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Welcome to Maldives - The magnificence of nature slowly unfolds before your eyes. Sunshine embracing the green little patches enclosed by pure white and surrounded by glistening blues, viewed from above truly takes your breath away. A vision so unique that you can't help but wonder if it is real. Only nature could have painted a picture so perfect. Only nature in its hurried motion could have created such splendor as the Maldives. The beauty does not recede with the touching down of the plane. The little green patches transform into graceful palms that gently sway to the cool breeze, endless white beaches with sand so soft that it caresses your feet, waters so clear that you see the fish playing in the depths of the lagoons. The Maldives, a tropical hideaway, home to about 270,000 natives 1,350 different species of coral and fish.

Archaeological and historical discoveries indicate that the islands have been inhabited for over three thousand years. Being on an important trade route, Maldives was visited by people from all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These visitors left a strong influence on the people, their religion and the culture of the Maldives.

Light cotton clothes are recommended to ward off the heat and humidity. Nudism is an offense in the Country, and visitors are requested to respect the traditions and religion of the local people by wearing clothes that cover the thighs and shoulders when visiting inhabited islands.

The local currency is the Rufiya, and US$ 1.00 is equivalent to approximately 12.75 Rufiya, all major currencies are accepted widely in the country. The most commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB, and Euro Card. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any authorised moneychanger at the banks in Male'. It can be exchanged at the airport on arrival or at the resort islands.

Despite it's geographical isolation, Maldives is easily accessible. Many airlines offer regular schedule and charter flights from Asia, Europe, Middle East, and South Africa. Male' International Airport is located on an island of its own which is just over a kilometer long. The island is for the exclusive usage of the airport and is only 10 minutes from the capital by boat.

The Maldives has a population of about 270,000 people. (2000). The Maldivians have beautiful and harmonious blend of features from a mixture of Arabic to African, and Asian. The people live in simple, laid back, and contented life-style. With ready smiles, and always willing to lend a helping hand, the Maldivians are a friendly race and make visitors feel very welcome.

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