The Maldives History
The Maldives, also known as the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic republic situated in the Indian Ocean on the Indian subcontinent. It’s roughly 750 kilometers off the Asian continent’s landmass, southwest of Sri Lanka and India. From Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south (across the Equator), a chain of 26 atolls can be found. The Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically separated sovereign governments, with a land area of 298 square kilometers and a territory that spans approximately 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) including the water (115 sq mi). With a population of 557,751 people, the Maldives is Asia’s smallest country by land area and second-most populous country. Malé is the capital and most populous city of the Malé archipelago, which was once known as “King’s Island” because of its central location where ancient royal dynasties ruled.
The Maldives Climate
According to the Köppen climatic classification, the Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate (Am), which is influenced by the huge landmass of South Asia to the north. The Maldives has the lowest elevation of any country on the planet, so the weather is always hot and humid. The existence of this landmass produces a difference inland and ocean temperatures. The southwest monsoon is caused by a flood of moisture-rich air from the Indian Ocean passing through South Asia. The weather in the Maldives is divided into two seasons: the dry season, which coincides with the winter northeastern monsoon, and the rainy season, which brings high winds and storms.
In April and May, the northeast monsoon changes from a dry to a moist monsoon. The southwest winds help to generate the southwest monsoon, which arrives in the Maldives in early June and lasts until late November. The weather in the Maldives, on the other hand, does not necessarily follow the South Asian monsoon pattern. The north receives 254 centimeters (100 in) of yearly rainfall, whereas the south receives 381 centimeters (150 in).
The north of the Maldives has a stronger monsoonal effect than the south, which is influenced more by equatorial currents. The average high temperature is 31.5 °C, with a low of 26.4 °C. Aside from sea level rise, additional environmental challenges include improper trash disposal and beach theft. Despite the fact that the Maldives are kept pretty clean and there is minimal litter on the islands, there are no good waste disposal facilities. The majority of garbage from Malé and neighboring resorts is dumped at Thilafushi. The Maldives’ Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in charge of the 31 protected areas.
The Marine Environment
Deep-sea, shallow coast, and reef environments, as well as bordering mangroves, wetlands, and dryland ecosystems, all, exist in the Maldives. Coral reefs are made up of 187 different species of coral. There are 1,100 kinds of fish, 5 species of sea turtle, 21 species of whale and dolphin, 400 types of mollusks, and 83 species of echinoderms in this area of the Indian Ocean alone. There are also a number of crustacean species in the area, including 120 copepods, 15 amphipods, and around 145 crab and 48 shrimp species.
Puffers, fusiliers, jackfish, lionfish, oriental sweetlips, reef sharks, groupers, eels, snappers, bannerfish, batfish, humphead wrasse, spotted eagle rays, scorpionfish, lobsters, nudibranchs, angelfish, butterflyfish, squirrelfish, soldierfish, glassfish, surgeonfish, unicornfish, triggerfish, Napoleon wrasse, and barracuda are among the many.
From planktonic creatures to whale sharks, these coral reefs are home to a diverse range of marine habitats. Five kinds of sponges have been found to have anti-tumor and anti-cancer capabilities.
The Maldives Tourism
Only 189 islands support a population of 447,137 people. The other islands are solely used for economic purposes, the most prominent of which are tourism and agriculture. Tourism accounts for 28% of the Maldives’ GDP and more than 60% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Import duties and tourism-related taxes account for more than 90% of the government’s tax revenue.
The expansion of tourism contributed to the country’s overall economic growth. It resulted in direct and indirect job creation and money generation in other associated businesses. The first tourist resorts, Bandos Island Resort and Kurumba Village (now Kurumba Maldives), debuted in 1972, completely changing the Maldives economy. The rise of tourism in 1972, according to the Ministry of Tourism, altered the economy, rapidly moving away from reliance on fishing and toward tourism. The sector became the primary source of income in barely three and a half decades. Tourism was also the country’s main source of foreign currency and the largest contribution to GDP. In 2008, the Maldives had 89 resorts with over 17,000 bedrooms and welcomed over 600,000 guests each year. Over 1.7 million people visited the islands in 2019.
Between 1972 and 2007, the number of resorts climbed from two to 92. The Maldives has received around 8,380,000 tourists as of 2007. Six ancient Maldivian coral mosques have been designated as UNESCO tentative sites.
Visitors visiting the Maldives, regardless of their country of origin, do not need to apply for a visa prior to arrival if they have a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and sufficient funds to be self-sufficient while in the nation. The majority of travelers come to Velana International Airport, which is located on Hulhulé Island, near Malé. Flights from India, Sri Lanka, Doha, Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul, and other major Southeast Asian airports, as well as charter flights from Europe, serve the airport. Gan Airport, located on Addu’s southern atoll, also has a weekly international service to Milan. 2–3 times every week, British Airways flies direct to the Maldives.
The Maldives’ main airport, Velana International Airport, is located near the capital city of Malé and is completely surrounded by water. International travel is possible on government-owned Island Aviation Services (branded as Maldivian), which runs multiple Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft and one Airbus A320, offering international service to India, Bangladesh, China, and Thailand practically all Maldivian domestic airports.
There are three different ways to travel across islands in the Maldives: domestic airplane, seaplane, or boat.
Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language closely linked to Sri Lanka’s Sinhala, is the official and common language. The Eveyla Akuru script, which can be seen in historical recordings of rulers, was the earliest known script used to write Dhivehi (raadhavalhi). For a long time, a script called Dhives Akuru was employed. The current script, Thaana, is written from right to left. Thaana is reported to have been first introduced during Mohamed Thakurufaanu’s reign.
The Maldives’ population speaks English fluently.
“English has now firmly established itself in the country, following the nation’s opening to the outside world, the establishment of English as a language of instruction at the secondary and higher levels of education, and the government’s understanding of the opportunities given by tourism.