The Maldives are five hours ahead of GMT and does not observe daylight saving time. So in our summer they are only four hours ahead. Some islands operate one hour ahead of Male, the capital, so it is worth checking this with your resort. This is usually done to give guests an extra hour of daylight in the evenings.
The official currency is the rufiyaa, which dives into 100 laari. Notes are available in denominations of two, five, ten, 20, 50, 100 and 500 rufiyaa, and coins are available in one and two rufiyaa, and ten, 25 and 50 laari. US dollars are widely used, and you may even go your entire trip without needing to use rufiyaa, as your resort will likely charge you in dollars. Most resorts should accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards. If you find you do need a bank, they are open from 08:00 to 13:30 and are closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
Electricity and Plugs
220 volts. The standard plug is the UK three-pin style, although some may be US-style plugs, so it might be worth bringing a universal adapter, just in case.
Shops are usually open every day from 09:30 to 23:00, although some businesses may not open until 14:00 on Fridays or be closed entirely. Restaurants are usually open from 12:00 until 14:00 and again from 18:00 to 21:00 (sometimes later), although again this may vary on Fridays.
The Maldives Independent is a great English-speaking newspaper that can be accessed online. Alternatively, the local daily newspaper Miadhu has an English edition. In terms of television, there are two local news channels in English and most hotels have satellite TV, showing channels such as the BBC, CNN and HBO.
The postal system in the Maldives is generally efficient, and mail sent from the Maldives to Europe should arrive in about ten days. The main post office in Male is open from 08:30 to 17:00 (or until 16:00 on Saturdays). Alternatively, most resorts should be able to send your post for you.
To call the Maldives from the UK, dial 00 960 followed by the number you wish to dial. To call the UK from the Maldives, dial 00 44 followed by the number you wish to dial, without the first zero.
Internet and Mobile Coverage
Most resorts will have free WiFi for guests, although this might not always cover the entire resort. There is generally good mobile coverage across the Maldives, but it is worth checking with your operator before you travel to check you will have access to the local network.