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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Maldives Travel Requirements

By Air
Malι International Airport, the only international gateway, is situated on Hulule island, just a kilometre or about 10 minutes by boat from Malι, the capital island. There are daily flights to the airport direct from Singapore, Colombo and India, as well as many chartered flights from European centres. The national carrier, Air Maldives also operates between Malι International Airport, Colombo, Trivendrum, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.

Although no visa is required in advance, it will be issued on arrival and free of charge to all visitors in possession of valid travel documents. A tourist visa lasts for 30 days and can be extended to maximum 90 days on request for a fee of Rf450 (US$40). An Inter Atoll Travel Permit is required to visit islands outside the tourist zone, and the Ministry of Atolls Administration will only issue them to those whose visit is sponsored by a resident of the island concerned.

Sea Transport
The main form of local transport is the dhoni, a traditional all-purpose vessel now usually powered by a diesel engine. Visitors generally remain on their resort island for the duration of their stay, although island-hopping trips by ferries are widely available. Larger boats called vedis are used for longer trips to outer atolls. It is possible to arrange trips to the outer atolls when the neccessary permits are obtained by the operators. Helicopters and seaplanes are used to transfer guests to some of the more remote islands.

Land Transport
Most islands are so small that transport is not a problem. Exploring the islands mostly take longer than half an hour on foot. However, there are taxis, motorcycles and bicycles available for hire in the capital.

The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa (Rf) and Laari. (1Rf = 100 laaris). Notes are in denominations of Rf500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of Rf2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laari. The US Dollar is the most commonly used foreign currency. Travelers' cheques and credit cards are accepted in most resorts and hotels.

Banking and Business Hours
Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday in Maldives.
Banking hours: Sundays to Thursdays 8.00am - 1.30pm.
Business hours: Sundays to Thursdays 7.30am - 2.30pm (government sector); 9.00am - 5.00pm (private sector).

Maldives has a sophisticated communications system which includes up-to-date technology and international satellite. IDD facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives Telecommunications Company also provides mobile telephones for daily rental and is also the Internet Service Provider (ISP).


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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