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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Malé

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Malé each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

February 26: National Holiday (national)

Malé commemorates the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his followers against Portuguese troops in 1573.

Ninth month of the Islamic calendar: Ramadan (national)

As half of the population in Malé is Muslim, the Maldives celebrate the holy month of Ramadan (ninth month of the Islamic calendar – date changes every year), during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset.

First day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar: Kuda Eid - Eid al-Fitr - (national)

In Islamic tradition, this day marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan (date changes every year). Kuda Eid is celebrated everywhere in the Maldives, with a large number of activities taking place in Malé. In the city centre, children are not forgotten, with fairs, street shows and music. Stalls and peddlers offer toys, crackers, balloons and sweets.

Early July: Huravee Day (national)

Huravee Day commemorates the victory of Sultan Hassan Izzudin who freed the Maldives from South Indian invaders overthrowing the monarchy. Each year, this holiday is celebrated in early July everywhere on the island with various festivities: music, food fair, traditional dance shows and singing contests...

July 26: Independance Day (national)

Great Britain granted the Maldives independence on July 26th 1965. Islanders celebrate the end of the British protectorate on this date. In Malé, parades and fanfares take place on the streets, as well as numerous school plays.

Tenth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Adha (national)

It is considered the most important of the yearly Muslim holidays and honours Ibrahim as a model for all believers. This is also an occasion for sumptuous family gatherings, for which it is recommended to multiply offerings and gifts.

November 11: Republic Day (national)

The capital of Maldives celebrates the proclamation of the Republic on November 11th 1968. Parades, street shows and concerts are organised on the main streets.

December 10: Fisherman's Day (national)

As second main's industry in the Maldives after tourism, fishing is given proud of place in Malé. Tradition has it all islanders cook fish or seafood on that day, to boast local fishing. Restaurants also participate and offer special menus.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Malé

Malé enjoys a tropical climate. Temperatures range between 26 and 34°C (79 to 93°F) and water temperature remains at 28°C (82°F) on average. Though it enjoys 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, it does rain heavily from May to November. However, rain never lasts and sunshine always comes through.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 24/75 30/86 45 Good period to go Good period to go
February 25/77 30/86 17 Good period to go Good period to go
March 26/79 31/89 22 Good period to go Good period to go
April 28/82 32/90 57 Good period to go Good period to go
May 27/80 32/90 177 Good period to go Good period to go
June 26/79 31/89 294 Not the best period to go
July 25/77 30/86 225 Not the best period to go
August 26/79 30/86 197 Not the best period to go
September 26/79 30/86 159 Not the best period to go
October 25/77 30/86 184 Not the best period to go
November 24/75 30/86 139 Good period to go Good period to go
December 24/75 30/86 85 Good period to go Good period to go
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Malé-Velana International airport

The Malé-Velana International Airport is located on the island of Hulhulé, 2.5 kilometres (1.5 mile) northeast of Malé's capital island.

  • 1 terminal

Getting from the airport to Malé and back:
  • By car
    • Being located on a tiny island of which it covers most, Malé's airport cannot be accessed by car and there are no parking facilities.
    • In order to rent a vehicle, you have to visit Malé's city centre, which you'll reach by seaplane of ferry.
  • By seaplane
    • Two charter seaplane companies, Maldivian Air Taxi (www.maldivianairtaxi.com) and Trans Maldivian Airways (www.transmaldivian.com) connect the international airport to Malé island and the various hotel-islands of the archipelago. Passengers come on board via a water dock near the airport.
      Return flights are MVR 3,000 to 9,000, depending on distance and possible deals with hotel-islands, but deals are often part of your package price.
  • By ferry
    • Ferries connect Malé's international airport to the city centre and other islands 24/7 in about 10 minutes. Taxis are available at the Malé ferry terminal. 15 MVR for one fare, add MVR 5 for luggage.
  • Services: shops, bars, restaurants, a post office and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) are available in the airport.
  • Telephone:+960 (0)322 211
  • Website: www.macl.aero/

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GETTING AROUND Malé

Malé and the Addu atoll are the only two places where you may possibly need a road vehicle. Many taxis are therefore available on the capital island. To reach other islands, planes, seaplanes and ferries are the main means of transport. On site, riding a bike or walking are ideal, as most islands are 1 to 2 miles long maximum.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful in Malé and they are favoured by tourists. Very affordable, they are also comfortable and accessible. The fare is MVR 15 (add MVR 5 for luggage). Make sure the driver confirms the fare before getting in though.

Seaplane

Seaplanes make it easy to reach any part of the country through the air. Travellers use Trans Maldivian Airways or Maldivian Air Taxi. You should directly get in touch with either company to learn about pricing and availabilities. Please note that your luggage will be limited (to approx. 44 lbs in most cases) in seaplanes.

Dhoni

In Malé, dhonis (typical boats found in Maldives and Sri Lanka) moor at the harbour, further east to Boduthakurufaanu Magu near the airport ferry docks. Most can be rented to travel to neighbouring islands. Price depends on destination and duration, but you should generally expect MVR 1,000 to 2,000 each way.

Speed boat

Powerful motor boats, much faster than dhonis but also more expensive. Some of the atolls (other than North and South Malé) are more than one hour away by speed boat. Boat captains in Malé are pretty sporty and the can be restless. We would recommend the use of seaplanes to reach faraway islands.

Ferry

In 2010, a national ferryboat network was set up. Each inhabited island is now linked to an atoll capital, several times each week.

Bike

On certain hotel-islands, you'll be able to rent a bike to visit. Land being fairly flat and distances short, riding is a pleasant way of getting around.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Malé, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for further information and help in organising your stay.

Maldives Tourism Promotion Board

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Head office, 4th floor, Bank of Maldives Building 2005, Malé
  • Telephone: +960 (0)332 3228
  • Website: http://visitmaldives.com/

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Malé counts several hospitals and medical institutions as well as medical practitioners. It is recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before you leave.

Vaccinations

No vaccine is mandatory to stay in the Maldives. However, it is recommended you protect yourself against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies (depending on the duration of your stay).

For more information, contact your Air France International Vaccination Centre:

  • Address: 38 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    • online (click here)
    • call the centre at +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

WATER

Tap water is safe to drink in Malé and the whole archipelago.

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Administrative formalities

Conditions to enter the Maldives territory

A free 30-day visa is delivered to entering visitors. You must hold an optical passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after your stay. If you plan to stay for more than 30 days, we recommend you to contact Malé’s immigration services.

For more information, please visit the Maldives immigration service website:http://www.immigration.gov.mv/

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Malé and the Maldives, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Good to know

00 960
+ phone number
(without the 0)
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Jakarta
No Daylight Savings Time in Malé.

BANKS
Usually open Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed on Friday. Working hours are adapted during the month of Ramadan.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed on Friday. Working hours are adapted during the month of Ramadan.
220-240 V/50 Hz

Tipping
In Maldives islands, there is no tipping rule. Almost every bill will come with a 10% service charge. At the end of your stay, and depending on your level of satisfaction, you may tip the hotel staff (between MVR 15 to 50 for a week). Tipping is not expected in Malé's high-end restaurants or taxis.