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Last updated : Nov 2009
Maldives Social Profile
Maldives Culture and Social Profile - TravelPuppy.com
Food & Drink

Male, the capital of Maldives, boasts a few standard restaurants, serving international and local cuisine. On the other islands, there are a few restaurants along with those operated by the resorts. The international cuisine and all food, apart from seafood is imported. The fish is superb. Oriental and curry buffets are widely available.

A variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink is offered at the resorts, which reflect the desires of the travellers. There are only a few local cocktails as well as the Maldive Lady, a potent and delicious concoction, whose combination varies from island to island and bar to bar.

Note: Bars are all located in tourist resorts (alcohol is not available on Male) and all of them accept cash; however, they usually add orders onto the total bill. Local residents do not consume alcohol at all. During the month of Ramadan (see Public Holidays), travellers are not prohibited from drinking alcohol in public except in the tourist resorts.

Nightlife

There is very little or no organized nightlife; however, most resorts have informal discos in the bar areas, often with live bands playing either western or traditional music. Beach parties and barbecues are also quite popular. In some evenings, a number of resorts present cultural shows and some screen videos.

Shopping

Local merchandise available for purchase include seashells (only when bought in official shops; they may not be taken from the beach or from the sea), lacquered wooden boxes and reed mats. Jewellery for sale includes silver, gold, coral, mother-of-pearl and turtle-shell products. However, there are strict laws against exporting coral and turtle-shell.

Shopping hours: Saturday-Thursday 8.00 am - 11.00 pm, Fri 1.30 pm - 11.00 pm. Shops are officially close for 15 minutes 5 times a day for Muslim prayer; however, this rule is not usually strictly enforced in the tourist regions away from Male.

Special Events

For additional details about special festivals and events in the country, contact the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (see Contact section).
January 1 New Year Celebrations
February 2 Eidal Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
July 26-27 Independence Day Theme Floats (celebrations with themed floats)
September 27 Tourism Day
October Culinary Exhibition
November 14-16 Kuda Eid(End of Ramadan)
Social Conventions

 Dress is informal; however, nudity or skimpy clothing in public places will offend local Muslims, and the Government strictly enforces these standards. Scanty beachwear or bikinis are not acceptable in Male or on any other inhabited islands.

 When entering a mosque, cover the entire body with the exception of the face and neck.

 Shaking hands is the most common form of greeting. The local people not associated with the tourist trade live in isolated island villages and enjoy almost total privacy.

 A host of indigenous people smoke; however, eating and smoking during Ramadan is not polite.

Tipping

Tipping is officially discouraged.
Useful travel links
FestivalsIn Maldives schedule of upcoming festivals in Maldives
World Restaurant Guide restaurant guides for Asia