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Home > Destinations > Maldives > General Information

Maldives - General Information

Capital: Malé

Climate: Weather patterns are fairly unpredictable in the Maldives, although sea breezes keep the air comfortable most of the year and the water remains a remarkably steady, comfortable 75°F/30°C. The air temperature is also fairly constant, averaging 77-86°F/25-30°C year-round. The calmest seas and bluest skies generally occur from December-April, which is high season. There are two monsoon seasons, which just means it's a little more cloudy and there's a slightly greater chance of rain. The northeast monsoon is December-March, bringing more wind than rain. The wetter southwest monsoon, is May-October or November. Humidity is high all year.

Yahoo weather forecast for the Maldives (Malé).

Coordinates: 3 15 N, 73 00 E.

Currency: Maldivian Ruffiya. Need exchange rates? Try our currency converter.

Economy: Tourism, Maldives largest industry, accounts for 20% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. Almost 400,000 tourists visited the islands in 1998. Fishing is a second leading sector. The Maldivian Government began an economic reform program in 1989 initially by lifting import quotas and opening some exports to the private sector. Subsequently, it has liberalized regulations to allow more foreign investment. Agriculture and manufacturing continue to play a minor role in the economy, constrained by the limited availability of cultivable land and the shortage of domestic labor. Most staple foods must be imported. Industry, which consists mainly of garment production, boat building, and handicrafts, accounts for about 18% of GDP. Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is one meter or less above sea level.

Electricity: Voltage in Maldives is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your location. An adapter is recommended for using appliances you bring with you. Most major hotels provide hair dryers and other amenities.

Official Language: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic). English is widely spoken, there are usually no problems in communicating with people in manmy hotels, restaurants and on public transport.

Political Status: Republic.

Population: 320,165 (July 2002 est.)

Time: Maldives is five hours ahead (GMT +05:00) of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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