Facts

Boduberu
A combination of singing, dancing and rhythmic drumming, is held up as one of the most high-profile examples of Maldivian culture.

Hanifaru Huraa
A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve renowned as a feeding ground for manta rays and whale sharks.

Pole and line fishing
Maldivian pole and line fishing is special for several reasons: the one by one catch method has minimal bycatch; it supports small communities; and much of it ends up on UK shelves: Sainsbury’s, M&S, Waitrose, Reel Fish and Fish 4 Ever.

Transport
The islands are connected by seaplane, ferry boats (dhoni) yachts and speedboats.

Boat Building
This boat building is a traditional craft in the Maldives, and young apprentices are trained by skilled craftsmen. Boats crafted from timber take 60 days to complete.

Hand crafts
Native crafts include wood and stone carving, boat building, mat weaving and jewellery crafting.

Coconut Oil
In earlier days, coconut oil was used in lamps before electricity was available in the Maldives. Coconut oil is rich in glycerin and it is used to make soaps, shampoos, lotions creams etc. Using coconut oil has a lot of potential in it. Before hair oils, creams and gels were introduced to Maldivians, coconut oil was used as hair oil. Women often used to rub or massage their hair with coconut oil (still some do in the islands) as it is believed to strengthen and prevent hair fall. Coconut oil which is found to be healthy, nourishing, hydrating and energizing is used in some resort spas.

Currency
One of the most common questions asked is "What money should I bring?".

The currency of the Maldives is called the Rufiyaah, which is linked to the dollar at around 15.42 Rufiyaah to the dollar.

However, most resorts and many local islands will accept the dollar (bring small denominations such as $1, $5 and $10) as payment. Most larger resorts also take Euros, Pounds Sterling, Yen and other major currencies - so check with your resort before converting money into local currency because you usually will not need to. If you try to pay your room bill at large resorts in Rufiyaah, the resort might convert it back to dollars, so you effectively lose out twice on the exchange rate.

Language
The national language is Dhivehi. English is widely used as a business language in government offices and the commercial sector.

Food and Drinks
Maldivian food is a fairly limited affair, consisting of fish, fruit and spicy curries. Your only chance to try ‘real’ Maldivian cuisine is in Malé, where cafés selling traditional snacks or ‘short eats’ (hedhikaa) are cheap and plentiful.

On resort islands, there are normally between one and 7 restaurants depending on the resort's size and level of luxury. Note that all restaurants on resort islands are run by the resort - there is no access to private enterprise. Cuisine is international, with all food other than seafood imported. All resorts have bars, where there is a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available.

Specialities
Seafood such as tuna, grouper, octopus, jobfish and swordfish is widely available.
Kavaabu (deep-fried snacks made from rice, tuna, coconut, lentils and spices).
Curries, such as chicken or beef, are widely available. Curry leaves are added to a lot of Maldivian dishes.