The capital of Maldives is Male’.

The Maldives is a republic with a presidential system of government. The president heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Majlis, with 87 members serving five-year terms. Two members each from the 19 atolls and Male are elected by direct universal suffrage; eight are appointed by the president. The legal system is based on sharia, Islamic law.

Modern Maldivian culture is heavily influenced by India, East Africa, and Arabia, although the islanders have maintained their own traditions. The music and dance of the Maldives reflects these influences, as does the country’s rich tradition of handicrafts. Lacquered wooden ornaments, finely woven reed mats, and coral carvings are among the most distinctive crafts of the Maldives.

Fishing was once the primary livelihood of Maldivians, but today tourism is by far the most important industry, bringing in more than half a million visitors annually. Other income sources include tourism-related services, transport, distribution, and construction. Agriculture is also an important sector.

Religious festivals are dominated by Islam, and the main celebration is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting period. Other popular holidays include National Day and Republic Day, which commemorate the founding of the Maldives as a republic in 1965.

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