|Male is the
best place for shopping if you want to in buy imported goods. Most
of the shops that cater to tourists do sell local souvenirs and
handicrafts. It is always a good idea to browse through a few shops
before making a choice. The shops that are recommended by guides
or shop assistants acting as guides are not necessarily the best
choices for shopping.
Duty Free: If you are seeking
duty free shops, there are a few located at the Male International
Airport. They carry a fairly good range of goods from cosmetics,
cameras, electronic and electrical equipment, cigarettes and other
Souvenirs: It is not hard to find
your way around Male, particularly if you have a map with you. After
all, it is only a mere two square kilometres. The main street Majeedhee
Magu, runs east to west straight across the island. Chaandhanee
Magu runs from north to south. Most of the souvenir shops line
the northern end of Chaandanee Magu, previously known as the Singapore
Bazaar for its many imports from Singapore.
Vendors and guides speaking in English and other foreign languages
wait patiently to serve the visitors. These shops are well stocked
with a supply of gifts and souvenirs. Best buys include the ‘thudu
kuna’ the Maldivian mat woven from local natural fibres.
Also attractive are the wooden miniature ‘dhonis’.
When shopping for souvenirs, remember that export of products made
of turtle shell, pearl oyster shell, black coral, and red coral
is strictly prohibited.
Garments to electronics: The most popular leisure activity
for the islanders is shopping, particularly in the evenings, when it is cooler.
The Majeedhee Magu, the
road on the island,
offers a wide variety of shops selling goods and products ranging from the smallest articles
to just about anything you could imagine.
The shops are stocked with an ample supply of garments, cosmetics,
perfumes, watches, jewellery, and electronics, just to name a few.
Many find it pleasant to get together with the many shoppers in the major shopping
areas in the evenings. All shops stay open until 11.00 pm,
the prayer times when they close for 15 minutes.
Products: Canned fish made at the canning plant in Felivaru,
Lhaviyani Atoll is offered in many shops in Male. Along with all
fish caught in the Maldives, tuna used for canning are caught using
the traditional pole and line method, and therefore are ‘dolphin
friendly’. Vacuum packed smoked fish and chipped dried
fish are also for sale in many super markets around Male. These original Maldivian products are great gifts or you can just take some home and try them out yourself.
The Local Market,
just one block away from the Male Fish Market on the northern riverside,
is split into small stalls. Here the pace of life is slower and the atmosphere is
quiet, compared to the bustling activity in the rest of this neighbourhood.
Every stall is stocked with a collection of regional products mostly from
the atolls. Here you will find various kinds of local fruits,
nuts, vegetables, yams, breadfruit chips, packets of sweetmeat,
bottles of home-made sweets and pickles and bunches of bananas hanging
from coir ropes from ceiling beams. Another building right next
door sells dried and smoked fish.
traditional Maldivian handicraft are mat weaving, embroidery for
traditional dresses, lacquer work and coir making.
The arrival of Tourism has expanded the collection and sale of “sea
jewellery”, including coral, black coral, mother-of-pearl,
seashell and turtle-shell. Due to environmental considerations,
and their endangered status sea turtle and black coral products
have been made illegal for export.