Travel to Maldives
Although geographically isolated the Maldives is easily accessible by air from anywhere in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Europe. Colombo is an hour’s journey away by air, from Singapore and Dubai it takes about four hours and from Europe it takes nine to eleven hours to reach Velana International Airport.
What to pack
The Maldives is warm throughout the year. Light, cotton and linen wear is ideal. Pack lots of tee shirts, beachwear, and wraparound skirts, cotton shirts and shorts. For visits to inhabited islands, where most of the streets are of compact sand, or Malé where the streets are paved, sandals are easy to walk on. Some essential items include swimwear, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat or a cap. If your travel plan includes traveling to many islands, a mosquito repellent may become handy.
Tourists are issued a 30-day tourist visa on arrival. A valid travel document is necessary. Visa extensions are granted by the Department of Immigration and Emigration. The import of firearms, drugs, pornography and idols of worship are prohibited. Dogs, pigs, and pork products are also prohibited for import by tourists. Alcohol imported under a special license is available in all the resorts. Similarly pork products are available at most of the resorts as well. Prohibited products such as alcohol brought in by passengers are bonded and released at departure.
An international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever and cholera is required by visitors arriving from infected countries.
If you have a booking with a resort, transfer is usually arranged prior to your arrival. The options of speedboat or seaplane transfer where available is for you to choose from. For transfer to resorts close to the airport, motorboat or dhoni transfer is quite convenient. Even if you make a resort booking while in Malé, transfer arrangements are often made by the resort.
The Maldives has one of the largest seaplane fleets in the world, not surprising for a country with 99% ocean and more than a thousand islands. The low altitude seaplane journey offers you the additional opportunity to experience a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the country.
The airport departure tax which is US$ 12.00 is usually included when you purchase your airline ticket.
Duty Free Shopping
Duty Free Shopping is only available at the departure terminal at Malé International Airport. The lounge has specialized shops with a wide variety of international brands selling well known products at competitive prices. The duty free lounge has shops for toys, souvenirs, perfume, electronics, watches, fashion accessories, jewelry, liquor and tobacco and confectionery.