Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Money & Shopping in Maldives

AsiaMaldivesMoney & Shopping in Maldives

Read next

Currency in Maldives

The local currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), divided into 100 Laari. However, the resorts charge for their services in US dollars by law and require payment in hard currency (or by credit card), so there is absolutely no need to change money if you spend all your time at the resorts. Most hotels have a shop, but this is limited to dive and holiday items (sunscreen, sarongs, disposable cameras, etc.). Some excursions from the resorts will take you to local islands where there are handicraft items to buy, but these are typically made outside the Maldives and sold at outrageous mark-ups.

If you are going to Male or the other inhabited atolls, the Rufiyaa exchange is very useful. The coins in particular are quite attractive and make an interesting souvenir in themselves, but the smaller denominations are rarely used or seen. The official exchange rate to the US dollar fluctuates freely but is practically 15:1, but while dollars are accepted almost everywhere, shops usually exchange them at 15:1 or even 10:1.

Tipping in Maldives

Tipping is not compulsory in the Maldives as 10% service charge is added to everything – but considering the low salaries earned by staff and the excellent level of service generally provided, it is a nice gesture to help resort staff earn some extra money. It is also not entirely certain that the 10% service charge is passed on to the staff.

Over the years, the tipping culture in the Maldives has changed, mainly because Europeans and visitors from other continents tip different amounts.

Costs in Maldives

The Maldives is expensive for those who have comfort and service-oriented tourism in mind. Resorts have a monopoly on services for their guests and charge accordingly: for mid-range resorts, $1000 per week per couple is a conservative budget for meals, drinks and excursions, in addition to the cost of flights and accommodation. Virtually everything – including hotel rooms if booked locally – comes with an arbitrary 10% “service charge”, but tipping is expected on top.

For an adventurous traveller with time to spare, the Maldives can be a very affordable and rewarding experience, with prices comparable to Malaysia. A number of inhabited islands have guesthouses with typical prices ranging from 25-40 euros per room. On more remote islands, it is possible to rent rooms in villages for even less. Food is cheap (and fish curries are delicious). Public ferries will take you between different islands on the same atoll for a few US dollars (although for less obvious places there is typically only one ferry per day and no ferries run on Fridays). For transfers to remote atolls, you can negotiate with cargo boats, which often take people for US$15-40, depending on the destination. Cargo boats have no schedules and leave when they are loaded. You can expect 1 boat in 1-3 days for each atoll.

It is important to remember that staying on inhabited islands means respecting strict Muslim norms, such as no alcohol, modest dress, restrained behaviour. However, the locals are very hospitable and the experience can be much deeper and more rewarding than staying in resorts.

How To Travel To Maldives

By plane Virtually all visitors arrive at Malé International Airport (IATA: MLE), located on the island of Hulhulé next to the capital Male. The airport is served by a large number of flights to China, India, Sri Lanka, Dubai and major airports in Southeast Asia, as well as an increasing...

How To Travel Around Maldives

Getting around in the Maldives is done in three ways: boats, seaplanes (air taxis) and private yachts. Boats are the Maldivian equivalent of the car, while planes and private yachts are mainly reserved for tourists. Air taxis and boats prefer not to operate at night. So if you arrive at...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Maldives

The Maldives has a remarkably simple visa policy -- everyone gets a free 30-day visa on arrival provided they have a valid travel document, an exit ticket and proof of sufficient funds, defined as either a confirmed reservation at any resort or USD25/day in cash. This can be extended...

Accommodation & Hotels in Maldives

For a long time, the Maldives had a policy of keeping tourists on special islands, which meant they could only stay in full-service resorts, where the cost of an overnight stay started at around US$200 and rose into the stratosphere. However, the brief democratic flourishing under the rule of...

Destinations in Maldives

Regions in Maldives The Maldives consist of 26 atolls, or atholhu in dhivehi - the origin of the English word. These are not individual islands, but huge ring-shaped coral formations hundreds of kilometres wide, fragmented into countless islands. Naming the atolls is complex, as the atolls have both long traditional Dhivehi...

Weather & Climate in Maldives

The Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate (Am) according to Keppen's climate classification, which is influenced by a large area of South Asia in the north. The presence of this land causes differential heating of land and water. These factors have caused a flow of saturated air from the...

Things To See in Maldives

Most visitors come to enjoy the myriad of plush resorts, excellent beaches and stunningly colourful marine life. Due to the island's isolated location, the number of animals on land is limited, but just beneath the surface of the beautiful blue ocean there is an abundance of wildlife to see....

Things To Do in Maldives

Diving and snorkeling in Maldives Apart from turning the water bungalow into a rock on your honeymoon, the main activity in the Maldives is diving. The atolls are all coral reefs hundreds of kilometres from any major land mass, which means the water clarity is excellent and the underwater life...

Food & Drinks in Maldives

Food in Maldives All resorts are self-contained, so they have at least one restaurant that generally serves the type of cuisine expected by guests. (i.e. modern European or generic Asian). Breakfast is almost always included, and most resorts offer the option of half board, which means you get an evening...

Language & Phrasebook in Maldives

Maldivian Dhivehi, a close relative of Sinhala (spoken in Sri Lanka) but with borrowings from Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and many other languages, is the official language. It is written in a remarkable hybrid script called Thaana, which uses Arabic and Indian numerals as the basis of the alphabet and...

Internet & Communications in Maldives

There are two mobile phone operators: Dhiraagu and Ooredoo. Both sell local prepaid SIM cards with internet connection at competitive prices. The former of them is the leading local telecom company that has a wider coverage, while the prices are about the same as its competitor. Both have shops...

Culture Of Maldives

Since the 12th century AD, there have also been influences from Arabia in the language and culture of the Maldives due to its conversion to Islam and its location as a crossroads in the central Indian Ocean. This was due to the long history of trade between the Far...

History Of Maldives

Ancient history and settlement Comparative studies of the oral, linguistic and cultural traditions and customs of the Maldives indicate that the early settlers were Dravidian peoples from the ancient Tamilakam in the Sangam period (300 BC - 300 AD), most probably fishermen from the southwestern coasts of what is now...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Maldives

Stay safe in Maldives There is very little crime in the tourist resorts, as guests often do not venture far away. In general, Maldivians are honest, helpful and hospitable people, even though you are unlikely to come into much contact with them in the resorts. There are no drugs in the...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular