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A string of pearls scattered over the deep blue Indian Ocean. From the air they look like a thousand shimmering jewels in a sea of velvet; an artist's fantasy or a photographer's dream. The Maldives, meaning 'garland of islands' has occupied a special place in the hearts of its visitors, reflected even in the very first writings about it. Marco Polo called it 'flowers of the Indies' others believed it was 'one of the wonders of the world'.

The Maldives consists of 1190 island grouped into 26 natural atolls. The atolls and islands of the Maldives are scattered over an area of 90,000 sq km in the Indian Ocean, straddling the equator between latitudes 7 6" North and 041" South and longitudes 72 32" and 73 45" East.No more than 200 islands are inhabited, the rest includes the 87 tourist resorts and uninhabited islands, some of which are used for drying fish or other agricultural activities.

The capital Malé, the seat of government and the centre of trade, commerce, business, health and education, is located in the middle of the atoll chain, a small island buzzing with the sounds and activities of about 75.000 people which is about one third of the population.
Today the country is better known as an exotic tourist destination. Over few decades Maldives has gained tremendous growth in Tourism industry with over 500,000 (five hundred thousand) tourists to Maldives every year


General Information

Fast Facts
Maldives history
Maldives Culture
Maldives Geography
Music and Craft
Maldives Climate
Male the Capital
Interesting Places
Maldives People






Male, Capital of Maldives
One of the smallest capitals of the world, Male', the capital island of the Republic of Maldives. Spread over an area of only 1.77 squares Kms, Male' is located at the centre of the nation and on the eastern side of the Kaafu atoll. Male' is not only the commercial hub of the country, it is also the seat of the Maldivian government. Due to this, Male' employs more than 75,000 people and is the most populated island in the archipelago

Most of the government offices are clubbed together in one area with shops and offices lining the main streets.

Male has been divided into four districts for administration purposes. Henveiru occupies the North-East side of the island while Maafannu occupies the North-West. The other two districts are smaller in size, with Galolhu occupying the centre and Machchangolhi located towards the south.

Another interesting aspect in Maldives is in their housing systems. The houses are referred to only by their names even though the address system includes numbers as well as names. Usually, the names are Maldivian, but some houses have English names. The influence of the British is reflected in names like "Heart", 'Night Flower', 'Blue Bell', 'Forget Me Not', Dreamy Light etc

Tourism in Male
The whole island of Male' is surrounded by seawalls with absolutely no natural beaches. Nevertheless, a freshly landscaped artificial beach with a bordering breakwater stretching all the way round to the harbour makes for a splendid jogging route. This route is especially popular in the evenings, when the weather is cooler

A land of scenery and historical artifacts, Male' has developed into a city of high rise buildings and paved roads, but without losing its beauty. Male' has retained its greenery through all the development. A very unique aspect of this capital island is that even though there is no source of fresh water supply, greenery abounds in the capital leaving a fresh and clean atmosphere in its wake.

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