Male' - THE CAPITAL OF Maldives

Male' - the capital of Maldives

Excursions to Male'

Friday Mosque ( Huskuru Miskiiy )

The Islamic Centre in Male'

Male' Fish Market

Male' Local Market

Maldives National Museum

 

Male' in Maldives

Male' - the capital of Maldives

About 2km (1.2mi) long and 1km (0.62mi) wide, Malé though small, is the bustling capital of the Maldives, with its tall buildings overlooking the turquoise blue waters, is a reflection of this tiny countries economic prosperity. The island is clean and tidy, with mosques, markets, branded shops, a maze of small streets bustling with people and despite being a small city, still offers the kind of services you would come to expect from any capital. Officially, the population is around 75,000, but with foreign workers and short-term visitors from other islands, there may be as many as 120,000 people in town.

 

Excursions to Male'


There’s a lot of atmosphere, a lot of activity and a lot of colour in Male, excursions to Male' is one the holiday extras featured by many resorts nearby Male'. Although the majority of Guest Hotels and Inns are targeted for locals, those who may prefer to spend a night or two in the city can still enjoy the luxury of City Hotels including the likes of Shangri La's Traders Hotel and Hulhule' Island Hotel which is situated in the island of Hulhule'.


Male’ is a pleasant place to visit on your holiday. You can savor and enjoy the flavors in the local market, which are packed with fresh produce from the islands. Along the waterfront are commendably restrained administrative and co-orporate buildings. Chaandanee Magu, also known as the Singapore Bazaar, is the ideal spot for local souvenirs such as carved wooden traditional Maldivian Dhonis, dolphins and other sea creatures. The Male' city offers a variety of International cuisines ranging from Italian, Thai, Indian, American & Chinese, though being a Muslim country you will not be served with liquor but other than that you can expect to have a delightful experience in cities fine restaurants. Pleasant coffee shops with wi-fi offering croissants, pastries, basic meals and Cappuccino are abundant within any walking distance.

Shopping in Male is a cultural experience in itself. You will find several shops specializing in souvenirs, stocked with an ample supply of gifts and souvenir items including wooden dolphins, signature Maldivian thudu kuna mats and wooden miniature dhonis.

Apparel, cosmetics, jewelry, and electronics are all sold in abundance, and most of these are open until eleven at night, excluding fifteen minute closures for prayer. It is best to shop in the evening, when the temperatures go down with the sun. Most guides and vendors speak English and other foreign languages such as Italian, Russian, Spanish and Japaneese.

One thing to note about this island is that its alcohol-free but high class restaurants and café’s jostle with its incredible array of fresg juices and cocktails to delight you. Visiting Male' is a chance to get a real taste of Maldivian life more than for its inherent wealth of things to see and do, find out what makes its people tick and to meet Maldivians on an equal footing.

 

Places of interest worth visiting while in Male':

 

Friday Mosque ( Huskuru Miskiiy )

Maldives Friday Mosque in Male'

The Huskuru Miskiiy or Friday Mosque was built in the 17th century by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar in 1656 and served the population of Male' as their main mosque for almost four centuries, until the Islamic Centre which houses the Grand Friday Mosque took over the duties in 1984. The mosque is a masterpiece of coral curving and traditional workmanship which some claim to be probably the best display of a coral curving anywhere in the world. The walls of the mosque are made of coral blocks fitting into one another like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. The interior is decorated with wonderful Arabic writings which are curved onto wood and panels. The area surrounding the mosque is a small cemetery with rows of intricately curved coral headstones. The Munnaaru or minaret in front of the mosque which is used to call the faithful to prayer was also built by the same Sultan.

 

The Islamic Centre in Male'

Islamic Centre of Maldives in Male'

Located in the capital city of Maldives, Male's best-known architectural landmark, just south of Jumhooree Maidhaan. The complex contains the largest mosque in the Maldives, topped with a golden dome and capable of accommodating approximately 5,000 people. The building symbolizes the importance of Islamic religion, which had ruled all aspects of life in the country for centuries. Completed in 1984, the Centre consists of a mosque big enough for 5000 people, an Islamic library, conference hall, classrooms and offices.
Visitors are welcome inside outside prayer hours, but no interior photographs are allowed.

 

Male' Fish Market

Maldives Fish Market in Male'

Located on the northern waterfront of Male', nearby the presidential jetty, this is place where local fishermen display their days catch for selling. One of the most crowded areas in the city, with people from all walks of life coming here to buy their daily fish, gets busiest in the mid-afternoon when most fishing 'dhonis' start arriving with their day's catch. The catch, mainly tuna, yellow fin tuna, other types of reef and sea fish, are carried across the road into the open-sided market and laid out on the tiled floors.

 

Male' Local Market

Maldives Local Market in Male'

Just a block away from the Male' Fish Market on the northern waterfront, divided into tiny stalls with local vendors from all over the country showcasing fresh fruits, vegetables, yams, nuts and other items that are on the daily menu of an average Maldivian household.

 

Maldives National Museum

Maldives National Museum in Male'

The modern building in Chandanee Magu, Malé, has taken 20 years to come into fruition, at a cost of USD $5million (64million Rf) funding from China as part of a UNESCO project. There is a grand, circular entrance lobby made from marble, with open balconies on each level and large windows running from the top floor to the ground. Inside, the exhibition rooms are large and well-lit, allowing plenty of room for the varied displays.

The exhibits include the enormous full skeleton of a Longsman’s beaked whale, also known as a tropical bottlenose whale, one of the world’s rarest cetaceans. It was retrieved in the Maldives in 2000.  There is also the large head of a sperm whale, which was found in the Maldives in 1996. As well as this, there are former Sultans’ royal robes, centuries-old Qurans, an exhibition of official documents dating from the 1600s to the 1930s, not to mention an early Maldivian printing press, a coral head sculpture of Buddha dating back to the 11th century AD and an engraved wooden plaque from the 13th Century AD which was found in the historic coral mosque, “Hukuru Miskiiy”. There is also the intricately-crafted “Feyli Kolhu”, worn by the Sultan Ghaazee Mohammed Thakurufaanu-al-A"z"am which dates back to the 16th century. Royal furnishings, beautiful ceremonial jewellery and thrones are also displayed at the new museum.

The old National Museum is housed in the only remaining building of the former Sultan's Palace, which is now the Sultan's Park. It is an Edwardian colonial-style building of three stories, fairly low key from the outside compared to the amazing collection inside. With items dating back to the 16th century, the display showcases thrones and palanquins used by former sultans, ceremonial robes and other clothings of the kings, the infamous rifle purportedly used by Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his fight against the Portuguese in the 16th century. A variety of artifacts from times past would give an idea of the unique and rich culture and history of this island nation. A visit to the museum gives an instant insight to the wealth of history most visitors never suspect existed in this tiny nation.

 

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