Nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a celestial archipelago that beckons travelers with its unparalleled beauty. Comprising over 1,192 islands, a mere 200 of which are inhabited, the country stretches 871 kilometers across the equator, offering a vast expanse of tropical wonder. From enchanting beaches to breathtaking coral reefs, the Maldives is a haven for sea lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

Melting Pot of Languages: Dhivehi and the Global Tongues

Dhivehi, the national language, resonates through the Maldivian air, providing a glimpse into the local culture. However, wander around, and you'll find English seamlessly interwoven into the linguistic tapestry, adorning street signs and traffic signals. The tourism-friendly environment extends its linguistic embrace to include French, German, Russian, Italian, and Chinese, adding a cosmopolitan flair to this island paradise.

Historical Threads: Buddhism to Islam, Colonialism to Independence

Tracing its roots back to the 5th century B.C., the Maldives was first settled by Buddhist seafarers. In 1153, the islands embraced Islam, a defining moment in its cultural history. Under British protection in 1887, Maldives gained independence in 1965. However, the seismic waves of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami reshaped lives and landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the nation's history.

Governance in Paradise: Dhivehi Raajje's Unique Blend

The Republic of Maldives boasts a governance blend that marries Islamic law with English common law. Operating as a presidential republic, the head of state, elected every five years, appoints the cabinet, subject to parliamentary approval. This distinctive blend reflects the nation's commitment to both traditional and modern governance principles.

Driving the Economy, Literally and Figuratively

As the Maldives weaves its charm, tourism emerges as a key economic driver, contributing a substantial 25.2% to the GDP. From a modest 395,320 arrivals in 2005, the nation celebrated a milestone in November 2019, welcoming over 1.5 million tourists. This surge positions tourism as a vital pillar, overshadowing even transportation and communication, which contribute 12.5% to the GDP.

Navigating Maldives' Streets

Beyond the sun-kissed shores and cultural escapades, exploring the Maldives by car adds a layer of adventure to your stay. Armed with the essential International Driving Permit (IDP), a global passport to driving privileges, you can traverse the streets, museums, and cultural gems with ease.

However, a local driver's license alone won't suffice; it must be coupled with the IDP. Compliance with the 1949 United Nations Convention ensures a hassle-free driving experience, allowing travelers worldwide to immerse themselves in the unique and unforgettable thrill of driving in the Maldives.


The Maldives, with its geographical splendor, linguistic diversity, historical tapestry, governance fusion, and tourism triumphs, invites travelers on an excursion like no other. Driving through this paradise, equipped with the right permits, adds a dimension of exploration that complements the natural and cultural wonders of this idyllic destination.