Malé, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives

Overview | Economy | Road | Air | Inter-island transport

🇲🇻 Malé is the capital and most populous city of the Maldives. With an area of 8.30 square km (3.20 sq mi), it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city is geographically located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). Administratively, the city consists of a central island, an airport island, and four other islands governed by the Malé City Council.

Traditionally it was the King's Island, from where the ancient royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located. The city was then called Mahal. Formerly it was a walled city surrounded by fortifications and gates (doroshi). The Royal Palace (Gan'duvaru) was destroyed along with the picturesque forts (koshi) and bastions (buruzu) when the city was remodelled under President Ibrahim Nasir's rule in the aftermath of the abolition of the monarchy in 1968. However, some buildings remained, namely, the Malé Friday Mosque. In recent years, the island has been considerably expanded through land-filling operations. Over the years, Malé has been the centre of political protests and milestone events.

Overview Although Malé is geographically located in Kaafu Atoll, administratively it is not considered part of it. The central part of the city is formed by the island of Malé. Five more islands form part of the city which includes Hulhulé, Hulhumalé, Vilimalé, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. A commercial harbour is located on the central island and serves as the heart of all commercial activities in the country. Velana International Airport is located on the Island of Hulhulé.

The central island is heavily urbanised, with the built-up area taking up essentially its entire landmass. Slightly less than one third of the nation's population lives in the capital city. Many Maldivians and foreign workers living in other parts of the country find themselves in occasional short term residence on the island since it is the centre of administration and bureaucracy. Most of the population of Malé live in small houses, often shared with external family or roommates. This led to the development of Hulhumalé and Phase 2.

Economy Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives, accounting for 28% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. The GDP per capita expanded by 265% in the 1980s and a further 115% in the 1990s. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. Malé, the capital, has many tourist attractions and nearby resorts. Maldivian, the airline of the Maldives, has its head office in Malé, as does the airline FlyMe.

The central harbour and port of the Maldives is located in Malé, the centre for all commercial activities. The Maldives Transport & Contracting Company is formed in 1980 to contribute towards the development of infrastructure and transport service in the Maldives. The port is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region with its rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe.

Road Each of the islands of Malé is served by a dense network of paved roads, which are named magu (road or street), hingun and goalhi (small road or alley). Road traffic is heavy, especially on Malé Island.

Malé and Hulhulé Island are linked by the Sinamalé Bridge, which was opened to traffic in October 2018, while Hulhulé and Hulhumalé are linked via a causeway, thus allowing the road networks of the three islands to be connected. Public transport consists of several bus lines within the islands, as well as connecting the three islands.

Air Velana International Airport is located on nearby Hulhulé and is the city's airport as well as the principal airport in Maldives. With the opening of the Sinamalé Bridge, the airport is now accessible from Malé by road. Prior to the opening of the bridge, transport between the airport and Malé was by a frequent ferry service. Hulhulé and Hulhumalé have been connected via a causeway since the development of Hulhumalé, allowing the airport to be accessed by road from the latter.

Inter-island transport As Malé, Hulhulé and Hulhumalé are now linked by roads, inter-island travel between the three islands can be done by road. For the other islands, inter-island transport is by ferry.

Image: Adobe Stock Dudarev Mikhail #213216486

Malé was ranked #272 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Malé has a population of over 252,768 people. Malé also forms the centre of the wider Maldives State which has a population of over 579,330 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Malé see: Twitter:

The Climate Emergency means that Malé may be at risk of flooding by rising sea levels by 2035

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Malé has links with:

🇱🇰 Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇹🇼 Kaohsiung, Taiwan 🇨🇳 Suzhou, China
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Nomad

Antipodal to Malé is: -106.491,-4.175

Locations Near: Malé 73.5093,4.17524

🇮🇳 Trivandrum 76.946,8.483 d: 611.3  

🇮🇳 Thiruvananthapuram 76.953,8.487 d: 612  

🇮🇳 Varkala 76.726,8.734 d: 619  

🇮🇳 Nagercoil 77.432,8.169 d: 620.6  

🇮🇳 Kollam 76.591,8.884 d: 624.5  

🇮🇳 Kayamkulam 76.498,9.172 d: 646.2  

🇮🇳 Alappuzha 76.322,9.49 d: 667.5  

🇮🇳 Pathanamthitta 76.783,9.261 d: 671.2  

🇮🇳 Tirunelveli 77.687,8.727 d: 684.9  

🇮🇳 Kottayam 76.52,9.587 d: 687.4  

Antipodal to: Malé -106.491,-4.175

🇲🇽 Acapulco -99.904,16.86 d: 17566.7  

🇲🇽 Acapulco de Juárez -99.867,16.85 d: 17566.5  

🇲🇽 Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo -97.609,16.131 d: 17554.8  

🇲🇽 San Pedro Mixtepec -97.117,16 d: 17546  

🇲🇽 Zihuatanejo -101.55,17.633 d: 17530.2  

🇲🇽 Zihuatanejo de Azueta -101.55,17.633 d: 17530.2  

🇲🇽 Lázaro Cárdenas -102.183,17.95 d: 17509.9  

🇲🇽 Chilpancingo -99.507,17.528 d: 17483  

🇲🇽 Chilpancingo de los Bravo -99.5,17.55 d: 17480.5  

🇲🇽 Asunción Ocotlán -96.717,16.75 d: 17452.4  

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