Rules in Maldives

Cultural Norms and Rules in Maldives

Cultural Norms and Rules in Maldives


When traveling to a new country, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and cultural norms of that destination. Not only does this show respect for the local customs, but it also ensures a smooth and enjoyable trip. The Maldives, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Before you embark on your journey to this idyllic destination, here are some key elements to keep in mind regarding rules and cultural norms in the Maldives.

Key Elements

Element 1: Respect for Islam

The Maldives is an Islamic country, and as such, it is important to respect and abide by Islamic customs and traditions. The majority of the population follows Islam, and visitors should be mindful of this in their attire and behavior. Dress modestly when outside of resorts or private islands, particularly when visiting local communities, mosques, or government buildings. Public displays of affection are not permitted, and it is important to refrain from any behavior that may be deemed disrespectful to the religion.

Element 2: Alcohol Consumption

While alcohol is available at resorts and some tourist establishments, it is forbidden outside of these designated areas. It is illegal to bring alcohol into the Maldives, and attempting to do so can result in severe penalties. It is important to respect these regulations and enjoy alcoholic beverages responsibly within the permitted areas.

Element 3: Respect for the Environment

The Maldives is renowned for its spectacular marine biodiversity and fragile ecosystem. As a visitor, it is crucial to respect the environment and engage in sustainable tourism practices. Avoid littering, especially in or near the ocean, and be mindful of the impact of sunscreen and other chemical products on coral reefs. Many resorts and tour operators offer guidance on responsible diving and snorkeling practices to ensure the preservation of the underwater world.

Element 4: Dress Code

While resorts and private islands may have more relaxed dress codes, modesty is expected when venturing outside of these areas. Bikinis and revealing clothing should be limited to designated beach or pool areas and should not be worn in public spaces. It is advisable to carry a cover-up or sarong to wear when outside of resort premises.

Element 5: Photography and Drone Usage

When taking photographs or using drones, it is important to respect the privacy and wishes of the local population. Seek permission before taking pictures of individuals or their property, and be aware that certain areas may be off-limits for photography. When using drones, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations imposed by the Maldivian authorities, as drone usage is restricted in certain areas.

Element 6: Drug Laws

The Maldives has strict laws against the possession, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs. Any involvement with drugs can result in lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. It is imperative to avoid any association with illegal substances and to adhere to these laws to ensure a safe and trouble-free visit.

Tips for Traveling

Now that you are aware of the key rules and cultural norms in the Maldives, here are some practical tips to help make your trip a memorable one:

  1. Respect Local Customs: Embrace the local culture and traditions by learning a few basic greetings in Dhivehi, the Maldivian language. This simple gesture goes a long way in fostering positive interactions with the local community.

  2. Plan Ahead: Before traveling, familiarize yourself with the entry requirements, visa regulations, and health and safety recommendations for the Maldives. It is advisable to consult the official government websites or seek professional advice to ensure a smooth journey.

  3. Stay Hydrated and Protected: The Maldives has a tropical climate with high humidity and intense sun. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and ensure you apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from the strong UV rays.

  4. Respect Nature: When engaging in water activities such as snorkeling or diving, do not touch or disturb the coral reefs or marine life. Admire their beauty from a distance and take care not to damage these fragile ecosystems.

  5. Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to obtain travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen circumstances. This provides peace of mind and ensures you are adequately protected during your trip.


While this article aims to provide valuable insights into rules and cultural norms in the Maldives, it is important to note that laws and regulations may change over time. It is always best to seek professional advice and consult the official sources or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information. Following the rules and cultural norms not only ensures a pleasant and respectful visit but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the rich heritage and beauty of the Maldives. Bon voyage!