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 resorts, but most Maldivians have easy access to drugs. Drug addiction is increasingly common and petty crime is on the rise. Take the usual precautions, such as not leaving money or valuables lying around. Note that every USD 50 you spend in a bar or restaurant is equivalent to 10 days’ wages for cleaners.
Anti-government street riots occurred in Male between 2003 and 2005, but political tensions were largely eased by the opposition’s victory in the 2008 elections. In the run-up to the 2013 election cycle, activists called for a halt to tourism to the island nation and the federal government bought more than $100,000 worth of riots.
Homosexual activity between consenting adults is punishable by life imprisonment. Discretion should be exercised by LGBT visitors.
Extensive discrimination against non-Muslims is enshrined in the country’s laws. In 2011, a foreign teacher was imprisoned for possessing a Bible and a set of Catholic rosaries. The country’s constitution was amended in 2008 to allow only Sunni Muslims to obtain Maldivian citizenship. There is no religious freedom; alcohol and pork are only available at the airport or at a resort that employs only foreign workers. Non-Muslims are not allowed to marry in the Maldives, are forced to have their children educated in the Muslim tradition and are barred from public office. Apostasy, blasphemy and criticism of Islam are illegal; promoting other religions or possessing non-Muslim religious items of any kind is illegal.
Stay healthy in Maldives
There are no serious problems with diseases in the Maldives. Note that the tap water may not be drinkable at all resorts: check locally. The Maldives is malaria-free, but mosquitoes are present on some islands and infection with dengue fever is possible, although very unlikely. For those coming from regions infected with yellow fever, an international vaccination certificate is required.
Most problems come from diving or sun-related injuries. Heat stroke is always a problem in the tropics, but in conjunction with divers spending hours on a boat in a wetsuit, overheating in one form or another is a real problem. Bearing this in mind, such injuries are easily avoided as long as you drink plenty of water and get into the shade as often as possible.
Many of the resorts have their own doctor or nurse and most are within easy reach of decompression chambers. Male has an efficient and fairly modern hospital, but bear in mind that it is a long way to be medically evacuated home from there.