Living and Working in Maldives
The Republic of Maldives, is the smallest country in Asia. Its located in the Indian Ocean on the south-west of Sri-Lanka and 450 kilometers from India. Maldives stands out because of its beauty and uniqueness of how the archipelago of the islands are formed. They include several atolls (a kind of ring-shaped coral reef), which in turn are made up of almost 1,192 small coral islands grouped and 26 naturally formed.
Maldives is an political independent country since 1965 and became a member of the commonwealth in 1982. Islam is the official state religion. The President is the head of the state, assisted by the Vice President and a cabinet. Male is the capital of Maldives, located in Kaafu atoll and the largest city in Maldives.
Currently there are no travel restrictions due to Covid-19 in Maldives. However, you are requested to check the Maldivian government websites just before your travel if there are any changes as per current situation. The ministry of Health-Republic of Maldives website was last updated on 14th March’22 on guidance for international travelers to the Maldives. For more information, please visit covid19.health.gov.mv
The best way to reach Maldives is by Air. Maldives is connected to all major countries in Europe and South-East Asia. The main airport of Maldives is Male International Airport also known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport which offers passenger flights to more than 20 countries. There are more than 30 Airlines operating both regular and charter flights. Click here for the list of Airlines which offers flights to Maldives.
How to Immigrate to Maldives
You can enter Maldives on the following types of Visas:
- Tourist Visa – 30 days validity
- Work Visa
- Marriage Visa
- Dependent Visa
- Business Visa
Tourist Visa: Citizens from any nationalities can visit Maldives as Tourist. Tourist Visa is granted once you arrive in Maldives upon clearing the immigration clearance requirements. Tourist Visa is only for tourism purpose and no business, occupation or employment must be carried out. Visiting Maldives for social, family visits, media or business visits must declare sponsorship prior to their arrivals as they are not considered genuine tourists. Staying in Maldives beyond the validity date of the tourist visa is punishable.
The people of Maldives are known as Maldivians. The Maldivians call themselves Devehis (islanders). It was believed that first people to settle here were the Seafarers from Sri Lanka and India, then it was the Arabs travelers, North Africans and others. The Maldivians are known to be friendly, helpful and very hard working. They are trustworthy in general and generous towards strangers. Islam is the main and official religion here, namely Sunni Muslims. Only people practicing Islam can become citizen of Maldives. They love their culture and enjoy traditional songs and dance during festivals. The culture here is a blend of cultures of Indians, Arabs, Sri Lankans and Africans. They adapt to modernization without comprising their culture. The Bandiyaa, Thaara and the Boduberu are the traditional Maldivian dances with music played using big drums. Fish and rice are the staple food here.
Job offers in Maldives
Being a Muslim nation, the following important requirements expats must know if they plan to work in Maldives:
- Anyone found working on a Tourist Visa invites trouble for himself. It’s illegal and person is deported from Maldives.
- Medical examination report is a must along with other documents. Apart from regular medical checks, candidates are checked for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and denied entry if found positive.
- Medical Insurance is Mandatory.
- Marriage certificate is required if you plan to work in Maldives and share room with a spouse.
- International Driver’s License is not accepted.
- No land can be purchased here, only house can be purchased.
- Working days are from Sunday to Thursday. Most work closes at 2.30 pm
- Swimwear like bikini is allowed only on beaches where there is signboard permitted swimwear bikinis. On public beaches, nudity and topless sunbathing is not permitted. It is required that both sexes wear knee-length bottoms & t-shirts on casual trips. Women must cover their shoulders and legs covered in public places.
- Maldives being a Muslim country has some restrictions regarding some things which are prohibited here. The few important items include any kind of drugs, alcohol, pork meat, religious books or any materials related to religion for distribution and also Dogs. It is good to check the detailed list of items prohibited here: themaldives.com
- Public display of affection like kissing/holding hands among married, unmarried or LGBTQ couples on non-resort islands and public places shows disrespect to the highly regarding culture of the locals, hence it should be avoided. Such actions may also result in punishment.
These are the many few things to note that are important for your stay in Maldives to be hassle free. Please go through all the legal requirements before your move. For example, all are expected to close or stop business during the prayer times. During “Ramadan” strict fasting is observed by everyone from sunrise to sunset. Therefore, eating and drinking or even smoking in public places is showing disrespect, so please be careful not to offend anyone. The left hand is considered unclean therefore offer food and eat only with your right hand. Unless invited, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mosques anywhere in Maldives.
Economy of Maldives
Maldives depends highly on tourism for its economic growth. Therefore, the economy suffered a steep fall in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic however in the year 2021, performed well. Then in the beginning of 2022 the Russia-Ukraine war drastically affected the Russian tourist’s arrivals in Maldives which is one of the key markets. These and other reasons like the sharp rise in global commodity prices affected Maldives economy, it continues to show significant increase and is now in a better economic state with $5.502 billion GDP in 2022.
The unemployment rate in Maldives averaged around 5.34 % until 2018. However, it reached an all-time peak of 6.33% in the year 2019. There was a decline of 0.25% since then bringing the figure to 6.08% in 2021. It is expected to reach 6% by the end of 2022 according to Trading Economics. The economic growth has created more jobs for expatriates than for the locals. Nearly half of the total employed workforce comprises of foreigners. The high unemployment rate among the Maldivians is mainly because of lack of skilled workforce for high-end jobs and reluctance to take “low-status” jobs.
For current unemployment rate in Maldives, please visit: tradingeconomics.com
The climate is tropical, very warm and humid in Maldives. The daytime temperature remains constant (28 °C, 82 °F) most of the time all year round. In dry season the humidity is low with cool sea breeze most of the days. The dry season is from December to March and the best time when Europeans visit Maldives. The warmest period is during March-April and extends up to mid-may till the beginning of southwest monsoon. The highest temperature ever recorded in Maldives was 36.0°C and the lowest was 18.2°C. November to April is the monsoon period, however heavy rains last for short periods of time. Immediately after the rains, the sun is out and ground becomes dry which makes even the monsoon period very enjoyable. To get current temperatures on the Islands and weather alerts, please visit: meteorology.gov.mv
The national language of Maldives is Dhivehi, which is a unique blend of mainly five (5) languages English, Arabic, Hindi, Sinhalese and Urdu. This is due to the influence of the visitors from nearby countries that visited Maldives throughout the ages. Dhivehi is said to be derived from Sinhalese language spoken in Sri Lanka. Being a tourist location the Maldivians speak and understand English, German, French, Russian, Italian and Chinese. The Dhivehi is written from right to left in the Thaana script.
It is advised to have a medical insurance which covers even air evacuations and transportation services as Maldives has very limited medical facilities. In Malé the public hospital is the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the ADK Hospital which is private or commercial. As of now only three hospitals in Male is equipped with up-to-date medical facilities. There are hospitals in the other islands however there is lot of difference between health in the capital and on the other Islands because the Islands have trouble getting the medical supplies. In case of severe emergencies, it becomes necessary to transport the patient to Sri Lanka or India. The Maldivian government is making lots of effort to improve the healthcare system and also get more skilled medical professionals. The government provides free healthcare services to the Maldivian citizens and the working population. They are eligible for an annual medical coverage. The expats working legally for Maldivian company get complete medical coverage by their employers.
When you think enjoying your holiday in a spotless beach with clear turquoise water, white sand and warm climate, Maldives comes to your mind. A perfect spot for honeymoon on secluded Island resorts. Discover the best coral reefs with safe house reef snorkeling offered in selected resorts. On an average Maldives is attracted more than 1.50 million every year. Post Covid-19, there were more than 830,000 visitors so far. Maldives has a huge employment opportunity due to increased tourism. Maldives is one of the safest travel destinations in the world, however lately climate change is one of the biggest threats to Maldives.
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