The sprawling capital of the Maldivian archipelago, Malé, is a welcome relief for anyone visiting from the crowded metropolises of the West in the quest for some urbanization amidst natural beauty. Located in the Kaafu Atoll, the Malé Island is quite urbanized and heavily built up. There is much to do in Malé as it has a character of its own that is worth exploring. From colorful houses to graffiti and an absolutely communal atmosphere, it is a great place to stop off and spend a while here. There are plenty of Male Island resorts to choose from, for a great stay. During the high tourist season, it is a good idea to book the Male Island hotels in advance, to avoid last minute hassles.
The International airport at Malé handles domestic and International flights and is the connecting point to most of the Maldivian islands. Several steamship lines run from Malé to India and Sri Lanka and the island is a hub of trade and activity. Malé was originally known as “King’s Island”, and although those times have long gone by, it still remains the head of a natural dynasty known as the paradisiac Maldives.
Geography of Malé
One can see on a Male Island Maldives map that the island is around a kilometer wide and 1.7 kilometers long, with an area of 5.8 square kilometres, and is often referred to as the world’s densest city because of the over 100,000 people crammed into it. To provide for the overflow of people, the nearby artificial island of Hulhumalé came into existence in the Hulhule lagoon. There are public ferries from and to Malé and neighboring islands such as Vilingili and Hulhumalé island. The Male to Vaadhoo Island Ferry is also available at regular intervals.
Malé enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with a blend of wet and dry seasons. The wet season is from May to December, while the dry season spans January to April. There are relatively consistent temperatures throughout the year.
Economy of Malé
Ther are a lot of luxury and budget hotels on Male Island that help tourism industry in the Maldives. Throughout the many narrow and rising streets of Malé lie several shops, local markets with fresh produce and stores from which tourists can buy souvenirs such as miniature replicas of boats. Not far away lies the famous golden-domed Mosque which can be seen from quite a distance away. There are several government buildings in Malé, including a hospital, schools and other academic institutions. It is both a trade and tourism center for Maldives and exports a lot of coconuts, fish, woven palm mats and breadfruit each year.
On a visit to Malé there are a lot of places to see such as the National Art Gallery, the local Fish Market, Sultan's Park and the National Museum. The island itself is a hive of activity and is pleasant and quirky too. There are a number of alcohol-free bars, restaurants that boast of lip-smacking cuisine and lively markets that set the pace of life here. Snorkeling off the coast of Malé and submarine trips are popular attractions and visitors even carry approved food into the submarine to attract sea-life and get a closer look. A walk along the pier is a must on a visit here and the busy ports will always give one something interesting to watch.