Welcome to the Maldives, where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun waits to engulf you in their arms.
The Maldives has always been a unique nation. Apart from a period of Portuguese domination in the Sixteenth century and carrying the status of a British Protectorate from 1887 to 1965, the archipelago has been a independent archipelago for at least twenty-five centuries. The Maldives is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement. The Maldives maintains a very cordial relationship with the international community and the Maldivians themselves take pride in their hospitality and friendliness!
The population of the Maldives currently stands slightly in excess of a quarter of a million. A common language (Dhivehi) and religion (Islam) have been two blessings that unite the people into a cohesive and peaceful society. Pride is taken in tradition though not at the expense of development and modernization. Maldivians are generally not race conscious, perhaps because the country has been inhabited for centuries during which visitors from as far apart as China, Africa, Arabia and Persia have been assimilated into the society.
The Maldives islands are grouped into large, ring shaped coral reefs. The land area of an island average only one to two square kilometres, and is between one and 1.5 meters above sea level.
The island of the Maldives has no hills as it is entirely made of coral sand. Islands are too small to have rivers, but small lakes and marshes can be found in some of them.
Some islands are marshy, while others are higher owing to sand and gravel having been piled up by wave action and tidal changes. The soil is highly alkaline, and a deficiency in nitrogen, potash, and iron limiting the potential for sustainable agricultural produce.
The Maldives are tropical, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year. Although the humidity is relatively high, the constant sea breezes help to keep the air moving. Two seasons dominate Maldives’ weather: the dry season which is the northeast monsoon and the rainy season or southwest monsoon from April – October, with rainfall increasing particularly from June to August. The annual rainfall averages 2,540 millimetres (100 in) in the north and 3,810 millimetres (150 in) in the south.