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Maldives

Background

Maldives

The Maldives was long a sultanate, first under Dutch and then under British protection. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2004, the president and his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. In June 2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new constitution, which was ratified by the president in August. The first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held in October 2008. GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff poll by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist who had been jailed several years earlier by the former regime. Challenges facing the new president include strengthening democracy and combating poverty and drug abuse. Maldives officials have been prominent participants in international climate change talks due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise.

About

The Maldives (Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ Dhivehi Raajje) are an archipelago of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia.

Read more about Maldives in our Maldives travel guide »

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Maldives

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Featured hotels in

Maldives

MaldivesNaladhu Maldives by Anantara 

Veligandhu Huraa
Naladhu
Maldives

Price (US$): $1832 - $1833 / night

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Location. Naladhu Maldives by Anantara is located on the beach in Naladhu's South Male Atoll neighborhood, close to Bodu Hurraa Beach and Dhigufinolhu Beach. Other points of interest are Biyadoo Beach and Kandooma Beach. Hotel Features. Naladhu Maldives by Anantara's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. The property's full service health spa has body treatments and facials. Complimentary… more »

MaldivesSix Senses Laamu 

Olhuveli Island
Laamu Atoll
Olhuveli 08290
Maldives

Price (US$): $701 - $848 / night

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Location. Six Senses Laamu is a beachfront luxury hotel located in Olhuveli's Laamu Atoll neighborhood. Hotel Features. Six Senses Laamu features a snack bar/deli. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include a health club, a steam room, and a children's club. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services. This… more »

MaldivesIsland Hideaway Resort and Spa 

Dhonakulhi Island Haa Alifu At
Dhonakulhi 20077
Maldives

Price (US$): $790 - $1329 / night

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Location. Island Hideaway Resort and Spa is located on the beach in Dhonakulhi and local attractions include Utheemu Palace. Hotel Features. Dining options at Island Hideaway Resort and Spa include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services. The… more »

MaldivesConstance Moofushi Resort Maldives 

South Ari Atoll
Moofushi Island
Maldives

Price (US$): $1250 - $1251 / night

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Location. Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives is located on the beach in Moofushi Island's South Ari Atoll neighborhood, close to Himendhoo Thila. Regional points of interest also include Malhoss Thila and Fesdu House Reef. Resort Features. Dining options at Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives include 2 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a fitness facility, and a children's club. The property's full service health spa has body… more »

MaldivesCoco Bodu Hithi 

04-01 STO Trade Centre
Orchid Magu
Bodu Hithi 20188
Maldives

Price (US$): $1204 - $1917 / night

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Location. Coco Bodu Hithi is located on the beach in Bodu Hithi's North Male Atoll neighborhood and local attractions include Madivaru Beyru Dive Site. Regional points of interest also include Vabbininfaru Beach and Angsana Beach. Resort Features. Coco Bodu Hithi features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a sauna. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty… more »

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Maldives

Full name
Republic of Maldives
Capital
Malé
Location

Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

Geographic coordinates

3 15 N, 73 00 E

Area comparative

about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

644 km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

Terrain

flat, with white sandy beaches

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

unnamed location on Viligili in the Addu Atholhu 2.4 m

Natural resources

fish

Population

395,650 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs

Religions

Sunni Muslim

Languages

Maldivian Dhivehi (official) (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials

Government type

republic

Independence

26 July 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 26 July (1965)

Chief of state

President Mohamed "Anni" NASHEED (since 11 November 2008); Vice President Mohamed WAHEED Hassan Maniku (since 11 November 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Mohamed "Anni" NASHEED (since 11 November 2008); Vice President Mohamed WAHEED Hassan Maniku (since 11 November 2008)

Internet country code

.mv

Internet users

86,400 (2009)

Airports

5 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Male

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