Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Male - The Capital of Maldives

Malé consists of five districts or wards;four on the island of Male’, a fifth on Vilingili, the island to the west of Male’ just 10 minutes away by boat. The Male’ International Airport is on Hulhule Island, a couple of miles to the north east of Malé..

Male provides employment for about 75000 people, roughly a quarter of the population of the entire country, on about two square kilometers of land on which there is no natural source of fresh water! Yet, Male manages is amazingly green, peaceful, clean and even graceful.

As you approach Male from North, the first note the number of cargo vessels anchored in the outer harbor. The Maldives imports just about all its basic life requirements. The inner horbor is chock full of speedboats and traditional dhoni. Note the abundance of high-rise buildings in the amazingly green landscape.

There is much to see in Male. If you are interested in buildings, ask your guide for the Presidential Palace, the Islamic Center, old Friday Mosque and surrounding graveyard (a must fir the history/architecture buff!)

If you are interested in what infrastructure keeps Male going, visit the Male South West Harbor, the artificial breakwater on the southern and western shores, the STELCO power generating facility and the MWSC desalination and sewerage treatment facility. Prior arrangements need to be made to visit these sites.

If you want shopping, the Local Market, the fish market and the souvenir shops are a must. Ask your guide for other interests.

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