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A stuff of painting, the Maldives consists of nearly 1,200 islets in the Indian Ocean, most of them are uninhabited. The islands were introduced to the introduction of Islam in 1153. The archipelago became the colonial possession of Portuguese, Dutch, and British. After declaring its independence in 1965, Maldives declared its independence from Britain. In 1968 the Sultanate became a Republic.

The political scene of the Maldives is dominated by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom since 1978. He has been at the helm for the sixth term in office. In recent times the country is witnessing anti demonstrations for democratic reforms. Political parties have now allowed in the archipelago. Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party (DRP) are the major parties in the country.

Travel overview
Maldives lives up to the paradisal Indian Ocean Island: a glorious mix of beautiful beaches, clear waters, sheltering reefs swarming with sea creatures. Tourist facilities of Maldives are expensive, and, unusually, cater to all budgets. In short, Maldives makes for a relaxed, informal and incredibly friendly place to visit. Other attractions of Maldives are Male and Seenu. The mosque of Hukuru Miskiiy is well worth a visit. Don’t miss to visit the National Museum showcasing pre-historic Islamic carvings, beautiful fabric and weapons. Last but not the least the island of Kudahuvadhoo is another popular destination where one can find amazing ruins of Buddhist temples.

Capital: Male
Location: Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
Climate: tropical, hot, humid, dry
Total Area: 300 sq km
Total Population: 369,031
Population Growth Rate: 2.732%
Sex Ratio: 1.046 male(s)/female
Literacy: 96.3%
Ethnic Groups: South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs
Languages: Maldivian Dhivehi, English
Time Zone: UTC+5
Currency: rufiyaa (MVR)
Type of govt.: republic
Head of Govt.: President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Major Political Parties: Adhaalath (Justice) Party or AP, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party or DRP, Islamic Democratic Party or IDP, Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP
Participation in International Organizations: C, CP, FAO, IMF, IMO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, AsDB, Interpol, IDA, IPU, OPCW, SAARC, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IOC, SACEP, ITU, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO,
Major Agricultural Products: coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes, fish
Natural Resources & Minerals: fish.
Industry & Transport: tourism, fish processing, coconut processing, shipping, boat building, garments, handicrafts, coral woven mats, rope, sand mining
Airports: 5
Roadways: 88 km
Major Trade Partners: Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UK, Singapore, Germany, France, UAE, India, Malaysia,
Exports: $214 million
Imports: $832 million





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