The Maldives is a tropical paradise with over 1.5 million visitors each year. The tourism industry supports the country and is a key contributor to its service sector, which makes up four-fifths of its economy. Its marine geography offers unique underwater accommodations, restaurants, and water sports.

People from different parts of the world traversed the seas to settle in the Maldives, and their influences are still apparent. The first settlers were Buddhist, but Islam was introduced in the 13th century. Ibn Batuta, a North African traveller and historian, wrote about the Maldives in the 14th century.

Maldivian culture is rich and varied. Rice and fish are staples, and Indian influence is seen in the use of spices. Coconut is also a main ingredient, used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Many recipes have a distinct tropical flavour, and locals enjoy mango, papaya, and pineapple both as fruit and in desserts.

Traditional Maldivian foods include kulhiboakibaa (kuliboakibaa), fried fish cakes made with tuna, spices, and grated coconut. Rihaakuru, a concentrated fish paste, is also used to add depth and umami to recipes. The Maldivians are a friendly and welcoming people, and you will see it in their hospitality. They value strong relationships with immediate and extended family members. Elders are revered, and women have a respected role in society. Marriage is allowed at the age of 18, and pre-marital sex is not permitted.

The government is a republic, with the president and parliament both elected for five-year terms by national vote. The parliament, the Majlis of the Maldives, is unicameral, with 87 seats, and is based on sharia law. Islam is the state religion, and non-Muslims cannot vote or hold public office.

Share this blog post: