Maldive Islands

Map Page 1123 Area 115 square mi (300 square km) Population 329,684 (2003) Capital Male Highest Point 7.8 ft (2.4 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $3,900 Primary Natural Resources coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes, fish, tourism.
THE COUNTRY OF THE Maldive Islands is located in southern Asia, in the INDIAN OCEAN, as a group of atolls south-southwest of INDIA.
This remote island nation is comprised of 1,191 coral islands amid major shipping routes in the Indian Ocean.
Archaeological evidence of settlement from South Asia is datable to around 500 B.C.E.
The native language of Dhivehi points to Sri Lanka as the source of the Maldives' earliest continuous cultural roots.
The details of the conversion of the Buddhist king to Islam is wrapped in legend but venerated as the key point of the islands' history.
In 1153, the king adopted Islam and thereupon the title of Sultan Muhammad al Adil.
This initiated a series of six dynasties consisting of 84 sultans and sultanas that lasted until 1932, when the sultanate became elective.
For the vast bulk of its sultanate history, the Maldives remained independent.
Only in the 16th century did the Portuguese first come upon the Maldives in pursuit of the spice trade.
In 1558, the Portuguese invaded Male only to be ejected 15 years later.
The vying colonial powers continued to supplant one another.
In the mid-17th century, the Dutch controlled the spice trade but put no colonial government in the Maldives.
The British moved the Dutch aside, and by 1887, it officially made Maldives a British protectorate, leaving internal affairs to be managed by the sultan.
During the 1950s, British military activity dominated Maldivian economics and politics.
In 1956, the British gained license to reestablish its wartime airfield on Gan Island at very concessionary terms.
Newly elected Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir questioned this agreement and called for official review.
Peoples of the southern atolls and leaders who benefited most from the British presence started a secessionist movement to establish an independent state.
In 1962, Nasir sent government police to successfully suppress this insurrection.
Nasir also renegotiated the terms of the lease of the airfield at Gan.
On July 26, 1965, the Maldives gained independence from Britain.
Three years later they voted to abolish the sultanate and established a republic.
Ibrahim Nasir dominated politics for the next 10 years until he fled the country for SINGAPORE, taking more than his share of the nation's wealth.
Economic downturns in the fishing industry and the British decision to close the airbase on Gan in 1975 were great a challenges for the government.
A former college lecturer and ambassador, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was elected president in Nasir's place.
Gayoom has been in power since 1978, surviving three coup attempts and remaining popular with the Maldive people.
Recent years have seen continuing economic growth and modernization.
This growth has been primarily in the tourist industry with profits going to improve other sectors as well.
The Maldives have been the recipient of generous and consistent foreign aid.
There remains a tension between the progressive nature of the tourist industry and the conservative tone of a traditional Muslim way of life.
Sustained use of the marine resources in the tourist and fishing industry are a continuing challenge.

Maldive Islands Images

Last News

- Another European railway strike
"The French railway strike is planned on October 8, and Belgium strike will be held the next day.
It is supposed that French train staff will stop working on the evening of October 7 and will resume it by the morning 9 October. The aim of the strike is to attract the attention of the authorities due to the worsened working conditions and also their payment dissatisfaction. To be more precise, the trade unions want to reassure the authorities not to reform the Labor Code and pension payroll system.
Their Belgium colleagues wish to come up with the same requirements. It was also reported that high-speed trains Eurostar will be routed between London and Lille without reaching Brussels due to the strike. Thalys trains connecting Belgium and French capital cities will be canceled. The tourists would better think of an alternative way or choose some other means of transport. "

- Traveling to Ellada is getting more expensive
"Because of the abolition of tax benefits for the most visited islands, the traveling prices to Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Skiathos will be considerably increased.
The preferential tax treatment, regulated on the islands, was canceled from October 1, 2015 according to the Government decision. The capacity to pay 30% less tax will also be concerned towards hotels located on the above mentioned islands. And from the beginning of the summer next year the new rules will be applied to the rest of the islands.
The imposed measures will affect the tourists, who will have to pay the bills without any tax treatment benefits. The new rule will first of all be applied to the hotel room prices, which may be increased up to 7-10% according to the experts forecast. Consequently, the vacation package price will also be increased, which does not favor the tourists. "