MSN½»Ì¸  Consultant on line  26 Sepetember 2017  
MALDIVES
General Info
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General Information    
Climate
Generally warm and humid. Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 - 32 degrees Celsius.Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male¡¯, the capital island and other inhabited islands it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without baring too much.
Currency
The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa and Laaree. The exchange rate for US Dollar at the time of writing is MRf.11.82 for the dollar. One Rufiyaa is equivalent to 100 laarees. Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. Coins are in the denominations of MRf.2.00, MRf.1.00, 50 laarees, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laaree. The US Dollar is the most commonly used foreign currency. Payments in the resorts and hotels can be made in most hard currency in cash, travellers¡¯ cheques or credit cards. Commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card.
Geography
The Maldives is situated in the South West of Sri Lanka, on the equator. The numerous coral reef islands, 1,190 in total, form an archipelago of 26 natural atolls ( groups of neighbouring coral islands). These 26 atolls are organised into 19 administrative atolls with the capital island of Male' established as an entity of its own forming the twentieth division. Seen from air, the atolls and the islands form breathtakingly beautiful patterns against the blue depths of the Indian Ocean.
Religion
Islam is the focus of the Maldivian life in every respect, all being Sunni Muslims. Prayers are conducted five times a day in all mosques on every inhabited island. The golden dome of the Islamic centre dominates the skyline of Male¡¯ whether first viewed by air or from water. A result of the commitment of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom¡¯s government to uphold and strengthen the character of the nation, this imposing mosque was inaugurated in 1984.
Food
Maldivian cuisine offers a wide range of tastes ranging from mild to very hot and almost always the dishes are prepared using local ingredients. Being an archipelago of over 1100 coral islands, it is not surprising that a wide variety of fish and other sea food should form an integral part of the Maldivian cuisine.
Health
The Maldives has recorded significant achievement in human development. The infant mortality rate which was 63 in 1986 is now 30 per 1 000 births (1996) and the overall mortality rate (crude death rate) which was 17 per five 1000 in 1971 is now five per live 1000. The crude birth rate, which stood at 49 per 1000 in 1985, has fallen to 26 per 1000 in 1996, showing a decline of about 40 percent. In 1995, the average life expectancy at birth had increased to 70.6 years. This meant about 20 years have been added to the life expectancy of a Maldivian at birth since 1980.
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