The Republic of the Philippines – Dhivehi Raa’je
Capital city Small
Surface 298 km²
Population 557.000
Road network length 100 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Links
License plate code MV

The Maldives or Maldives, formally the Republic of Maldives (Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ, Dhivehi Raa’jeyge Jumhooriyya) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, part of Asia. The country covers an area of ​​a large Dutch municipality and has 557,000 inhabitants.

The capital Male.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, the Maldives are a series of low-lying islands in the middle Indian Ocean, approximately 600 kilometers southwest of India 2,600 kilometers east of Somalia and 3,000 kilometers northeast of Madagascar. The capital is Malé, where a quarter of the inhabitants live. The islands are very small and when populated often also densely populated. The islands are usually 1 to 2 meters above sea level. The country consists of 1,190 islands, 200 of which are populated.


In 1950 the island group had approximately 70,000 inhabitants. The population grew quite quickly, reaching 300,000 in 2010 and more than 400,000 today. See Maldives population density. There are relatively many foreigners in the Maldives, especially Bangladeshis and Filipinos. In the Maldives, Dhivehi is spoken, with the Thaana script. English is a second important language.


Tourism is the most important economic branch and fishing is also important. The nominal GDP per inhabitant is approximately $13,000, making the Maldives somewhat developed. However, economic development is variable, the northern region is further from tourism income and significantly less developed. The average income in the capital Malé is considerably higher than the other islands.


The Maldives was a sultanate from the 12th century. In the 16th century, the lake came under the influence of Europe, as an archipelago on the trade routes between India and Europe. It became a British protectorate in 1887. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. There was then a mild form of dictatorship until 2008, after which democratic elections were held. In 2004 the archipelago was badly hit by the tsunami from the earthquake off Indonesia, killing 108 and damage estimated at more than 60% of GDP. 57 islands had significant damage, 14 islands had to be evacuated and 6 islands were completely wiped out. In 2012, a coup d’état was carried out, after which an authoritarian government was again established.

Road Network

From Sinaia Bridge.

There are no highways in the Maldives, and there are virtually no bridge connections between the islands, so limited road traffic is dependent on ferry services. Most roads are in the capital Malé and are almost exclusively residential streets. Many streets consist of cobblestones, a conspicuousness in this part of the world. There is a full ring road around Malé, which is one lane in each direction and has traffic lights. In addition, a north-south and east-west axis runs through Malé. On the other islands there is no more than a local street network. There is no road numbering or signage in the Maldives.

Between 2016 and 2018, with Chinese support, the 2-kilometer-long Sinamalé Bridge was built between Malé and Hulhulé, on which Malé airport is located. This was the world’s first bridge built over coral reefs. It was also the first bridge in the Maldives. The bridge was opened to traffic on September 22, 2018.

Maldives Location Map