latest six-star resorts that dominate glossy travel magazines. It is also a safe country with a solid legal system based on Islamic law.