Thousands of people visit this Indian Ocean paradise each year, but safety should always be your number one priority. The relaxed atmosphere does tend to lull some visitors into forgetting their common sense. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your holiday in the Maldives.
ISLAM IN MALDIVES
The Maldives is an Islamic country, and if you've never traveled to a Muslim country, you may be unaware of local laws and etiquette. It's a bit more than simply respecting customs like you would in Buddhist countries – in many Islamic countries, not observing certain rules can carry a fine or prison time.You must not carry any weapon, ammunition or drugs.In addition to this, importation of any religious materials, books or idols of worship is strictly prohibited.You must dress modestly if you’re outside the resort, among the Maldivians.Alcohol is generally prohibited under Islamic law, and in the Maldives it is only allowed on the resort premises and really should not be taken off a resort island.
Islamic law encourages modesty of dress so, nude or topless sunbaking is prohibited everywhere in the Maldives including on resort islands. Bikinis are perfectly fine in the resort areas.
CIVIL UNREST IN MALDIVES
It is true that there was a terrorist bombing in 2007 that injured twelve foreign tourists, but it's considered an isolated incident. While there was also great damage from the 2004 tsunami, recovery and rehabilitation has come a long way.
Since then there has been a smattering of civil unrest incidents largely isolated to the capital, Malé, after the arrest of the Maldivian President in February 2015.If you find yourself in Malé and a public demonstration breaks out, stay well clear and listen to media reports for more information.
ISLAND HOPPING SAFETY TIPS
Tourists are discouraged to speak or befriend general public of Maldives due to the strict laws of Islam.They prohibit tourists from visiting islands where general public resides, in order to avoid Maldivians getting influenced from the western culture.
TRANSPORT SAFETY IN MALDIVES
Travel to and from the different islands is by either boat or seaplane. Safety standards are often different from what you may expect back home. Most of the boats and planes are in fairly good condition, but some of them are, unless you're a licensed marine or aviation engineer and have brought your coveralls and a flashlight, you'll have to use 'gut feeling'. If it looks leaky or in disrepair, it probably is.
KEEP YOUR BELONGINGS SAFE
Crime rates are low but theft of belongings left unattended either on the beach or in hotel rooms does happen. It will probably come as a shock to you, but thieves have worked out the trick of ‘hiding' your money under your towel or in your smelly sandshoe. Use the safe deposit boxes back at the resort.
Since we are in the middle of a pandemic you need to know the covid-19 norms and protocols and take care of it while you visit the country.