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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






Shopping in Male

Shopping in Maldives can be a very amazing experience. In fact, Male', the capital of Maldives can be termed as the shopper's paradise in Maldives. Here, many shops cater specifically to the tourists, selling local handicrafts and other art items. It is also a place well known for its sale of imported goods.

The Local Market
The "Local Market" located on the Northern waterfront, is a block away from the Male' Fish Market. When compared to the frenzy of activity in the rest of the neighborhood, a peaceful atmosphere prevails on the block.

The market is divided into small stalls, with each stall selling local products from the atolls. Some of the produces on display are different kinds of local vegetables, fruits, yams and packets of sweetmeat, nuts and breadfruit chips. Bottles of pickles, home made sweets and banana bunches hang on coir ropes from ceiling beams.

The Majeedhee Magu
Another shopping centre of much interest to tourists is the "Majeedhee Magu". Located on the main road of the island, the sides of the market are lined with shops selling products ranging from garments, handbags and cosmetics to electronic items. The shops are open till 11.00 in the night with the exception of prayer times when they are closed

The Chandhanee Magu
The "Chaandanee Magu" is a major commercial center in Male' and is specially known for its popularity with those wishing to buy imported goods. The majority of the products sold here are imported from Singapore, thereby earning itself the name the "Singapore Bazaar".

The souvenir shops lining the northern end of "Chaandanee Magu" are highly popular with tourists. Tourists wanting to take a souvenir from Maldives either for their friends or as a reminder of the wonderful days spent here can be seen buying 'Wooden miniature Dhonis'. Another, widely sought souvenir is the 'Thudu Kuna' - a Maldivian mat woven with local natural fibers in elegant geometric designs.

Export of items made of Turtle shell, coral and pearl oyster shell has been prohibited by the government in the interests of the conservation of the coral reefs and marine life.

Shopping Hours: Saturday-Thursday 8 am-11 pm
Banking Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9 am-1 pm

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