Safety in Maldives - 7 Tips For a Safe, Hassle-Free Maldives Holiday

A vacation in a place like the Maldives is no short of a dream come true. Its crystal clear water, clear blue skies and picturesque sunsets are something we have come across only in travel blogs and videos. Well, when one finally gets there, their happiness knows no bounds. However, although an otherwise non-chaotic and simple place, there are a few little things regarding the safety in Maldives that anyone travelling to the islands must know.  

1. Civil Unrest, Political Issues and Terror Threats

Social turmoil
Although the Maldives is one of the most peaceful and calm places in the world, at times of political unrest, you could find yourself trapped in public demonstrations even before you realise the gravity of the situation. Since the arrest of the Maldivian President back in 2015, the capital city of Male has been hosting quite a few demonstrations off late. Some of them has led to arrests and violence. As a safety instruction, do pay great heed to the media reports and travel wisely. Tourists should also refrain from joining rallies and protests in the capital city. The outlying islands and the main international airports mostly remain unaffected even during times of emergency. 

Tourists are mostly unaffected by the turmoil, if any, happening in the capital city. All the resorts throughout the nation remain neutral to the political impasse. Flights, hotels and other facilities in the tourism sector continues to operate as usual. The government of Maldives pays excellent attention to the tourism sector and puts a premium on tourism safety. 

2. Islamic Laws

Islamic Laws
The Maldives is an Islamic country with some rules following the religious laws of the country. The residents and lawmakers of Maldives would expect the tourists to adhere to and respect these laws. Import of items that are considered non-Islamic, for example, alcohol, pornography, pork and pork products, drugs are strictly banned under their rule. So its better to know these rules for your safety in Maldives to make your holiday as hassle-free as possible.
  1. Laws against drugs: Though death penalties do not exist for drugs, import of even soft drugs may lead to a considerable amount of fine and life imprisonment in this country.
Laws Against drugs
2. Conservative Mass: People over here are slightly conservative and traditional and hence the public display of affection of any kind is not allowed.

3. Rules during Ramadan: Do respect their beliefs and religion, especially in the holy month of Ramadan whence people do not eat or drink from dawn to dusk. Hence eating or drinking in the open may cause to their sentiments being hurt.

3. Attire in the Maldives

Dress COde in Maldives
As has been discussed earlier, attire in the Maldives is to be paid attention to because of the slightly reserved locals. But this does not mean that there are any strong restrictions on clothing. All you have to do is dress modestly in public places. In your hotel and the beaches, you have a little more freedom regarding the safety in Maldives so as to not offend any locals.  
  1. Dress Code For Women: While the good news is that two-piece swimsuits are acceptable on women, overly scanty swimsuits may be deemed offensive and must be avoided. On a distinct note, see-through clothes are a strict no-no. While in the capital Male or any other island inhabited by locals, the dress code should be self-effacing. Women should at least cover up their shoulders and thighs. Make it a point to dress appropriately before entering restaurants. Go through the guidelines of the restaurant, which gives a glimpse of the attire to be maintained.
  2. Dress Code For Men: Men should wear shirts in all restaurants. To give an idea of how far things may go, it shall be kept in mind that it is considered immodest to wear:
  • Revealing clothes that expose the thighs and shoulders  
  • Sheer fabrics 
Adhering to the dressing terms of the place, it is not hard to guess that nudity is not at all allowed. Topless sunbathing, too, is banned. Either of these are a punishable offence and may land the tourist into serious trouble. So for your safety in Maldives, do adhere to the above guidelines. 

4. Safety While Travelling

Safety While Travelling In Maldives
In the Maldives, people commute mostly by boat or seaplanes. The government maintains the highest safety standards regarding transportation on land as well as on water. The captain and crew of the ships are highly trained and makes the tourists aware of the safety instructions. It is recommended to pay attention while the captain recites them. In any case of discomfort, the captain should be immediately informed so that he gets enough time to act accordingly.

5. Safety of Couples

Safety of Couples in Maldives
The Maldives is most famous as a honeymoon destination and frequented by couples. It is a completely safe country for married couples. However, there may arise some issues in the case of unmarried couples. Being a conventional country, some resorts may frown upon letting unmarried couples share a room and may send them back. However, this is the case with only a few of the resorts while the rest would give you a warm welcome. Inappropriate gestures and unconventional act with your dear ones in public places may cause problems regarding your safety in Maldives.

6. Safety of LGBTQ

Safety Of LGBTQ Couples
Homosexuality is against the Maldivian law and may result in a lengthy prison sentence, fines or deportation. However, there have been no issues in the past with the LGBTQ couples checking into hotels and enjoying their holidays. Refrain from holding hands or public displays of affection to stay on the safer side.

7. Shopping Souvenirs

Souvenir Shopping in Maldives
While shopping in the Maldives, it is most likely that you would come across items that are made of corals or shells of tortoises. These items are mostly illegal and pose high risks of landing its owner into trouble. Further, they can not be exported and would be seized away in the airport if caught. So refrain yourself from the purchase of such items. 
Consider inquiring quite a few shops for prices of similar items before actually purchasing them. The price tags are highly deceptive since the actual costs of souvenirs can be brought down drastically through tactful bargaining. The smiling faces would seem to offer the most excellent deals, but trust me they are not. So before paying a hefty amount, thoroughly check the quality of the good, enquire of its origin and set a price which is pocket-friendly.

Being in a calm and composed country like the Maldives, it is tough to get into trouble if the points for safety in Maldives are kept in mind. So enjoy to your fullest and be privileged to be in one of the most sought out places in the world!

This post was published by Saptorshi Gupta

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