Known as the ‘dream island’, the Maldives are paradise-like in their beauty. A slew of stunning resorts are dotted across the archipelago with white sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons that will melt away all your cares and leave you feeling completely refreshed.
A heady mix of Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian and African influences make the Maldivian culture unique – this is a place where you can truly immerse yourself in local traditions. You can witness this in music and dance performances as well as a visit to a local village island where you can see how people live a more traditional Maldivian lifestyle.
Islam is the state religion of the Maldives, a tradition that dates back to 1153 AD when the first Sultan converted from Buddhism. The Maldives have been ruled by Islamic dynasties for over 170 years under 29 different Sultans.
In the past the islands were a major trading centre for pearls, spices and dried fish. These days, the economy is largely based on tourism.
The island nation has a population of about half a million inhabitants, the vast majority living in Male’, the capital city. The rest are spread across small islands in scattered atolls.
Most people in the Maldives speak Dhivehi, their national language. English is also widely spoken in the country.
Culture & Heritage
The Maldives are one of the most culturally diverse destinations in Asia, thanks to its proximity to India and its long history of foreign influence. In fact, the Maldivian culture and traditions are a heady blend of Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Arabic, Persian and Indonesian influences that can be seen in everything from cuisine to music.