What to pack
- Light, cotton clothes (with longer attire for visiting local islands)
- Slip on footwear
- Sun lotions and creams
- Round pin socket convertor (if your electric razor has flat pins)
The Maldives is in the time zone UTC+5. To make the most of the daylight hours resorts sometimes offset their clocks one to two hours ahead (or even one and a half).
Money and credit cards
The Maldivian Rufiyaa is the national currency, tied to the US dollar at $1 = MRf 12.85. You won’t need any local money though – tourists usually do business US Dollars, and most resorts also accept Euros.
The vast majority of transactions however are done with credit cards. The top resorts have GSM terminals that they take to the guests. All the shops in Male – and many of the shops on inhabited islands that you might visit – will accept all the major credit cards happily.
So although there is an ATM in Male airport arrival hall (on the left just before the exit door), and more than ten dotted around the capital, there is very little need for cash. A major credit card will almost always be sufficient. The only things for which you still need a little cash are tipping your bell boy at the end of your stay and possibly for trips to inhabited islands.
The international dialing code is +960.
Mobile phones work on every resort island. Upon arrival your handset will display the name of an automatically selected network. One is Wataniya and the other the established landline provider Dhiraagu. You can manually set your preference.
Dhiraagu offer a few more services such as accessing your voicemail and dialing from your phonebook without the need for additional codes, and the ability to make local calls at premium local rates rather than international rates. It also has a good English language customer care service available 24/7 by dialing 123.
More and more resorts have a wireless internet connection, either in hotspots or, more rarely, whole island coverage. If Internet connection is important to you check with your specific resort in advance. Most resorts will offer the ability to email.
Mail to Europe takes about a week.