A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Maldives
The Maldives is made up of around 1,190 individual islands, peppered across the Indian Ocean, just below India and Sri Lanka. Some are so small that you’ll have to zoom way in on your Google map before you even notice they’re there. Out of all the islands within 26 different atolls (or collections of islands), only about 200 are actually inhabited by people. These include islands with year-round, permanent populations living in the likes of farming towns and fishing villages. Uninhabited islands are used for farmland or industry, or as “picnic” islands for resorts, which tourists can visit for the day for private, romantic meals.
The Maldives’ atolls are served by a series of ferries from Malé. They run on opposite days (to Maafushi on Monday, back to Malé on Tuesday) and rarely on Friday (it being the Muslim sabbath). You can jump from Malé to an atoll’s capital island then to smaller, nearby islands in the chain. The ferry is only 30-75 MVR depending on distance. Research the ferries beforehand so you know when and where you can go next. Island hopping is very difficult without planning.
The only other country in the entire world with a 100-percent Muslim population is Saudi Arabia. This is good to know when planning your trip, since during the month-long holy fasting of Ramadan, most of the local staff you’ll be encountering at the airport and resorts will be unable to eat or drink anything during daylight hours and many shops and services, including on resort islands,will be closed at certain times for prayer. Since the Maldives is a Muslim country, there are a few extremely important and strictly enforced rules that you may not know exist. For example, there is no alcohol available, strict Muslims aren’t even allowed to touch anything that contains alcohol. Homosexuality is also highly frowned upon and illegal. Women are barred from wearing bathings suits or revealing clothing (i.e. nothing revealing the elbows, shoulders, or knees), there are no pork products, and public displays of affection, even just quick kisses, are agains the law.
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Maldivian rufiyaa.
24 Nov 2021
09 Sep 2021
08 Dec 2020
09 Dec 2016
11 Dec 2011
13 Dec 2001