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The Maldives is made up of 1200 islands in the Indian Ocean and is one of the world’s most beautiful countries but it can be a difficult destination to visit for LGBT travellers. Having said that, many gay couples travel to The Maldives each year – many with our sister company OutOfOffice.com who specialise in luxury gay travel to the Maldives and will look after everything from your flights to your arrival seaplane or speedboat. The full service experience in the Maldives is not something that can be easily booked online.
If you want to get away from the pressures of day to day life and experience ultimate relaxation, then The Maldives takes some beating.
These islands form a small South Asian sovereign state, the Republic of Maldives. As The Maldives is governed under Islamic law, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. The Maldives is, however, an increasingly popular destination for LGBT travellers. This may all sound a bit confusing but bear with us.
If you’re in the mainland capital of Male you’ll find that alcohol is banned and public displays of affection are not advised, especially for same-sex couples. However, different rules apply in The Maldives’ many resorts, and people travelling to The Maldives will only stay in the resorts – Male is hardly a bucket list destination.
In the resorts you’ll find alcohol flowing freely and same-sex couples will be made to feel welcome. The resorts are private holiday destinations that attract people from all over the world, and Sharia Law is not imposed. The resorts are often western-managed and owned and the country realises it relies on tourism to even function.
Just 40 years ago The Maldives was enjoying its newfound independence from the British Empire. At this time it attracted little by way of tourism, but that began to change in the early 70s. The first resorts started to emerge and more and more tourists flocked to the islands.
It wouldn’t take long for The Maldives to become one of the most upmarket holiday destinations. Numerous five-star hotels emerged, such as the Anantara Kihavah Maldives boasting a world-famous underwater restaurant. What’s more, the hotel’s SKY bar has its very own telescope and in-house astronomer. At the Lily Beach Resort And Spa you can stay in one of The Maldives’ iconic water bungalows and for a luxury hotel in the Maldives, try Conrad Rangali.
You may wish to consider a twin-centre trip. Pairing Sri Lanka with The Maldives is a great option. You’ll get to explore the great cultural sights of Sri Lanka, including its many glorious temples, and then unwind and indulge on a Maldivian island.
Travelling by seaplane in the Maldives is a unique experience. You’ll travel from the mainland Male International Airport via seaplane to your island resort. It’s an experience in its own right. Watch a video guide from our sister company OutOfOffice.com below or read more in their full blog – a guide to seaplanes in the Maldives.
People don’t travel to The Maldives to party – this isn’t Berlin! People travel to The Maldives to experience the perfect beaches, its luxury resorts, the clear blue waters and to indulge in romance.
Why wouldn’t gay travellers want a piece of the action, too?
As The Maldives’ popularity continues to grow, the resorts have had to up their game. Consequently, you’ll find excellent a la carte cuisine, fine wines and top quality service. Needless to say, The Maldives is doing very nicely in the tourism sector. Its economy is pretty much built on tourism.
Gay travellers can be confident of a warm reception in The Maldives. Safety cannot be guaranteed, but the same can be said for just about any holiday destination.
Naturally, you won’t find any gay bars in the Maldives. But we have chosen our favourite properties. And as we mentioned before, if you don’t feel comfortable booking online then do give our colleagues at OutOfOffice.com a call and one of their expert LGBT travel team will be able to book your trip to also include your flights and Maldives seaplane or speedboat transfers.
Some gay travellers won’t want to offer their patronage to a country with such conservative laws. Sadly, homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries. But gay people shouldn’t fear that half the world is shut off to them. There are ways and means, there are loopholes, and frankly, there’s a lot of hypocrisy. As long as tourism drives the Maldivian economy, tourists will be welcomed, whether they are gay or straight.
Gay honeymoons in the Maldives are perfectly possible. Choosing the right resort is important though. Many will offer honeymoon benefits to same-sex couples and ensure you are treated equally. There are also hotels with gay managers in the Maldives and so they love LGBT visitors! Our colleagues at OutOfOffice.com will be able to advise.
Peak season in the Maldives runs between November and April but you’ll find the best weather in January and February. At other times of the year it’s still fine to visit but you may have to put up with the odd rain shower – though usually that’s fine because you’re on a desert island!
Your passport should be valid for at least another 6 months. If you’re staying for less than 30 days a free visa will be provided on arrival.
The currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa, but the US dollar is the currency of choice if you’re a tourist.
We recommend using an expert when it comes to booking a trip to the Maldives as a gay couple or lesbian couple. Our colleagues at our sister company OutOfOffice.com are experts when it comes to LGBT travel. Indeed, the properties they work with in the Maldives even offer gay honeymoon benefits to same-sex couples. You can call them on +44 (0)20 7157 1570 or from the USA on 1-888-489-8383 or enquire directly with them on their Gay Maldives page.
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