Guide to living in the Maldives for expats



Welcome to the Maldives: where the sands are white, fish swim happily in the Indian Ocean, the weather is dreamy and you can bask in the rays of the sun. In ancient times, the shores of the Maldives welcomed lost travelers. Still welcoming, these shores remain, providing a tranquil haven for expatriates.

If you are (or plan to be) an expat living in Maldives , please find below a list of expat clubs, schools, general links for women living in Maldives , country information and more...


Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Albania and most expats communicate online through websites such as

International Schools 

Billabong High EPS International School

Billabong High schools were created as a journey forward to fire the imagination of children. The continuing goal is to create meaningful and rewarding learning experiences that will remain with the children for life. The aim is to create a purpose of learning to allow children to be thinkers, innovators and problem solvers and to orchestrate experiences that will result in a natural and integrated development of knowledge, skills and thinking.

Curriculum: Cambridge

Address: Male’, 20371, Republic of Maldives

Tel: 960 330 9005

Email: [email protected]



Ghiyasuddin International School

GIS is a co-educational school catering to children between the ages of 6 and 16 years. The philosophy of the school is to form a partnership between home, school and the community, as we believe education to be a three-way process, which can only be successful with support for the child from these three critical stakeholders in the child’s growth to responsible adulthood.

Address: Ameenee Magu, Male’, Maldives

Tel: 960 333 2500

Email: [email protected]



Lale Youth International School

LYIS is a part of organization which serves the humanity by striving against ignorance and poverty with the help of educational institutions, hospitals and humanitarian associations.

Curriculum: Saxon, Scholastic, DLM

Address: Reethigas Hingun, Hulhumale’, 23000

Tel: 960 335 0029

Email: [email protected]


Local News in English

Country Information 

Full name: Republic of Maldives

Location: Asia

Capital City: Malé

Other Important Cities: Fuvahmulah, Hithadhoo

Currency: 1 Rufiyaa = 100 Laari

Language: Divehi

Religion: Islam

Calling Code: +960

Internet TLD: .mv

Electricity: 230V 50 Hz

Emergency Numbers: 119


The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of an astounding 1,190 coral islands, formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over the space of 900,000 square kilometers. And while 90 per cent of the Maldives is made up of sea, the people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls – with roughly 200 inhabited islands.

The islands are set between the trading route of the Indian Ocean. Thus settlers, visitors and expatriates from neighbouring countries and around the world have come in contact with the islands for as long as history has been recorded. Such is the to-and-fro flow of people and their cultures, that a marked effect has been left in the Maldivian people, the language, beliefs, arts and attitudes. The Maldivians are quite open to adaptation and are generally welcoming to outside inspiration. The culture has always continued to evolve with the times. 

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Resident Permit

A Resident Visa is granted to individuals with an Employment Approval (EA). On arrival to the Maldives, the employee should have a copy of the EA and also it should be declared in the Embarkation form.


Resident Permit for works is an open ended visa which has no date of expiry, but is valid only with a valid EA. Therefore, it is strongly cautioned to the resident permit holders to carry a valid work visa card at all times, failing to do so may result in immediate removal from the Maldives without any consultation with your employer.


! A person who has entered Maldives on a tourist visa would not be given a Resident Permit, which means a person who is already in Maldives with a tourist visa has to re-enter Maldives with a valid EA to apply for resident permit.


Dependent Visa

This is granted to wife, husband or children of foreigners having a Resident Permit with a valid Work Visa. The Resident Permit holder should also fall into the work category, where dependents are allowed. It is up to the Resident Permit holder to ensure that he or she belongs to this category. This children applying for a dependent visa should be less than 18 years of age. The Resident Permit holder should also have a no objection letter from the employer, when applying for dependent visa.

Dependents of Resident Permit holders can enter Maldives with a tourist visa, and apply to the Immigration for a dependent visa. Please see the list of requirements below. Failure to change the category of visa and overstaying can result in the refusal of dependent visa and may face immediate removal. Therefore, it is strongly cautioned to apply for a dependent visa before the expiration of the tourist visa.


You will need:
  • Proof of Marriage
  • Children’s birth certificate
  • Letter of no objection from employer 

Foreigners marrying Maldivians

Foreigners arriving in Maldives with the intention of marrying a Maldivian should inform the Immigration in writing, with details of the Maldivian counterpart, before arriving to Maldives. The Maldivian counterpart should also inform the Immigration, in writing, the arrival of the foreigner and the intention to get married.

The foreigner would be given a tourist visa on arrival to Maldives and would grant a marriage visa once the marriage is registered with the relevant court of law. The tourist visa should be extended until the marriage is registered, failure to do so may lead to removal from Maldives, and refused entry into Maldives until such time the marriage is registered.


Land belongs to the state and is given free to families in the island of their origin to build houses. The only exception is that public servants lease land where they work. In other islands, where tourist resorts, a cannery, the airport, and other small industries are located, employees are provided with temporary accommodations.


Male’ is the city of Maldives, and thus more bustling. It’s a tiny island, densely crowded with motorbikes, business people, stern-faced policemen and school children. Male’ is the modern, mercantile face of the Maldives.

Driving License

The only places expats will need to travel by road are Male’ and the southernmost atoll, Addu. Taxis are available in both places and driving is on the left.


Travelling by boat in Maldives is understandably the most popular and easiest way of getting around the country. You can hire a boat called a dhoni, and are available for charter to nearby islands. Generally, most resorts offer transfers by speedboats. As well as boats, there are ferry services available that expats and foreigners can take without a problem, all departing from Male’ and going to nearby islands.


Seaplanes are also a popular and convenient way of travelling in the Maldives. 


Make sure you have adequate health insurance and that it covers you for expensive evacuations by seaplane or speedboat, or for any diving risks.


The only vaccination officially required by Maldives is yellow fever, if you’re moving from an area where yellow fever is endemic.


The most likely danger in the Maldives, primarily, is sunburn. Expatriates shouldn’t underestimate the power of the equatorial sun at midday. Ensure you sunbathe appropriately, and use a high-factor lotion at first.


Second to the sun is the water; while some diving accidents happen on a boat, it’s important to be cautious while diving. Don’t touch corals, shells or fish and beware of the possibility of strong currents.


Each administrative atoll in the Maldives has at least one health center staffed by community health workers. Most of the inhabited islands also have traditional medical practitioners.


Insurance Companies

Hospitals and Doctors

Male’ Health Services

Kan’baa aisaarani hingun

Male’ 20402


Tel: 00960 333 5211


ADK Hospital

Sosun Magu,

20040 Male,


Tel: 960 331 3553