About Villa Ownership

About the Maldives

The Maldives is an island nation southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean made up of an archipelago of 1,192 islands, 183 of which are inhabited. The Maldives is the lowest country in the world with an elevation of 1.5 metres above sea level.

Learn About Your New Island Home

ATTRACTIONS

In the Water
Known for its world-class diving spots, the Maldives’ crystal clear waters and shallow lagoons are also perfect for snorkelling. The marine life found in this piece of paradise is incredibly diverse, with over 2,000 different species found in the seas around the archipelago, including dolphins, sharks, moray eels and rays. The best time to visit the Maldives for diving and snorkelling is during the dry November to April season.

On Land
The Malé Friday Mosque, also known as the Old Friday Mosque, is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Malé. Made from coral boulders, like many other mosques in the country, the structure is surprisingly sturdy once the coral dries. For those interested in the history of the Maldives, the National Museum has a large collection of historical artifacts, ranging from stone objects to fragments of royal antiquities from the Buddhist era to the rule of Islamic monarchs.

CURRENCY

The currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), however the currency used at our resorts and resorts across the Maldives is the U.S. Dollar (USD)

LANGUAGE

The local language is Dhivehi, but English is spoken widely in areas where there are tourists.

CULTURE AND RELIGION

Maldivian culture is a mix of South Indian, Sinhalese and Arab influences that can be seen in the country’s traditional music, cuisine and art. Islam is the dominant religion, after the country converted from Buddhism in the 12th century. As the Maldives is a Muslim country, a conservative dress code should be adhered to when visiting any of the islands. However, dress codes in the resorts are quite relaxed.

HISTORY

The earliest written history of the Maldives is from time of the arrival of Sinhalese people, who were descended from the exiled Magadha Prince Vijaya from North East India. Before Buddhism, Maldivians had practised an ancient form of Hinduism, ritualistic traditions known as Śrauta. The 1,400-year-long Buddhist period was when Maldivian culture developed and flourished. The Maldivian language, the first scripts, architecture, ruling institutions, and customs came into being during this part of the island nation's history.

With an abundance of cowry shells, this became a currency that was used throughout Asia and parts of East Africa since ancient times. The Bengal-Maldives cowry shell trade was the largest shell currency trade network in history.

The Maldives converted to Islam in the 12th century, probably due to the increase in trade with the Middle East. The Buddhist king of the Maldives, Dhovemi, adopted a Muslim title and name: Sultan Muhammad al Adil, the first in a line of 84 sultans and sultanas. This lasted until 1932 when the sultanate became elective.

The colonial period began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1558, followed by the Dutch. The Maldives then became a British protectorate in 1887, then on 26 July 1965 they gained their independence. In March 1968, the Maldivians abolished the sultanate and established a republic.

Remote Yet Accessible

Your Soneva experience begins the moment you disembark at Malé International Airport, where you are greeted by a Soneva Host. You will be escorted to the Soneva Lounge to refresh, or taken directly to your non-stop seaplane transfer. The scenic 35-minute seaplane journey takes you over nautical hues and ring-shaped reefs known as 'faru' to Soneva Fushi or Soneva Jani.

A Destination That Ticks All The Boxes

Benefitting from an ideal climate, with soothing tropical breezes and average temperatures of around 28°C (82°F) during the day and 23°C (73°F) at night, the Maldives is the perfect location for your next private residence.

The Maldives enjoys a stable and transparent legal system and a rate of growth that has averaged 7.5 per cent over the last 15 years.

Strategically located close to the Middle East and Far East, and served by an extensive travel network that includes four international and six domestic airports, the Maldives’ robust tourism industry is boosted by an educated and youthful workforce, and advanced telecommunication and information and communications technology coverage.

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