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Are Unmarried Couples Allowed In The Maldives? (All You Need To Know)

Are Unmarried Couples Allowed In The Maldives? (All You Need To Know)

A question asked by many couples hoping to travel to the Maldives: Are Unmarried couples allowed in the Maldives? The answer to that is Yes, unmarried couples are allowed in the Maldives. If you’re a tourist travelling to the Maldives with your partner, there won’t be an issue. The 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?


The 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 the Maldives has a history that dates back thousands of years to the past. Buddhism was brought to the islands in the 3rd Century B.C, and in 1153, due to great influence from 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 the British. During World War II, the British built a military base in Gan atoll, which played a major role during the war. Most parts of the former base in Gan are now known as Equator Village, with buildings being converted into rooms of the resort.

Is Public Affection Illegal In The 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 Am I Allowed To Wear In The Maldives As A Tourist?

The Maldives being a Muslim country, you would see many locals dressed in conservative clothing – 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 clothes that cover the knees, shoulders and sometimes head. Having a scarf would be handy too. +Most preferably flowing evening dresses and flip flops would get you into the holiday mood.

Is Alcohol Allowed In The Maldives?

Well, the answer to this is quite complicated. Alcohol can be served in hotels and resorts, but it is prohibited outside. The law in the Maldives 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, and if you do get caught, it’s an offence under Sharia Law.

Is Living Together Prohibited In Maldives?

In legal terms, living together in the Maldives as an unmarried couple is forbidden. This is due to the 2001 Family Law Act and the Constitution of the Maldives, which was updated in 2008, which rules out that unmarried cohabitation is not tolerated and the law maintains flogging as a suitable punishment for couples who live together or have sexual relations outside of wedlock.

It applies to locals and tourists as well. But no one would go to the extent of checking for proof of your marriage if you’re travelling as a tourist couple staying at a resort. 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 The Maldives Famous Amongst Couples?

The Maldives is widely known for its serene beaches, secluded cabanas, breathtaking sunsets and unique exotic island experience. As it’s an archipelago with about 200 habitable islands, privacy and laid-back holidays are guaranteed. Traveller 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.

The Maldives 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 enjoy various activities such as kayaking, parasailing and other adventures in Male city.

Is The Maldives A Good Destination For A Honeymoon?

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.

What Is Not Allowed In The Maldives?

Just like 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 is contrary to the Islamic faith, pork and pornographic materials. In addition, visitors are not allowed to bring explosives, any type of weapon or firearms.

If you do travel in the name of teaching or converting citizens into 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 Can I Travel Around Maldives?

Although the 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 found on water – as boats.

You can tour around South and North islands on a ferry or speedboat and enjoy different experiences. Dhoni Charters are speedboats that can be hired in Male city for island hopping. 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.

Is Maldives a Peaceful and Safe Country?

Yes, Maldives is a peaceful country and a safe country to visit. The strict Sharia law allows no threats and major crimes to take place. That being said, it 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 on the alert with their belongings and money. In addition, scammers are also pretty common as in any other tourist destination. So foreign travellers must have their guards up at all times. If you’re inside a resort, you’re completely safe, but keep an eye out for stingrays, urchins and poisonous fish in the waters. Although it rarely occurs, the chances do exist.

Is Visa On-Arrival Applicable For Tourists In Maldives?

Fortunately, Yes! 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-days Visa, free of charge. While you can find high-end resorts that provide top-notch services, budget travellers can also enjoy a good holiday in the Maldives without having to spend too much.

What Currency Is Used In The Maldives?

Maldivian Rufiyaa

Maldivian Rufiyaa and the United States Dollar are the most commonly used currencies in the 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.