4 Things You May Not Know About the Maldives

4 Things You May Not Know About the Maldives

This tiny island nation is much more than its white sandy beaches. Here are 4 things you may not know about the Maldives!

Maldives is known to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. There is good weather all year round, the sand is soft and white, and the waters are crystal clear. This paradise on earth is the ideal holiday destination for those in awe of its natural beauty and seek the luxurious experience the island resorts have to offer.

Before the travel bug bites you too hard and you book your Maldives vacation on impulse, you may want to find out more about Maldives and expand your knowledge on this much-loved destination. Here are four interesting facts about the Maldives that you may not know.

Maldives is the Money Isles

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Some archaeologists believe that the Maldives was once a trading junction in the Indian Ocean that served ancient maritime civilisations since around 2000 BC. It was also the main source of cowrie shells, used as the international currency through Asia and the East African coast, and hence known as the ‘Money Isles’.

Maldives may disappear under water

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Maldives is a tourist paradise soon to be lost. Global warming and rising sea-levels may cause waters to engulf the entire country, with 80% of its islands no more than 1m above sea level. Scientists predict that Maldives will be submerged by the turn of the century. The country’s concern for the environment is well-founded – if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases and slow global warming, Maldives will soon be no more.

Also read: India, China, Japan Disappearing in 70 Years’ Time

Islam is the state religion of the Maldives

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Maldives may conjure up images of people frolicking in the sun and enjoying the sun and sand. It may come as a surprise that the national faith, Sunni Islam, is the cornerstone of Maldivian identity. Conservative society is carefully separated from the more liberal tourists. There is a distinct dichotomy in the lifestyles of the tourists found in the island resorts of Maldives and the locals. The Muslim Maldivian adheres to a dress code prescribing modesty and only in the island resorts will you find bikini-clad tourists. Although allowed in the resorts catering to tourists, alcohol is also banned in the inhabited islands of this Muslim state.

Maldives is a fledgling democracy

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Maumoon Abdul Gayoom served as President since 1978 and up to 2008. In the presidential election of 2008, the first democratically held election in the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was succeeded by Mohamed Nasheed. However, during the 2011-12 political crisis, the then President Mohamed Nasheed resigned, stating that he was forced out of office at gunpoint. It appears that the struggle to maintain democracy in Maldives is still ongoing.

None of these facts about Maldives got into your head? You may have been bitten by severe Maldives vacation bug. Go on and book your Maldives trip already!

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Mark Heng