Travelling tips for holidays in the Maldives
On Arrival in Male
Customs formalities are usually quick and trouble free in the Maldives. There are strict laws forbidding the import of pornography of any kind, alcohol, pork and all products containing pork, narcotic drugs, poisons and hazardous chemicals, firearms and explosives.
Once you have collected your luggage, you will be met at the airport by a representative of Maldives Scuba Tours who will help you to find the transfer to your live-aboard boat or island. Our representative will also ask for your airline ticket so that your return flight details can be reconfirmed.
On departure from the Maldives
Departure tax is paid when you purchase your airline ticket and is no longer payable on your departure.
Telecommunications and Mail
The telephone system in the Maldives is very efficient with international telephone communications available from all the resort Islands. Mail can be sent from the resort islands and will usually reach its destination within 7-10 days.
Most resort islands use 220/240volt AC at 50 cycles but there is no standard socket type and it is worth carrying an international adapter . Plugs are usually either the three pin square, 13 amp British type or they are the two pin European style. If you are used to a 110 volt supply you will need a small transformer to convert from 240V to 110V.
Each resort has its own method of airport transfer service which may be a boat or a sea plane depending on the distance of the island from the airport. These services are not run on a scheduled basis but connect with the various incoming flights and are booked when you make your island resort booking.
It is recommended that you pre book your boat safari or resort island accommodation before you arrive in the Maldives as occupancy levels are very high and it is often difficult to find accommodation on arrival. If your resort is pre-booked, your booking will include the return transfer to the airport. If you have the option and the funds, a transfer by air is a worthwhile expense and an enjoyable experience.
The Maldivian currency is called Rufiyaa and it is divided into 100 laari but it is rarely used on tourist resorts. Most transactions for tourists on the resorts, fishing islands and in Male take place in US dollars. Some resorts will cash travellers cheques and will accept major credit cards.
How to get there
Most passengers arrive into the Maldives by air into Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, on Hulhule Island, close to Male. The airport is served by a number of International scheduled and charter airlines.
From the UK, there are several scheduled airlines operating regular services to the Maldives. The award winning Emirates airline operate daily flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, with all flights going via Dubai. Sri Lankan airlines operate flights to Male from Heathrow via Columbo. In addition to these airlines there is the option of Qatar Airlines via Doha, or Oman Air via Muscat. Stop-overs at any of the above cities can be easily arranged. British Airways operate a non-stop service from Gatwick three times per week. As an indication, the flight time from London is about 13 hours.
From Europe, there are a number of charter flights and scheduled carriers operating from Europe - please contact us for information.
From North America, there are no direct services and passengers would need to fly to Singapore for daily flights to the Maldives or to the UK to connect from there - please contact us for information.
As an indication, the flight time is four hours from Singapore, three hours from Dubai, thirteen hours from London and forty five minutes from Columbo. The airport island, called Hulhule, is just ten minutes boat ride from the capital, Male.
Visas, passports and immigration
Visas are not required in advance but are issued on arrival. Most travellers are issued with 30 day visas. If you wish to extend your stay, we can apply for a visa extension on your behalf. All tourists are required to have a passport with a minimum of thirty days validity from the date of departure, onward or return airline tickets or funds to purchase tickets and sufficient funds to cover their expenses during their stay.