The Maldivian archipelago offers quite the experience, from the allures of sun, sand and sea to culture and traditions as old as time. However, one must be aware of certain rules and regulations before visiting the Maldives, which is a strictly Muslim nation and has many restrictions and laws. The place is more than a sunny tourist resort, hence, do read on and get updated before you head over to the archipelago.
1. The Islamic Law
The Maldives is an Islamic nation which has a huge bearing on the law; for tourists, this goes beyond being just, respectful, and can be dangerous if you do not adhere to these strict regulations. In order to avoid deportation, fines of being thrown in jail make sure to avoid any of the following. Alcohol cannot be taken into the country, same goes for firearms, pornography and any products containing pork or pork itself. No dogs are allowed in the country, while religious propaganda, other than for Islam cannot be taken into the islands, in order to influence the locals. Taking along your personal bible is allowed, but do not consider, influencing the locals to explore your religion, as you could get fined or jailed for the act.
2. No Nudity is Allowed, Dress Modestly
As a holiday destination of sun and sand, one would head over to the Maldives, with the hopes of returning with the perfect tan. However, the nation does not allow any topless or nude sunbathing. You can wear your bikini on private Maldives island resorts and maybe on the designated ‘tourist beaches’ close to your Maldives hotel, but nowhere else. While males can wear baggy shorts and t-shirts, females should stick to loose garments covering shoulders and knees. If you are visiting the mosques, cover your shoulders, ankles and head. Dressing for the tropics including swimwear is possible if you are a guest at a luxurious Maldives resort like Kuramathi Maldives or any other, located on its own private island.
3. Be Respectful When Visiting Over the Ramadan Season
If you happen to book your holiday during the holy month of Ramadan, make sure to be extra respectful, as locals are observing their 40-day fast and tend to be very sensitive at this time. Do not eat, smoke or drink in public at this time, out of courtesy to the local Muslims who are fasting from dawn to dusk during the Ramadan season.
4. Drugs Are a Serious Offence
Even a very minute amount of the mildest narcotic will be considered as drug peddling in the Maldives. Prison sentencing can vary from a life sentence to some, time-off, in the cooler. Keep in mind this rule applies to all narcotics, and even the ‘soft’ drugs will not be tolerated.
5. Take Care When Island Hopping
Island hopping outside of your Maldives resort hotel is not always encouraged; as a means of preserving the locals from corruption. If you are planning on an island hopping excursion, make sure to book it via a reputed agency, and have an experienced guide assist you. There are certain local customs and regulations which you must adhere to, and this includes dressing appropriately too, hence, do get updated on all these before heading out.
6. Stay Safe From Nature
Snorkelling amongst the coral reefs is quite a treat, but keep in mind they can scrape and injure you; hence, children especially should be precautious of where they are swimming. At the same time, the coral beds are very precious to the nation, and one must take precautions to not walk on them even in shallow water. Also take along plenty of sunscreen as the sun is scorching hot and can easily cause sunburn, especially, since you will be outdoors most of the time. Even the simple task of sitting under a shady coconut tree must be done with caution. Trees surrounding the Maldives resorts will have the fruits trimmed; however, those on isolated beaches or public islands will have fruits which can fall, unannounced from great heights causing lots of damage. Take these simple precautions and make sure to enjoy the sunny Maldives for all its fabulous allures.
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Source URL: Medium