MALDIVES

MALDIVES

MALDIVES

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Name: Ari Atoll
Location: Maldives
Ari Atoll (also called Alif or Alifu Atoll) is one of the natural atolls of the Maldives. It is one of the biggest atolls and is located in the west of the archipelago. The almost rectangular alignment spreads the islands over an area of about 89 by 3 kilometres (55.3 by 1.9 miles). It has been divided in two sections for administrative purposes, Northern Ari Atoll and Southern Ari Atoll consisting of 105 islands. Ari Atoll is part of the zone designated for tourist development in the Maldives. It is roughly a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the Capital Malé.

There are more than 20 islands in the Atoll designated for tourist resorts. Each island resort is self-contained with accommodation and recreational facilities such as tennis court. Scuba diving is the most popular tourist activity in the Maldives. The diving in Ari Atoll is extensive and is often defined by location within the atoll, either North or South.

The main tourist resorts were Ari Beach, Halaveli, Maayyafushi, Twin Islands Resort, and Dhoni Mighilli.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ari_Atoll
Name: Meeru Island
Location: Maldives
Meeru Island (also known as Meerufenfushi) is an island on the easternmost tip of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll) in the Maldives. It is located South West of Sri Lanka on the equator, some 50 kilometres from the capital Male.

The island is formed above peaks emerging from the depths of the ocean, upon layers of both living and dead coral, and remnants of other marine life. Coconut palms towering above dense shrubs and hardy plants protecting the shores from erosion are natural features. The island is 1200 meters long by 350 meters wide, about 32 hectares. A speedboat transfer from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is a 55 minute ride.

Meeru Resort is the only resort on Meerufenfushi. There is a choice of restaurants and bars on the island as well as a coffee shop.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meeru_Island
Name: Maafushi
Location: Maldives
Maafushi is one of the inhabited islands of Kaafu Atoll and the proposed capital for the Medhu Uthuru Province of the Maldives. It is noted for the Maafushi Prison.

Maafushi was heavily damaged by the 2004 tsunami which impacted on over 100,000 of the Maldives 300,000 population. Various Red Cross organisations began work on a mains sewage system on 10 August 2006. The International Federation of Red Cross also funded the building of homes for those who lost theirs during the tsunami. Both schemes are carried out in partnership with commercial contractors and with the support and involvement of the local community.

Maafushi is one of the islands in Maldives with a thriving local economy. While more than sixty families benefit directly from fishing, tourism industry has taken a new turn since 2010. With the government regulation allowing opening of Guest Houses in local islands, Maafushi was the first to secure an investment in tourism accommodation. Tourists from neighboring resort islands also visit Maafushi for island hopping and Maafushi provides them with shopping opportunity with souvenir shops at assigned areas of the island.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maafushi_(Kaafu_Atoll)
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN MALDIVES / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO MALDIVES.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Dhivehi
Currency: Maldives Rufiyaa (MVR)
Time zone: MVT (Maldives Time) (UTC+5)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +960
Local / up-to-date weather in Malé (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Maldives travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Maldives, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO MALDIVES.

The local currency is the Maldivian rufiyaa, denoted by the symbol “Rf” or “MFR” (ISO code: MVR). It is divided into 100 laari. However by law, resorts price services in US dollars and require payment in hard currency (or credit card), so there’s no need to change money if you’re going to spend all your time at the resorts. Most hotels have a shop but this is limited to diving and holiday essentials (sun cream, sarongs, disposable cameras, etc.) Some excursions from resorts will take you to local islands where there are handicraft type things to buy, but they are typically made outside the Maldives and sold at significant markups.

If you are heading to Male or the other inhabited atolls, exchanging some rufiyaa will come in handy. The coins, in particular, are quite attractive and make an interesting souvenir in themselves, but the smaller denominations are rarely used or seen. The rufiyaa is tied to the US dollar with in a 20% band, but is practically 15:1. US dollars are near-universally accepted: shops usually exchange them at 15:1 or 10:1.

BY PLANE:

No point in the Maldives is more than 90 minutes away by plane from Male, and visitors to the more far-flung resorts use air taxi services. As of 2013, the only operator is Trans Maldivian Airways, which flies DHC-6 Twin Otter seaplanes that take around 15 passengers. The company schedules most planes at 6PM the previous day. Delays are frequent, it is not rare to wait for 5 hours in the TMA lounge. Seaplane scheduled in the evening have a high risk of being canceled as delays add up and the sky becomes darker, in such cases TMA will make you take a combination of domestic flight and boat, potentially making you reach your destination well after dinner time.

Scheduled inter-island services are provided by Island Aviation, which flies from Male to Gan, Hanimaadhoo, Kaadeddhoo and Kaddhoo. Travel permits are no longer required.

BY BOAT:

The taxi boats generally take tourists to and from the islands in the North and South Male atolls. They come in all different shapes and sizes depending on the quality of the resort you stay, and the Four Seasons has a large enclosed motor cruiser with drinks and food, while the lesser resorts have open sided dhoni fishing boats.

Public dhoni ferries and cargo boats are available for more the independent-minded and budget-conscious. The main operator is MTCC, who list schedules and fares on their website.

The previous system of requiring written invitations and Inter Atoll Travelling Permits (IATP) for those wishing to visit other islands has been abolished, you’re now free to travel wherever you wish. IATPs are still required if you wish to dock your own yacht, see Customs for details.

EAT:

All the resorts are self-contained so they have at least one restaurant, which generally serve the type of cuisine expected by their 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 a dinner buffet, and full board, which means you get a lunch and dinner buffet. These can limit the damage compared to ordering a la carte, but your options are typically very limited and drinks are often not covered, not necessarily even water. If you’re planning on drinking a lot, it may be worthwhile to go all inclusive, but even this typically restricts you to house drinks.

The only other place to find food is Male. This comes in two forms. Either small restaurants aimed at the tourists (of which there are a couple of nice Thai restaurants), which are often expensive, or small cafes called hotaa, selling local Maldivian food at prices as low as Rf20 (US$6) for a complete meal.

Maldivian cuisine:

Maldivian food revolves largely around fish (mas), in particular tuna (kandu mas), and draws heavily from South Indian tradition, especially Kerala. Dishes are often hot, spicy and flavoured with coconut, but use very few vegetables. A traditional meal consists of rice, a clear fish broth called garudhiya and side dishes of lime, chili and onions. Curries known as riha are also popular and the rice is often supplemented with roshi, unleavened bread akin to Indian roti, and papadhu, the Maldivian version of crispy Indian poppadums. Some other common dishes include:

  • mas huni — shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions, the most common Maldivian breakfast
  • fihunu mas — barbequed fish basted with chili
  • bambukeylu hiti — breadfruit curry

Snacks called hedhikaa, almost invariably fish-based and deep-fried, can be found in any Maldivian restaurant.

  • bajiya — pastry stuffed with fish, coconut and onions
  • gulha — pastry balls stuffed with smoked fish
  • keemia — deep-fried fish rolls
  • kulhi borkibaa — spicy fish cake
  • masroshi — mas huni wrapped in roshi bread and baked
  • theluli mas — fried fish with chili and garlic

DRINK:

As the Maldives are Muslim, alcohol is banned for the local population. However, nearly all resorts, live-aboard boats and the Hulhule Island Hotel (on the same island as the airport) are licensed to serve it, usually with a steep markup. Expatriate residents have an allowance that they can use in Malé.

Tap water in resorts may or may not be drinkable: check with the management. Bottled water is extortionately priced, with US$5/bottle being typical.

The Maldives had a longstanding policy of keeping tourists on dedicated islands, which meant they could only stay in full-service resorts where the cost of a night’s accommodation started around US$200 and went up into the stratosphere, and the vast majority of visitors continue to opt for these. However, from 2008 all the islands were opened to tourism, and backpacker-friendly guesthouses starting from US$30 a night opened on inhabited islands across the archipelago.

Resorts:

Most resorts take up their own island (1500 x 1500m to 250 x 250m), meaning that the ratio of beach to guests must be one of the best in the world and it is hard to imagine that you would ever have to struggle to find your own private piece of beach to relax on. Many have a “no shoes” policy and with such soft sands it is easy to love this idea.

The range and themes or the resorts is impressive, and most people will find one they like. They can be grouped into three types:

  • Dive resorts, designed primarily for divers. Geared expressly for people who want to spend most of their time underwater, facilities on land are limited, but the house reef is usually excellent. Often found in the more far-flung parts of the archipelago.
  • Holiday resorts, designed primarily for families. These are large and have a full complement of facilities (several restaurants, day-care centres, etc.), but don’t have over-the-top luxury and have less privacy. Most of these are located on Kaafu, with easy access from Male.
  • Luxury resorts, designed primarily for honeymooners and the jet set. The place to be if you want designer furniture, gourmet food and a plasma TV in an overwater villa reachable only by rowboat, and are willing to pay high prices for the privilege.

A Maldivian classic is the overwater bungalow, built on stilts directly above a lagoon. While these look fabulous and sound appealing, they have their downsides:

  • They’re usually packed tightly together, often sharing a wall, meaning little privacy.
  • Especially at low tide, the water level may be too low to allow swimming or snorkelling.
  • Resort facilities may be a fair distance from the bungalows.
  • The lapping of waves is romantic enough on a calm day, but can make it next to impossible to sleep if a storm blows through.

These factors vary from resort to resort, so research carefully. A good one is definitely worth trying at least once, but many Maldives repeaters prefer a bungalow with a private beach.

When considering where to go, factor in transport time and costs from the airport: the more far-flung resorts generally require an expensive seaplane transfer and you may have to stay overnight at the airport on the way. On the upside, the further away you are from Malé, the more peaceful the islands and the better the diving.

Many resorts, especially the smaller dive-oriented ones, cater largely to a single nationality, leading to “Italian” resorts, “Dutch” resorts, “German” resorts, etc. While almost all welcome any nationality and have some English-speaking staff on hand, you may be cut off from any evening entertainment and have problems e.g. diving if you don’t speak the local lingo.

Guesthouses:

There are guesthouses on inhabited islands, and Maafushi island is popular with looking for hassle-free accommodation of this type. Low end prices are €25-35 per night.

Examples include: Equator Village on Addu Atoll, a former British Royal Air Force base converted to a 78-room hotel. The cost is around US$100-150 per person per day all inclusive (including some alcohol). Another unique location is Keyodhoo Guest House, this guest house is on top of a recreation centre built by an Australian after the tsunami (US$20 pp/per night). Most visitors are scuba divers or adventure travellers. Other Inns/B&B can also be found on Vaavu Atoll, Dhaalu Atoll, Kaafu Atoll, North/South Male Atoll and Ari Atoll Haggnaameedhoo. Only a few of these inns and B&Bs have their own pool. Confirm if bikinis are allowed on the beach. The distance between the inns and beaches are usually short, but visitors should still dress appropriately to Maldive customs.

Village homestays:

More independent-minded travelers and those looking for cultural experience may consider renting rooms in villages. This will require either walking through the village and asking around if you’re particularly confident of your social skills, or inquiring in Male whether someone can put you in contact with their friends or relatives on remote island for such an informal homestay. Prices can be as low as 15 euros per night for a clean functional room.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Maldives
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Ari Atoll
Location: Maldives
Ari Atoll (also called Alif or Alifu Atoll) is one of the natural atolls of the Maldives. It is one of the biggest atolls and is located in the west of the archipelago. The almost rectangular alignment spreads the islands over an area of about 89 by 3 kilometres (55.3 by 1.9 miles). It has been divided in two sections for administrative purposes, Northern Ari Atoll and Southern Ari Atoll consisting of 105 islands. Ari Atoll is part of the zone designated for tourist development in the Maldives. It is roughly a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the Capital Malé.

There are more than 20 islands in the Atoll designated for tourist resorts. Each island resort is self-contained with accommodation and recreational facilities such as tennis court. Scuba diving is the most popular tourist activity in the Maldives. The diving in Ari Atoll is extensive and is often defined by location within the atoll, either North or South.

The main tourist resorts were Ari Beach, Halaveli, Maayyafushi, Twin Islands Resort, and Dhoni Mighilli.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ari_Atoll
Name: Meeru Island
Location: Maldives
Meeru Island (also known as Meerufenfushi) is an island on the easternmost tip of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll) in the Maldives. It is located South West of Sri Lanka on the equator, some 50 kilometres from the capital Male.

The island is formed above peaks emerging from the depths of the ocean, upon layers of both living and dead coral, and remnants of other marine life. Coconut palms towering above dense shrubs and hardy plants protecting the shores from erosion are natural features. The island is 1200 meters long by 350 meters wide, about 32 hectares. A speedboat transfer from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is a 55 minute ride.

Meeru Resort is the only resort on Meerufenfushi. There is a choice of restaurants and bars on the island as well as a coffee shop.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meeru_Island
Name: Maafushi
Location: Maldives
Maafushi is one of the inhabited islands of Kaafu Atoll and the proposed capital for the Medhu Uthuru Province of the Maldives. It is noted for the Maafushi Prison.

Maafushi was heavily damaged by the 2004 tsunami which impacted on over 100,000 of the Maldives 300,000 population. Various Red Cross organisations began work on a mains sewage system on 10 August 2006. The International Federation of Red Cross also funded the building of homes for those who lost theirs during the tsunami. Both schemes are carried out in partnership with commercial contractors and with the support and involvement of the local community.

Maafushi is one of the islands in Maldives with a thriving local economy. While more than sixty families benefit directly from fishing, tourism industry has taken a new turn since 2010. With the government regulation allowing opening of Guest Houses in local islands, Maafushi was the first to secure an investment in tourism accommodation. Tourists from neighboring resort islands also visit Maafushi for island hopping and Maafushi provides them with shopping opportunity with souvenir shops at assigned areas of the island.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maafushi_(Kaafu_Atoll)
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN MALDIVES / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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