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Maldives Driving Guide

Maldives is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-27 · 9 mins

The Maldives is a picture-perfect pristine archipelago. It is surrounded by scenic views of the Indian Ocean, the natural beauty of the luminous coastline, fascinating culture, and the home of numerous delightful tourist destinations. A perfect place to spend a wonderful holiday. Aside from the country's abundance of stunning sceneries, Maldives is filled with adventures that will make your stay unforgettable, and tourists look forward to visiting the country.

The beautiful country of the Maldives is a perfect holiday and honeymoon destination. A place where you can enjoy and experience the peaceful life on the beach where you can stroll and bathe under the sun surrounded by the lovely scenery of the ocean while sipping fresh coconut juice. The beautiful beaches and coastline of the Maldives are also rich with spectacular heritage and beautiful traditions that will make your visit to the Island unique and memorable.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Traveling without proper knowledge about the country you're going to visit from its general background is a disaster that is waiting to happen. Before you ready your luggage, passport, documents, and other essentials, you need to be equipped with knowledge about the country you're going to visit to avoid disrespecting locals and ruining your dream vacation in the Maldives.

Background or information such as the history, language, customs, rules, regulations, and other essential guidelines. It is an excellent aid in understanding all the necessary information you need to know before visiting the Maldives.

This guide contains the top tourist destinations in the Maldives you don't want to miss. As for driving in the Maldives, the guidelines also cover the essential driving rules, regulations, International Driving Permit, road situations, and conditions in the Maldives, car rental information, driving etiquette, and other valuable information learned on this guideline.

General Information

The Maldives is one of the world's top travel destinations for the exquisite beauty it possesses and is known as home to the beautiful coral reefs. This country is a perfect destination for travelers who love the sea and love to idle at the beach. The Maldives is a paradise that lovers want to visit. Travelers are smitten with the Island's outstanding beauty from its delightful beaches, stunning sceneries, exciting customs, heartwarming hospitality, and numerous exciting adventures to experience.

Geographic Location

The Maldives is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean that spans across the world's equator. It is a country comprising over 1192 islands where only 200 of these islands are inhabited. And the Maldives stretches a length of 871 kilometers and covers about 90,000 square kilometers of land area where only 290 kilometers is dry land.

Languages Spoken

The national language in the Maldives is Dhivehi. It is the commonly used language in the Maldives, and English, widely spoken in the country. You will notice on your visit that both languages are used on the street signs and traffic road signs in the Maldives. Other languages like French, German, English, Russian, Italian, and Chinese are also widely used at the resorts.

Land Area

The Maldives has a total land area of 298 square kilometers in size, and the country is made up of about an estimated 1,190 coral islands. The Island's territory takes over 90,000 square kilometers, including its sea territory, which is 99.6% of Maldives.

History

Maldives was first settled by the Buddhist seafarers from India and Sri Lanka in the 5th century B.C., wherein in 1153, Islam was adopted on the Island. The country of Maldives was initially under the old Sri Lanka, Suzerainty of Ceylon. In 1887, Maldives was under British protection. In July 1965, the independence agreement of Maldives dependency or colony of Ceylon and Britain was established.

On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean, Maldives, and the other 11 Asian countries were devastated because of the powerful tsunami that changed every Maldivian's lives and significantly impacted its former inhabited islands.

Government

The Republic of Maldives is also referred to as "Dhivehi Raajje" (Maldives Islands). The country has a fascinating combination of Islamic law and English common law. The Maldives is a presidential republic in which the head of the state is the president that is elected every five years. The elected president appoints the country's cabinet that the parliament should approve.

Tourism

In the Maldives, tourism increases each year, whereas, in 2005, the country's international tourism receipts only gained 395,320 arrivals, and in November 2019, the nation celebrated for earning over 1.5 million tourist arrivals. Maldives tourism shares the biggest and leading source percentage share of the country's GDP that is about 25.2% higher than the 12.5% share of transportation and communication.

International Driver's Permit FAQs

Besides sightseeing and bathing under the sun, driving in the Maldives is one of the beautiful adventures you don't want to miss on your stay on the Island. You'll be able to witness and be mesmerized by the pristine beauty of the Maldives from its streets, museums, culture, and spectacular islands that you won't forget! To do so, you need to own the essential documents like the International Driving Permit (IDP).

The Maldives, aside from the other country participants, takes part in the 1949 United Nations Convention that allows travelers from different parts of the world to drive on their roads by obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP). There won't be a problem with the International Driving Permit in the Maldives and the national driving permit. It will be hassle-free when driving in the Maldives as long as you always bring these essential documents on your way.

Is a Local Driver's License Valid in the Maldives?

No, a local driver's license is not valid in the Maldives if you use it alone. However, if you paired it with an IDP, it would be acceptable and correct. It also applies to the IDP, and it will be invalid if you solely use it to drive in the Maldives; it should be used with your national driving permit.

A national driving license and International Driving Permit in the Maldives are essential documents for your travel convenience on the Island. If you don't have an IDP yet, don't miss out on the fun and get an IDP today to try the wonderful, one-of-a-kind, and unforgettable experience of driving around the Maldives reaching the country's top destinations.

Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of the Maldives?

Yes, if you're a tourist who wants to drive a preferred type of car in a foreign nation and wants to experience how pleasant it is driving in the Maldives today with the scenic view waiting for you, the International Driver's Permit will be the key! The Maldives is one of the countries that participated in the 1949 United Nations Convention required travelers who plan and love to drive on their roads.

You'll miss half of your life if you don't take the chance to experience driving to Maldives roads and its top destinations. But before you go ahead and plan your road trip in the beautiful country of the Maldives, you need to get an international driver's permit to turn your driving in Maldives holiday plan into a dream come true. Don't miss the chance and get your IDP now at the International Drivers Association!

Does an IDP Replace a Native Driver's License?

No, an international driver's permit in the Maldives does not replace your native or national driver's license. Even the IDP contains similar details from your national driver's permit, like your name and other motorist information, but written in different languages.

What makes IDP an essential document is its purpose of translating your national driver's license when driving in the Maldives island as identification and assistance when talking to local authorities. You only need a replacement if you intend to apply for residency or when you're planning to work in the Maldives. If not, replacement is not required and unnecessary.

Renting a Car in the Maldives

The Maldives is known as the country that is rich in spectacular and breathtaking sceneries and picturesque coastal views that captures every traveler's attention. Are you dreaming of driving in the Maldives daily? Reach the top tourist destinations the Island possessed? You can achieve and make that wonderful dream come true by renting a car in the Maldives!

The best way to travel with convenience to see all of the Maldives’ incredible destinations and beautiful sceneries is by renting a car in the Maldives. Renting a vehicle may be confusing if it's your first time traveling in a foreign country. Do not worry; it is easy if you know the importance of how to rent a car in the Maldives, such as the renting requirements, what types of vehicles you can rent, renting inclusions, and more.

Car Rental Companies

Like the other countries, Maldives has car rental companies that offer different vehicle types for travelers to rent. Expedia, AVIS, Car Rentals, and Hotwire are the car rental companies you can contact and rent a Maldives car. You can reach and transact online by booking ahead of time or rent a car on the spot when you land in the Maldives, depending on your preferences.

When you rent a car in advance through an online transaction, it gives you the benefits of having enough time to prepare for your travel, read and compare different car rental companies' renting policy, and the driving in Maldives cost. Booking in advance saves you time because, when you reach the Maldives, you can take an adventure right away than looking for a car to rent on the spot.

Documents Needed

Renting a car in the Maldives is easy and hassle-free; after choosing the finest car rental company to seal a deal, you need to pass the required documents on renting a car. Most car rental companies in the Maldives require an Identification card, a national driving license, and an International driver's license if your national driving license is not written in the Roman alphabet.

There's no need to get the driving license in the Maldives required from locals if you're not applying for driving jobs in the Maldives or applying for residency. An international driver's license is an important document you need to have to rent a car. Owning an IDP will help you achieve that dream of driving in Maldives videos while driving in Male, Maldives and different parts of the country.

Apply at the trusted website for getting an international driver's license in Maldives and IDP for different countries, the International Drivers Association. All you need to do is pass all the essential documents and fill up the international driving license Maldives form. As fast as 20 minutes, your IDP is done!

Vehicle Types

In the Maldives, the car rental companies offer different vehicles from the car type, size, price range, and more where you can choose and pick the best car to rent for your travel convenience. The vehicle type and price vary from different car rental companies; you can rent economy, compact, midsize, and SUV, which is also the most rented vehicle in the Maldives.

Different price ranges and policies are applied to the other vehicle types to rent in the Maldives, vehicle capacity, mileage, car accessories, and insurance. It is best to book the best vehicle that suits your vehicle preference and gives the best deal because it will make your travel hassle-free, fits your budget, and you'll enjoy your stay and adventure of driving in the Maldives.

Car Rental Cost

The starting car rental cost per day in the Maldives is $8.99. Maldives car rental fee covers what type and brand of car you will rent to drive in the Maldives, and it also includes other policies such as car capacity, off-road assistance, fuel policy, insurance, and mileage. All of this will depend and vary on which car rental company you will book a car to rent.

There are also fees not already included on the base car rental fee, called the "extra fees." The extra fees may come from the additional car accessories such as seat booster for toddlers, fees for exceeding the mileage agreement, and other fees you need to look after on the driving in Maldives cost.

The fee coverage on the car rental free in the Maldives will depend on the rental company you choose. That is why you need to select the best car rental company in renting a car that offers the best deals from the cars to lease and the rental car fee's coverage.

Age Requirements

Maldives’ minimum legal driving age is between 16 and 21 years old, but the minimum age requirement to rent a car is you must be at least 20 and 21 years old. With a valid national driver's license held for over a year and have an international driver's license in the Maldives.

In renting a car process, your age will be asked, and some car rental companies have young drivers' extra fees that may be excluded from the base car rental fee. Young drivers are often not trusted to drive; statistically, they cost more car accidents, so tourists of older age can rent a car in the Maldives. Still, some rental companies' age requirements might differ; this will vary depending on the car rental company you will choose.

Car Insurance Cost

When you're going to rent a car, you must choose a car rental company that provides insurance. Most companies already included car insurance in car rental fees, but some take it as an essential extra policy requiring additional payment. The car rental cost varies from the type of car insurance the agency offers and how many insurances you will use.

Car Insurance Policy

Insurance applies to the car you rent in the Maldives, which is often covered on the car rental fee. Insurance is offered and used by Most car rental companies that provide theft protection waiver insurance and collision damage waiver. These are included on your rent bill to cover all the expenses when you happen to get into an accident while driving in the Maldives.

If you want to make sure that you are more secured, you can also use your insurance to cover rental cars in a foreign country. To travel to Maldives's top destination by driving a car is a delightful experience; you are free to explore every corner of Maldives beauty, and you can travel at your own pace, where you'll be able to explore the Island on your own.

Renting a car is the best way to explore the stunning country of the Maldives. There are other means of transportation such as motorbikes, taxis, and buses to explore the Maldives, but renting a car and self-driving gives you freedom and convenience.

Maldives Photo by Shai Pal

The Road Rules in the Maldives

Spending your vacation in the Maldives is a dream, and driving on the island is bliss. The Maldives is a nation abundant in spectacular views and beautiful beaches that tourists and travel enthusiasts are eager to visit. Before exploring the Maldives, you need to know and learn all the essential driving rules that the Maldives government applies.

These driving rules in the Maldives are pretty similar to what kind of driving rules the other countries have, and they are easy to follow, but some driving laws may also differ. Driving in the Maldives is thrilling because of the scenic drive you will experience and the beautiful top destinations. Still, you are included in the Maldives' driving rules. To ensure your safety during your stay, you must strictly follow the island's road rules and avoid breaking these rules.

Important Regulations

In the Maldives, they have implemented numerous driving rules and traffic laws. Still, as a self-driving traveler, you need the most to know the essential road rules and meticulously follow them for everyone's safety. As you relish driving around the Maldives islands, here are the essential rules in the Maldives.

Here are some of the essential road rules and regulations you need to follow:

National Driver's license and IDP

The first necessary road rules for travelers in the Maldives are carrying your national driver's license and IDP together with your registration documents and insurance documents at all times. If you don't bring these critical documents, you are not allowed to drive on Maldives roads.

Bringing your national driver's license alone is not valid and accepted for renting a car and driving in the Maldives. Please get your national driving license together with your IDP at all times because your IDP will be your national driver's license translator when an authority in the Maldives asks you to present your driving documents.

Failure to commit and follow this driving rule of not showing or obtaining a valid drivers' license and IDP might make you face a criminal offense or other charges, for it is required when driving in the Maldives.

Drunk-driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol and drinking in public is prohibited. The Maldives is a Muslim country; you must respect the country's traditions and practices. Avoid drink and driving in the Maldives at all costs to guarantee your safety while you're driving in a foreign country, especially in the Maldives, and avoiding breaking the mandated laws of the government of the Maldives implemented or, worst, get involved in an accident and get hurt.

Driving in the rainy season

The Maldives is a country that also experiences tropical weather throughout the year. In the rainy season that usually occurs in November to April, you need to take extra measures when driving because the dirt roads are slippery, which might cause traffic incidents. When going in a rainy season, keeping an emergency kit at all times is a must, or it is better to avoid driving during this season to keep everyone on the road safe.

Using a phone while driving

Using a mobile phone while driving in Maldives' islands is not permitted; it is only allowed if you're using the phone hands-free. Also, using a phone while driving may get you in trouble, for it can get all of your attention on the phone and not solely on the road.

You must avoid driving and using a phone simultaneously to ensure your safety, passenger, and the locals' safety; following the rule of not using a phone while driving will help you avoid getting into an accident. It is excellent to drive that all your focus is on the roads and appreciate Maldives' picturesque beauty.

Seatbelt Laws

There's no specified seat belt law in the Maldives. But to ensure the driver and the passenger's safety and avoid getting into an accident when driving and traveling in the Maldives, wear seatbelts. While enjoying the scenic road trip, everyone needs to wear a seatbelt at all times while inside the vehicle.

There are also no rules about requiring child restraints in the Maldives when you're going to travel with a child; however, car rental companies offer seat boosters. It is from the extra car accessories you can get or add when renting a car. It may or may not already be included in your car rental fee but as an additional fee.

General Standards of Driving

Following the general standards of driving in the Maldives' country is crucial for it ensures everyone's safety, including the locals, once you go on Maldives roads. General driving standards are a common procedure in every country before driving a vehicle. This standard is essential, especially for tourists who plan to take long driving distances in the Maldives.

Before heading straight into the roads, you need to check your car meticulously and at all times. You need to check that the car engine is working and in good condition to drive. You need to have a spare tire, ensure that you have adequate food and water, a full tank, extra gasoline, a first aid kit, a zip code when driving in the Maldives, and other essential documents to bring on your way.

Most of the used cars in the Maldives are automatic, and the car rental companies also offer Automatic cars to travelers wanting to explore the country by self-driving. If you follow the general standard of driving in the Maldives, you'll likely avoid running out of fuel on your way, prevent your car breakdown in the middle of the Maldives, and help you to avoid getting into a traffic incident.

Speed Limit

The general speed limit in Maldives cities is 30 kilometers per hour for four-wheeled vehicles and on motorbikes is 25 kilometers per hour. Strictly follow the restricted speed limit that the government of the Maldives has implemented. When you're at intersections, you don't need to stop or slow down your car ultimately and must follow the instructed speed limit and only stop when the traffic light is at a red light.

Over speeding is what you need to avoid in the Maldives; as a traveler, you're not excused to these driving rules, and it will be troublesome if you break the rules. You need to ensure your safety to avoid getting into a fight with a fellow driver or the Maldives authorities and, worse, get into an accident that will make your dream vacation in the Maldives into an unfortunate one.

Driving Directions

For the driving directions in the Maldives, especially outside the metropolitan, it is best to use a map or GPS to help you navigate where to go. There are plenty of road signs in the Maldives written in the Maldives local language, the Dhivehi, and have an English translation, but using a map is advisable if you're confused.

When in an intersection and roundabouts, you must yield and prioritized incoming vehicles to pass to avoid a collision. The roads in Maldives cities are mostly narrow, and you must look out for pedestrians and motorcycles to give way or overtake when it is safe. It is better to have an itinerary, and you'll already know where to go and what places to drive in.

A planned trip with an itinerary gives a considerable contribution to the driving directions you will follow to reach each spot in advance and ahead of time. You can also ready yourself for the road condition and situations in the Maldives that you might encounter on your way that will make your ride comfortable and hassle-free.

Traffic Road Signs

The traffic road signs in the Maldives are similar to the other country's road signs, but some signs may also differ. The road signs in the Maldives are easy to understand, even though most are written in Dhivehi because it has an in English translation written on the traffic road signs. The English translation is beneficial, especially to international travelers who speak in English.

The Maldives used three different road signs the regulatory signs, warning signs, and guidance signs. If you're driving in Male, Maldives, or driving around the Maldives, it is essential to look out and follow what each road sign indicates to ensure safe and fun travel.

Regulatory signs include:

  • Stop sign
  • Turn Left sign
  • Turn Right sign
  • Roundabout sign
  • U-turn sign
  • Yield sign
  • Speed limit sign
  • Keep Left sign
  • Keep Right sign

Warning signs include:

  • Pedestrian sign
  • Slowdown sign
  • Wrong-way sign
  • Slippery road sign

Guidance Signs includes:

  • Distance sign
  • One Way sign

Right of Way

There's no written right of way in the Maldives, but it is common courtesy for every driver whenever vehicles across the streets or pedestrians' crossings in the traffic light. If there are no oncoming vehicles and the road is clear, you can make a free left turn. But if there is an oncoming vehicle, you must wait and let the oncoming traffic cross first, or else you may get into an accident if you don't give the right of way.

Always be mindful when driving, especially on the Maldives' right of way; the locals are friendly and let you have the right of way. If you're not in a hurry, you can let other drivers get the right of way to avoid getting into a fight or come across an accident.

Maldives’ minimum legal driving age is 18 years old and has the essential documents such as a passport and a national driver's license used for a year. Some documents you need are the IDP and insurance that will cover damages and costs if you, unfortunately, got involved in an accident. As for the maximum age requirement for driving in Maldives is 65 years old.

You need to apply and get a driving license. Maldives requires if you don't have an IDP and a local driving licence, you attend driving schools in the Maldives and pass the driving test the Maldives gives, especially to foreigners who plan to stay in the country for work and residency. Having an international driver's permit is much more convenient where you can drive immediately in the Maldives without a local driving license issued from the Maldives.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking is allowed in the Maldives, providing no oncoming traffic from the other side of the road. In short, overtaking is permitted if it is only safe to overtake. Avoid getting into an accident by being mindful when overtaking because an impulsive overtaking is hazardous; it can compromise your safety and put your passengers' lives at stake.

Driving Side

In the Maldives, you drive on the left side of the road, and if you're from a country that operates on the left side, it will be easy and convenient on your part. If not, you will find it confusing but do not worry. You can get used to it by practicing driving on the left side of the road.

As you drive on the Maldives road's left side, you need to be aware of your surroundings and drive with caution. There might be vehicles that overtake or pedestrians that will suddenly cross as you go on the left side of the Maldives road.

Driving Etiquette in the Maldives

When traveling into a foreign country, especially during your driving in Maldives holiday adventure, unexpected situations might occur positively or negatively. It is essential to stay calm and know the appropriate driving etiquette when you find yourself stuck in a particular case that can be bad. If you don't know the proper driving etiquette, you might end up acting and sound rude to the Maldives' locals and authorities.

To avoid these dire situations on your driving in the Maldives daily travel, knowing what to do in a case you may face on your visit to the Maldives' beautiful country. Besides knowing the Maldives' road rules, situations, and conditions, you need to partake in the proper driving etiquette before following your driving in the Maldives itinerary.

Car Breakdown

It is stressful and frustrating when your car breaks down, especially in the middle of a foreign country. In the Maldives, this could occur, even if it rarely happens, so you need to be ready. If your car breaks down while driving in the Maldives, you don't need to panic because car rental companies offer emergency road assistance.

The roadside assistance that every car rental company in the Maldives has may or may not include the service fee on your necessary or overall rental price. Nevertheless, they offer these services for every travelers' convenience as they rent a car from them.

When your car breaks down in the Maldives, all you need to do is calm down and contact the car rental company you've rented the car from. Follow the company's instructions and wait for them to reach the place where the incident happened. Avoiding your vehicle from breakdown is the best measure you can do, following the general standard of checking the vehicle's overall condition before driving on the Maldives road.

Police Stops

A police officer in the Maldives will ask you to pull over or stop for reasons like violating the traffic road rules or security checking purposes. If you break the law, such as over speeding or illegal parking, they will ticket you or, worse, tow your vehicle. They might also ask you to show your identification card and ask you to pay a fine for breaking a driving law at the police station or contacting the Traffic Police Department of the Maldives at 3333835.

Police may stop you or ask you to pullover in the Maldives for an inspection, and if you're signaled to stop your vehicle, it is a courtesy to follow. You may turn your car to where the police ask you to pull over and show or comply with what kind of documents. They will ask for your essential documents driving in the Maldives zip code. Politely greet and show the requested records, especially your national driver's license and IDP.

When you are signaled to pull over, don't drive away, ignore the police, disrespect, and get into an argument with the Maldives' authorities when they ask you to pullover and while inspecting your documents. You'll get in big trouble if you do so.

Asking Directions

Asking for directions is common for travelers, especially when you're in a foreign country, and in the Maldives, locals are pleased to help you. GPS and using maps are convenient for looking for driving directions in the Maldives, but there will be times that you'll find yourself asking for directions and conversing with the locals.

Most of the Maldives locals do not usually speak in English, but the Maldives is one of the countries with high English literacy, so it is comfortable to ask for directions. Learning a few words in their language is also pretty convenient and useful when conversing and asking for advice. Here are some of the valuable words:

  • Hello – Assalaamu alaikum
  • Please – Adhes kohfa
  • Thank you – Shukuriyaa
  • Do you speak English? – Ingireysin vaahaka dhakkan ingeytha?
  • Help! – Salaamai kurey
  • Where – Kobaa
  • Left – Vaaiy
  • Right – Kanaaiy

Checkpoints

Passing a checkpoint is natural and given if you're crossing a border or a region in the Maldives. If you happen to pass and cross a barrier in the Maldives, you don't need to panic or feel uneasy because it is common even in other countries. Just like when the police ask you to stop, you need to be polite when talking to authorities.

It is a courtesy to lower the volume or stop your car radio when passing a checkpoint so that you're able to communicate with the authorities. If it's night, it is better to turn your car's light so that they can see you and inspect your documents closely. That is why you always need to bring your essential travel files whenever you're driving around the Maldives.

Other Tips

Aside from the driving situations discussed above that you might encounter while driving in the Maldives, it's also better to know what to do in case of accidents. Witnessing and getting involved in a vehicular accident is traumatizing. If you come across accidents on your way, the information and instructions you need to follow are written below.

What to Do in Case I Run out of Fuel?

The car rental companies in the Maldives provide a full tank service for their client's travel convenience before you can use their cars. Still, there will be situations that you need to refuel, especially if you're taking long drives far from the metropolises. Running out of fuel in the Maldives is not a problem because car rental companies offer emergency off-road assistance aside from the full tank policy they offer. It depends on what car rental company you will choose.

You can prevent running out of fuel by tracking your car's fuel if it's enough to reach a particular destination because checking is the best prevention. It is best to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of a foreign country to continue hassle-free and convenient travel in the Maldives.

What Should I Do In Case of Accidents?

Suppose you witness, or worse, got involved in a vehicular accident in the Maldives. In that case, the best thing you need to do is call Maldives' emergency numbers and wait for them to arrive and respond to where the accident happens. Here are the emergency service numbers you can reach in the Maldives:

  • General Emergency - 119
  • Police - 33322111
  • Medical Emergencies/Ambulance - 102
  • Fire and Rescue Services - 118

Follow the driving rules and guidelines mandated by the Maldives government to avoid accidents or getting involved in a road traffic incident. It is best to be always mindful when driving and rigorously follow the stipulated driving laws to ensure everyone's safety and make your travel to the Maldives wonderful and an unforgettable experience.

Driving Conditions in the Maldives

Besides being aware of the Maldives' critical driving rules and etiquette, you should also know the driving situation and road conditions you're going to face as you travel on the island. It is a great help to prepare you for the possible difficulties and challenges you may encounter once you drive on the Maldivian roads.

You can guarantee the Maldives is a safe place to drive when you are fully equipped with the essential knowledge of driving situations and conditions. This information helps you to be already on what to expect, and you'll be at peace because you know what to do when you face a particular situation on your way.

Accident Statistics

According to the World Health Organization's latest published data in 2018, vehicle accidents are frequent in the Maldives but not as frequent and bizarre as the other countries globally. There are over 13 deaths or 1.15% of the road traffic accident fatalities in the Maldives. The country is ranked as 163rd for the most traffic incidents out of 183 countries where per 100,000 population, the age-adjusted death rate is 4.45%.

Most of the road incidents were always from overspeeding and reckless driving, sudden overtaking, drinking and driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and not wearing a helmet for motorbikes and bicycles. Always take an extra preemptive measure to guarantee your safety and your passengers' safety when traveling in the Maldives.

Common Vehicles

When you travel to the Maldives, you will see the various kinds of vehicles on the roads. The standard vehicles you will see as you visit the beautiful islands of the Maldives are seaplanes, boats, ferries, taxis, Dhoni (local boat), busses, and of course, cars that are privately owned and rentals vehicles.

Due to the Maldives' narrow streets that cause traffic congestion, you will also find many bikes and bicycles used as a transport vehicle on the Maldivian roads. It is advisable to take extra caution when driving, for you may bump into these motorbikes and bicycles on your way.

Toll Roads

The Maldives does not have a toll road, but main roads are used to circumnavigate and access cities and small towns. Since the Maldives is a nation of islands, the major transportation to reach each island is riding ferries or aircraft, depending on what island you're going to stay on.

Road Situation

As you travel and explore the country by driving in the Maldives, you may encounter various road situations and conditions you are not familiar with. Without proper information of these situations and conditions will put you in danger. In the Maldives, there are road situations different from your home country or states that you will find bewildering. Here are the road situation and conditions you need to know before you drive on Maldivian roads:

  • The roads in the Maldives are not always congested, for most of the tourists are in their individual resorts they've booked into unless it's rush hour
  • Going in the winter or rainy season is hazardous
  • The roads in Male Maldives are densely populated
  • The streets of Hulhule, the airport island, is well-maintained
  • Most parts of the roads are very narrow that leads to traffic jams
  • There are parts in the Maldives where the streets are cobblestones and rough, making the ride not so gentle and bumpy.

Driving Culture

Maldivians are safe and courteous drivers. While driving, you should keep an eye on the road and be careful, for there are some Maldivian drivers that are reckless. It would be best to be well-informed of all the driving situations and road conditions in the Maldives. It will guarantee your safety and your passengers' safety as you explore and enjoy the incredible adventure in the Maldives to the fullest.

Other Tips

It's also best to know other information related to Maldives driving conditions, such as the metric unit used in speed limit signs. Read below to learn more details about other helpful tips when driving in the Maldives.

Are They Using Kph or Mph?

The Maldives is one of the countries that are part of the estimated 81% of the world that uses Kph (kilometers per hour) into their speed limit road signs. If you're from one of these nations, you won't have difficulty reading the required speed limits on Maldivian roads.

The remaining 9% are the countries like the U.S., U.K., and their other dependencies that used Mph (miles per hour) as the metric measurement they used on their traffic road signs. The Kph (kilometers per hour) and Mph (miles per hour) are the units used in the speed limit signages by different countries on their traffic road signs.

Follow the speed limit in the Kph (kilometers per hour) metric measurement in the Maldives to avoid getting in trouble with the traffic authorities to speed and break the traffic laws. You should also keep an eye on the given speed limits to avoid getting into a traffic incident in ensuring a safe journey in the Maldives.

Things To Do in the Maldives

Spending a holiday in the Maldives is every traveler's dream and driving in the Maldives is a beautiful and unforgettable experience to see the breathtaking destinations and wonders the country keeps. Aside from the welcome to every eager traveler, the country is also open to foreign nationals' opportunities.

If you want to go to the Maldives, not for traveling purposes but to look for a job or apply for residency and other great opportunities, you must submit all the essential documents for your stay and fill a vacancy in the splendid country of the Maldives.

Drive as a Tourist

Only foreign tourists who want to drive in the Maldives that are at least 18 years old and have a valid national driver's license can apply for an International Driver's Permit in the Maldives. It is one of the best must-haves of a tourist when visiting a foreign country, especially if they're going to rent a car, self-drive, and wants to take driving in Maldives video as a memory for following the driving in the Maldives itinerary you've made.

Most car rental companies in the Maldives require an IDP that includes your motorist information and driving in the Maldives zip code. It is necessary, especially if your National Driver's License is not English. These documents allow you to go and take long driving distances in the Maldives as a tourist. Applying for an International Driver's License in the Maldives from International Driver's Association is accepted along with 165 countries worldwide.

In applying for an International Driver's Permit, you don't need to attend Maldives' driving schools. You can get the driving license Maldives instructs and visit some IDP releasing agencies to apply online fast, smooth, and hassle-free at the International Driver's Association website.

Work as a Driver

You can work and apply to Maldives' different driving jobs in Maldives by getting a Work Visa on the Employment Approval (EA). It is a visa that will legally allow you to work in the country issued by the Permits and Foreign Employment Division (PFED) of Maldives Immigration (MI).

Applying as a driver in the Maldives requires you to attend a driving school Maldives has, take a driving examination, and, lastly, get a driving license in Maldives. You must also fill up the driving license Maldives form when applying and getting a Maldivian license for your driving job.

Attending the driving school Maldives has is necessary because you will be driving in a foreign country. It is essential because some rules are different from your home country, and you can familiarize the traffic laws and Maldives road situations and conditions.

Work as a Travel Guide

Yes, you can work as a travel guide in the Maldives. Same as applying as a driver, you must get a working permit or a visa on the Employment Approval (EA) that should be issued by the Permits and Foreign Employment Division (PFED) of Maldives Immigration (MI).

Working as a travel guide requires training because a travel guide needs to know Maldives, its other top-tier destinations, and its heritage. A guide must also manifest fast problem-solving skills that when problems arise during the tour, the tourist guide is ready.

Apply for a Residency

You can apply for residency in the Maldives. You can get a Maldives resident visa if you have an Employment Approval (EA) issued by the Maldives Ministry of Human Resources Youth & Sports. If you're applying for residency and don't have an Employment Approval (EA), you can still use it, but there are restrictions to qualify.

Here is the list of foreign qualifications for Maldives residency without Employment Approval (EA):

  • Must be a Muslim
  • At least 21 years old
  • Resided in the Maldives continuously for over 12 years
  • Has an acceptable knowledge of the Maldivian Constitution
  • Can speak in Dhivehi Language
  • No criminal and political offenses
  • Renounces any other citizenships he/she holds

It is possible to apply for residency in the Maldives as a driver; you should have obtained and got an approved Employment Approval (EA) issued by the Maldives Ministry of Human Resources Youth & Sports to do so. It is possible to apply for residency in the Maldives as a driver as long as you have the required documents and you're employed.

Other Things to Do

You can do more things if you're planning a long-term stay in the Maldives. The country's beauty and solitary way of living can convince you to work and settle down in the Maldives.

Can I Convert My License in the Maldives?

Converting your national driver's license to get a driving license in Maldives is necessary and one thing you can do in the Maldives when you plan for a long-term stay. To convert your license, you must be at least 18 years old. You're required to attend a driving school in Maldives and pass the driving test Maldives requires. It is necessary because you will be driving in Maldives daily, where some or most of the rules are different from your home country.

Usually, an international driver's permit is valid for a year, but it reaches up to three years; it depends on what type of IDP you will apply. If your IDP already expires, you can get a renewal that can also be for a year or up to three years. But if you're planning to get residency in the Maldives, an IDP and renewing your IDP is unnecessary; instead, you need to get a driving license in Maldives.

Are There Other Work Opportunities in the Maldives?

Aside from the driving and tourist guide jobs, you can also find other work opportunities in the Maldives. You can apply and work as an office administration, manager, electrician, and any business-related job.

Top Destinations in Maldives

Maldives is known for its picturesque beach sceneries, captivating coastline, spectacular heritage, and blessed numerous natural beauty that lures and beckons travelers worldwide to discover its beauty. The country is considered one of the best and famous travel destinations in Asia and an excellent travel destination worldwide.

Male Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky

Male

If you're looking for a road trip adventure where towering buildings and spectacular infrastructures surround you, Male is the road trip destination for you! Male is the capital of the Maldives islands.

The city is rarely visited, where most of the traveler's bypass Male via seaplanes and head straight to the resorts they've booked due to the town being somewhat cramped. But if you want to check lots of the local tourist spots in the large such as the 17th-century Friday Mosque, Islamic center, and Male's busy market, in self-driving there won't be a problem because you can reach and explore at your own pace.

Male is a beautiful destination in the Maldives that is famous for being the capital of Maldives atoll and because of the beautiful infrastructures and historic landmarks the city has. The city is renowned for its artificial beach that when a tourist wants to relax for a while, they can make a side trip into the beach before continuing their exploration on the Male.

Driving Directions:

You can’t drive directly to Male because you need to ride a ferry to reach the city, but you can navigate Male's unique locations. Driving is the easiest and convenient way to reach this top road trip destination in Maldives than riding public transportations, and since the City is crammed, you must avoid driving in rush hour so you won't get stuck in a traffic jam.

The driving directions to Male from Velana International Airport are about 4.7 km and can take only about 16 minutes to reach the city. When you reach the city, you can find a car to rent to travel and explore every corner of the beautiful City of Male.

  1. From Velana International Airport, follow Airport Main Rd to Midhili Magu.
  2. Continue on Midhili Magu. Take Majeedhee Magu Rd to Rah Dhebai Magu Rd in Malé.
  3. Continue on Rah Dhebai Magu Rd. Drive to Chaandhanee Magu.
  4. Turn right onto Rah Dhebai Magu Rd. Then, Turn left at the 1st cross street at Neeloafaru Magu.
  5. Turn left onto Bodufulhah Goalhi. Turn right onto Huvan'dhumaa Goalhi.
  6. Turn left onto Chaandhanee Magu.

Things to Do

You can do many things and activities in Male before you head straight into the spectacular resort islands and beaches of the Maldives to relax and appreciate the vast sea. Here are the things you can do in the busy and lively City of Maldives atolls:

  1. Visit the Old Friday mosque
    When you're in Male, you shouldn't miss the chance to visit the Old Friday Mosque. It is the oldest mosque in the Maldives, and it has a unique structure made from fascinating coral stones. If you're a non-Muslim visitor, you must get permission from the Ministry of Islam's official wearing a conservative dress to see the mosque's insides.
  2. Stroll around the Royal Garden Café
    Royal Garden Café is a historic destination and the most visited place in Male. It is a beautiful garden with stylish dark-wood interior designs and serves a delicious combination of Indonesian, Italian, Indian and American delicacies and cuisines.
  3. Shop at Male's Market
    You can shop in Male's market in your stay in the city. You can check out different souvenirs for your family and friends or discover interesting items and delicacies. It is also a great experience to interact with locals and learn their culture up close.
  4. Join Male's Cultural Tour
    There is a different type of cultural tour in Male, where some teach local Dhivehi languages while on tour. In cultural tours, you won't miss the chance to take a deeper understanding of the country's history and local culture.
  5. Experience the Submarine tour in Male
    One of the best activities you can try in your stay in Male is the Submarine tour. It is a beautiful underwater tour exploring the beauty of the Indian Ocean and different marine life such as coral reefs and colorful fishes.
Hulhumale Photo by Ibrahim Mushan

Hulhumale Island

Hulhumale is one of the reasons why Maldives rank as one of the top destinations in the world. The island is easily accessible and has budget-friendly brackets to choose and pick for a holiday getaway. It is a destination blessed with vast natural wonders and beautiful beaches that travelers are enthusiastic to see. If you're a traveler who wants to relax and unwind, Hulhumale is the best destination for you.

Hulhumale is famous for having a picturesque view of the sea and coastline, and it is the home of beautiful architecture and culture. The island has a delicious dining scene, good vacation weather, and numerous water sports to try! It is also renowned to travelers who wish to take a dip to partake in different water activities and adventures.

Driving Directions:

You can drive around Hulhumale, but you can drive directly from Male to the island. The closest airport to Hulhumale is International Airport in Male that is 1.2 miles away from the island. From the airport you need to ride a ferry to reach the island that takes about 20 minutes. Once you reach Hulhumale islands, you rent a car on the spot or rent a car ahead of time by booking online.

Riding a bus or taxi to tour around the island is expensive and inconvenient, especially with these public transports are crowded, while on self-driving, it is affordable to rent a car, and your travel is hassle-free.

  1. From Velana International Airport, follow Airport Main Rd to Midhili Magu.
  2. Follow Midhili Magu to Reethigas Magu in Malé.
  3. Follow Reethigas Magu to Haivakaru Magu.
  4. Turn right at the 1st cross street onto Haivakaru Magu.

Things to Do

With the significant number of natural wonders surrounding Hulhumale, you can do many extraordinary things and exciting activities in your visit. Hulhumale's exquisiteness feeds the eye and gives lots of fun, family-friendly adventures to experience as you visit one of Maldives's famous tourist destinations.

  1. Try Hulhumale's extreme water sports
    You can try different outdoor and extreme water sports you're visiting in Hulhumale. In testing these water sports, some guides are on guard and ready to assist you in every activity. You can try jet skiing, tubing, diving, and other underwater activities that will make your stay on the island worth it.
  2. Enjoy the sandbank trip
    On your stay in Hulhumale, you shouldn't miss the chance to join the Thulusdhoo sandbank trip. It is a spectacular place to enjoy yourself with your family. To enjoy the sandbar alone, it is better to go early to avoid the crowd.
  3. Join the Hulhumale's island hopping tour
    In Hulhumale's island hopping tour, you'll get to check out two local islands and learn fascinating information about the islands' culture and tradition from your tour guide and the locals from the island.
  4. Enjoy the Hulhumale Beach
    Hulhumale beach is an artificial beach where you swim together with the locals and other travelers. It offers different water sports to try. In Hulhumale beach, you can get a chance to interact with locals and enjoy your stay as you sunbathe or take a dip in its waters.
  5. Shop at Centro mall
    If you want a break from strolling in the sand or take different underwater activities, you can shop at Centro mall for souvenirs, necessities or visit restaurants. Centro mall is just 5 minutes away from the beach, which is accessible and convenient.

Gan

Gan is the best island to experience, stay in a luxurious resort, and see the local culture of Maldives at the same time. The island is primarily known for its airport where it is easy to access and has an old military base that adds up to its tourism. You can either dip in the sea, relax at the beach, explore the island, and learn about its fascinating culture.

Gan is famous for its underwater activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. The island is also renowned for being an old military base and airbase of the British Royal Air Force during World War 2, making it the most popular tourist spot in the Addu atoll.

Driving Directions:

Driving is allowed in Gan but driving from other parts of Male to reach Gan is impossible. There are available rental cars in Gan Maldives where you can rent a car from nearby shops on the spot or book online in advance. To reach Gan, you can take a flight from Male to Gan island, where the air distance is 542 km and 1 hour and 35 minutes to reach the island.

  1. From Kadhdhoo Airport, head northeast on Causeway toward Kashiko.
  2. Turn right at 78 m.
  3. Turn right at 63 m.
  4. Turn left.

Things to Do

With Gan's beautiful tourist spots, interesting customs, and history of being the former airbase and military base during WWII, travelers worldwide are eager to visit the Maldives. But there's more to its beauty; there are adventures you can take. Here are some of the activities you can do on your Gan adventure trip:

  1. Relax by the beach
    When you visit Gan and want to enjoy and relax in the meantime, you can relax by the beach. You may stroll on the coast, sunbathe, and enjoy the fantastic view of the beaches during your stay in Gan.
  2. Try scuba diving and snorkeling
    One of the best things to do in Gan is to try scuba diving and snorkeling. Suppose you're up for some adventure and outdoor activities. In that case, you can try these activities with the guidance of locals or your travel guide to enjoy. So, while you're enjoying scuba diving or snorkeling, everyone is safe.
  3. Join dolphin and manta rays' sightings
    With the crystal-clear seat water of Gan, you might encounter seeing different marine life. You can see dolphins, manta rays, turtles, and other fascinating marine life by joining boat rides or marine life sightings or through diving and scuba diving.
  4. Visit Koattey Magu
    On your stay in Gan, visit and check out Koattey Magu, a scenic area on the island's northern part. You'll be greeted with a spectacular walkway with coconut trees and a picturesque view of the vast Indian Ocean.
  5. Take a dip at Gan's crystal-clear ocean
    If you're not into extreme activities and stroll along the beautiful coast of Gan, you can take a dip on its crystal-clear ocean. With the stunning backdrop of the vast sea and the sky, you can relax and take some photos as a memory of your visit.

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