Crystalline waters and powdery white sand may be the main draw cards to this tropical paradise, but Maldives also has a lot more to offer epicureans. From lavish breakfast buffets to Michelin-starred sushi, these luxury island resorts are a food lover’s dream come true.

Despite its remoteness, Maldives has a vibrant culture and rich traditions. Traces of Africa, Arabia and Indonesia are evident in the physical traits of the people, as well as in music and dance. The traditional drumming dance of Bodu Beru is particularly distinctive, with echoes of Africa.

The capital city of Male is home to a thriving tourism scene, as are many of the country’s other main islands. However, the majority of the population lives in villages on local islands across scattered atolls.

The island of Thulusdhoo is one such place, with a thriving surf scene and an abundance of charming guesthouses. Other popular local islands include Malé, Hulule and Addu Atoll.

Maldivians are a tolerant, multicultural society. Unlike much of the Sub Continent, the tradition of secluding women from public view does not exist in Maldives. Most women take a prominent role in their communities. Although most of the population is Muslim, there are also a significant number of Christians and Hindus. Religious holidays and national days are celebrated with excitement and enthusiasm. The service industry underpins the economy, and the country is renowned for its luxury resorts and water sports. The Maldives is also a significant producer of fish, coconut and coir products.

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