Branded as the “Sunny side of life” and a place for the sun, sea and sands. These natural factors are the most obvious reasons why the Maldives is such a popular tourist destination. Maldivians know that foreign visitors have their own customs and different ways of doing things. However, visitors to the Maldives should take care to observe local customs and practices. You may find it convenient in understanding the following do’s and don’ts before embarking on your trip to the Sunny side of life.
- Do try local cuisines such as Garudhiya and Baiy, Rihaakuru and Masburi Riha.
- Do watch traditional and cultural dance shows.
- Do visit the local market and the fish market in the morning to experience the daily life of the local.
- Do take a walk around Malé and snap lots of photos and selfies.
- Do remember to take off shoes before entering a Maldivian home.
- Do dress properly when visiting a Mosque or religious site. Enter barefoot, leave your shoes outside the entrance. Your bottoms should be knee length and shoulders covered.
- Do buy authentic Maldivian souvenirs before returning to your home country.
- Do visit an inhabited island to explore their traditional and cultural values and eat homemade savory and delights.
- Do smile a lot.
- Do try and learn a few basic phrases in Dhivehi such as:
– Hello –As-salamu alaykum
– How are you? – Haalu Kihineh?
– Good – Rangalhu
– I am going – Aharen Dhanee
- Don’t sunbathe topless – Public nudity is strictly prohibited in the Maldives and wearing bikinis in the inhabited islands are restricted. You can wear it at your holiday island resort that you confirm your accommodation with.
- Don’t purchase or sell turtle shells and black corals, they are protected species in the Maldives.
- Don’t bring liquor or alcoholic products into the Maldives – The import of alcohol and consumption in the local islands are strictly prohibited. Only permit holders such as resorts and safari boats are allowed to import alcohol into the Maldives. However, alcoholic beverages are available for consumption in the tourist resorts.
- Don’t get involved in possession or consumption of narcotic drugs. Drug trafficking and possession carries harsh penalties in Maldives, including life imprisonment.
- Don’t smoke or consume food during the holy month of Ramadan in Malé.
- Do not litter the streets.
- Do not touch or pick corals when diving or snorkeling. Be conscious of the delicate local environment.
- Do not dispose plastic bags into the sea, it can be hazardous.
- Don’t hug or kiss in the public – Maldives is conservative when it comes to expressing physical displays of affection.
- Do not bring:
– Religious materials offensive to Islam.
– Pornographic materials, sex toys, books, magazines, videos and software.
– Idols (for worship)
– Live pigs.
– Dogs (Prior permission and communication is required with your local agent in Maldives, dogs are only allowed in boats and liveaboards, it will not be allowed on land, except during arrival and departure at the airport.
To make the best out of your trip to the Maldives is to shed off all remains of supremacy from your actions and think like the locals do. To earn respect, you should also show respect to others, it’s a two-way street, so make your trip to the Maldives special by adhering the above Do’s and Don’ts.