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Are Unmarried Couples Allowed In The Maldives? (READ Before You Go!)

Yes, unmarried couples are allowed in the Maldives. If you’re a tourist visiting the archipelago with your partner, there won’t be an issue. Maldives is a famous honeymoon destination amongst travellers, but that doesn’t mean you have to be legally wedded to share a room or enjoy a vacation in the country.

However, there is a law that has made unmarried couples living together illegal, which almost only applies to locals. It’s much like Dubai, where the tourists barely get affected by the religiously imposed laws for citizens.

However, Maldives is not so lenient on their policies after all, as one would expect in Bali or Thailand.

Is Maldives A Muslim Country?


Maldives is a Muslim country, with Sunni Islam as the state religion. Although the island is merely a holiday spot in the eyes of travellers, it’s important to know that this island nation has a history that dates back thousands of years.

Buddhism was brought to the islands in the 3rd Century B.C but in 1153, due to the influence of the African region, the last King of Male converted to Islam, named Muhammed Ibn Abdulla.

Later, during the era of discovery, the island was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. During World War II, the British built a military base in Gan atoll, which played a major role during the war.

About Public Affection In Maldives

Couple Kissing

Public display of affection (PDA) is not illegal but is frowned upon in the Maldives. Especially in local places with fewer tourists; it’s ideal to always maintain a decent distance between one another.

Due to the Maldives being a Muslim country, acting intimately in public places may make the locals uncomfortable.

It wouldn’t be a problem if it’s within famous resort islands, as they’re tourist-friendly. The plus point is that new generations of locals are not so judgmental, so you don’t have to act rigidly all the time.

However, LGBTQ travellers must be cautious as it could be considered extremely offensive and punishable.

You might also be interested in: Can you Swim in Maldives Waters?

What To Wear In Maldives As A Tourist

You would notice that many locals dress in conservative clothing in the Maldives – especially women in Hijabs and long dresses.

Male tourists can wear t-shirts, cotton shirts and comfortable pants. Female tourists can wear knee-length shorts, shirts and blouses showing minimal skin.

If you’re planning to visit mosques or any other religious locations, it is advised to wear long clothing that covers the knees, shoulders and sometimes the head. Having a scarf would be handy too.

Flowing evening dresses and flip-flops would get you into the holiday mood!

Note About Alcohol Usage In Maldives

Alcohol can be served in hotels and resorts in the Maldives, but it is prohibited outside. The law in the country bans the consumption or selling of alcohol, and people – including tourists – are not permitted to bring down or buy alcoholic beverages while in the cities.

You can find alcohol in resorts. If you have any plans of carrying your liquor bottles on your tour, well, Maldives is not the place to do that. All bags are screened when entering the country; if you get caught, it’s an offence under Sharia Law.

Is Living Together Prohibited In Maldives?

As a conservative Muslim country, living together in the Maldives as an unmarried couple would be frowned upon. This however would not affect tourists visiting the country to a great extent.

No one would go to the extent of checking for proof of your marriage when visiting as a foreign couple – especially within resorts. However, if you are considering renting out a place in the city amongst the locals, it’s best if you are married, just in case to be on the safe side.

Why Is Maldives Famous Amongst Couples?

The Maldives is widely known for its serene beaches, secluded cabanas, breathtaking sunsets and unique exotic island experiences. As it’s an archipelago, privacy and laid-back holidays are guaranteed.

Travel couples can practically spend all day swimming in the shallow turquoise waters, enjoy private romantic dates by the shore and get pampered at underwater spas. This island nation is the best place to go if you’re looking to bond further with your partner!

Although it may seem boring with a never-ending list of beach views, Maldives has much more to offer to its visitors. Couples can also enjoy activities such as kayaking, parasailing and other water-based adventures!

What Is Not Allowed In The Maldives

Just like in any other Muslim country, Maldives has some tightened restrictions on bringing certain items to the country. These include alcohol and alcoholic beverages, idols of worship that are contrary to the Islamic faith, and pork and pornographic materials.

In addition, visitors are not allowed to bring explosives or any type of weapon or firearms.

If you do travel in the name of teaching or converting citizens to another religion, it’s a punishable crime. As religion plays an intricate role in the law and lives of people, it’s best to follow the guidelines appropriately and stick to the aim of spending a great vacation.

How To Travel About Maldives

Although Maldives is a set of mini islands, it’s conveniently reachable from one destination to the other. Shallow waters are not dangerous for quick boat trips.

Island hopping is a famous method of travel that many tourists choose. Unlike in other countries, you wouldn’t see a highway or long roads. Taxis in the Maldives are also found on water – as boats.

If you’re an adventurer, there are over 900 uninhabited islands belonging to the archipelago that can be explored by special speedboats. It’ll be somewhat expensive, but it sure is out of the ordinary.

Visa-On-Arrival For Tourists In Maldives

All travellers to the Maldives can travel with an on-arrival visa. The country’s economy largely depends on the revenue brought in by tourism, so they focus on making the islands easily accessible for any traveller.

Tourists travelling for vacation receive a 30-day visa, free of charge. While you can find high-end resorts that provide top-notch services, budget travellers can also enjoy a good holiday here without having to spend too much.

Maldives Currency

Maldivian Rufiyaa

Maldivian Rufiyaa and the United States Dollar are the most commonly used currencies in Maldives. But honestly, it would be the least of your worries when travelling to the Maldives. All resorts and restaurants prefer cashless payments – a credit or a debit card would do.

Having local currency in hand will be useful if you’re planning to do a lot of street shopping in the city. To be on the safe side, exchange some of your native currency for Rufiyaa, but you can pay for your resort stay online or through your card. It’s safer and hassle-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Maldives A Good Honeymoon Destination?

The Maldives is one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations. In 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, the nation recorded 1.5 million tourist arrivals.

If you love beaches, privacy, romantic dates and luxurious tropical experiences, Maldives is the best place for your honeymoon.

It may not be the cheapest country to go on holiday, like Bali or Thailand, but the experience sure is worth it. Make sure to stay in an overwater villa or a private island for a complete honeymoon getaway.

Is Maldives a Peaceful and Safe Country?

Yes, Maldives is a peaceful and safe country to visit. The strict Sharia law allows no threats or major crimes to take place.

That being said, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of small-time thefts taking place. As it’s a relatively poor country hosting luxury travellers, robberies are somewhat common in public places.

Tourists are advised to be alert with their belongings and money. If you’re inside a resort, you’re completely safe, but keep an eye out for stingrays, urchins and poisonous fish in the waters.