Stay safe & healthy

Stay safe & healthy

Stay safe

There is very little crime in the tourist resorts with their patrons often not venturing wider afield. Generally, Maldivians are honest, helpful and welcoming people although you are unlikely to come into much contact with them in resorts.

There are no drugs anywhere in the resorts but most Maldivians have easy access to drugs. Drug addiction is increasingly common and petty crime has been on the rise. Take the usual precautions such as not leaving money and valuables lying around. Note that every USD50 you spend at a bar or restaurant represents 10 days' wages for cleaners.

Anti-government street rioting occurred in Male between 2003 and 2005, but political tensions were largely relieved by the opposition victory in the 2008 elections. In the run-up to the 2013 election cycle, activists requested that tourism stop to the island nation and the federal government bought more than USD100,000 worth of riot gear.

Homosexual activity between consenting adults is punishable by life imprisonment. Discretion should be exercised by LGBT visitors.

Broad-based discrimination against non-Muslims is entrenched in the nation's laws. In 2011, a foreign schoolteacher was imprisoned for possession of a Bible and a set of Catholic rosary beads. The country's constitution was amended in 2008 to deny Maldives citizenship to anyone but Sunni Muslims. There is no freedom of worship; alcohol and pork are available only at the airport or a resort employing only foreign workers. Non-Muslims are not permitted to marry in the Maldives, are forced to have their children educated in the Muslim tradition and are excluded from public office. Apostasy, blasphemy, and criticism of Islam are illegal; promotion of other religions or possession of non-Muslim religious objects of any kind is illegal.

Stay healthy

There are no serious problems with diseases in the Maldives. Beware that tap water may not be drinkable at all resorts: enquire locally. The Maldives are malaria-free, but some islands do have mosquitoes and catching dengue fever from them is possible, albeit highly unlikely. For those coming from regions infected by yellow fever, an international certificate of inoculation is required.

Most of the problems come from diving or sun related injuries. Heat stroke always cause problems in the tropics but couple that with divers spending hours at a time on a boat wearing a wetsuit and overheating of one form or another is a real issue. Keeping this in mind, such injuries will be easily avoidable as long as you drink lots of water and get into the shade as much as possible.

Lots of the resorts have their own doctor or nurse and most are within easy reach of the decompression chambers. Male has an efficient and fairly modern hospital but bear in mind that it is a long way to get medically evacuated home from.


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Maldives - Travel guide