But while these tropical islands may seem akin to paradise, a holiday there could quickly turn sour if you pack a seemingly innocuous item in your suitcase.
Among the usual suspects, such as firearms, explosives and weapons, it is also an offence to take in a sex toy.
They are completely banned, as they come under the heading of “pornographic material” as listed by the Maldives Customs Service.
Pornographic books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs and software are also forbidden.
Travellers who violate this rule will have their items confiscated and will likely have their entry into the country delayed.
Most of the banned items are strictly prohibited because the Maldives is an Islamic country.
These items include live pigs, idols for worship and religious materials offensive to Islam.
There are other products that visitors might unthinkingly take into the country that are also restricted.
One is pork or pork products – this is because the Quran prohibits eating any part of the pig.
Alcohol is also banned from being imported, so tourists are well-advised to steer clear of the duty-free booze on the way out.
Both of these items are restricted, rather than prohibited, meaning that they can be imported if a special permit is obtained from the Ministry of Economic Development.
While customs officials will generally simply confiscate any banned items brought in, like with any border agents it is at their discretion whether they let you into the country or not.
Taking any contraband could therefore jeopardise a visitor’s entry into the Maldives – it’s probably better to leave the sex toys at home rather than take the risk .
Once in the country, tourists should “respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend,” according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The FCO gives this travel advice: “Local laws reflect the fact that Maldives is an Islamic country. Serious violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence. Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited.”
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