The Maldives

Treasured for its white-sand beaches, crystalline lagoons, majestic coral reefs, and azure skies, the Maldives is a little slice of paradise in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Discover an incomparable gateway to this wondrous tropical playground at Villa Hotels , lauded by Maldives travel guides for its four outstanding properties. Though some of our resorts cater to families and others to couples, each destination offers a remarkable introduction to this enchanting island country, formed millions of years ago by underwater volcanoes. Book one of our exceptional Maldives travel packages , and begin your exploration of rich local culture and spectacular natural beauty.

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The History

Much of the history of the Maldives is based around folklore and myth. One such folklore is about how the predominantly Buddhist Maldives converted to a 100% Muslim nation. It is believed that the present state religion of the Maldives, Islam is practiced today as a result of one man, a Moroccan scholar and traveler, Abu Barakaat Yusuf Al-Barbaree. Little has been written about the history of the Maldives and it is only through archeological findings that we know that Maldives was inhabited as early as 1500 BC, although permanent settlements may have been established around 500 BC. 

Language & Culture
of the Maldive Islands
The People
People of Maldives Island are very warm and friendly. Dhivehi is the main language spoken in the Maldives and they have a strong faith in Islam. Highly spiritual and dedicated, Maldives people have a great respect towards each other and outside visitors. When a newcomer visits a Maldivian island, the islanders always offer a cold coconut drink and a nutritious snack (usually tuna-based). 
The Langauge
Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language predominantly spoken by about 350,000 people in the Republic of Maldives where it is the national language. Dhivehi is written from left to right and has a continuous written history of about eight hundred years. The English words ‘atoll’ (a ring of coral islands or reefs) and ‘dhoni’ (a vessel for inter-atoll navigation) are Anglicized forms of the Dhivehi words atolhu and dhoni. Other languages spoken in Maldives include English, which is also recognized as the second main language.
The Seamonster
The story of Abu Barakaat Yusuf Al-Barbaree is linked to tale of the sea monster, Rannamaari – a monster which demanded a virgin sacrifice every full moon until Abu Barakaat Yusuf Al-Barbaree saved the Maldives from its clutches. Although there are different versions of this story, it is a popular belief that it was this Moroccan scholar and traveler who brought Islam to the Maldives. 

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Green travel is an overarching term used to describe responsible travel practices that focus on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability. Green travel is about making sure that travelers choose businesses, tour operators, and transportation methods that maintain and preserve the ecological integrity of the environment and contribute to local community development; meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of current or future generations.

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