You’ve bought your tickets and booked your holidays from work and all you can think about is the paradise that awaits you in the Maldives. With all year round almost perfect weather, gorgeous clear blue seas teaming with life and idyllic golden sandy beaches awaiting your arrival it’s going to be a holiday to remember. But before you get there it’s time to turn your attention to packing and what needs to go in the suitcase. Here’s a handy run down of what is best to wear in the Maldives for different occasions and to respect the local customs.
The weather in the Maldives rarely drops below 25°C (77°F), so lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is recommended. It’s also quite humid, so materials like cotton and linen are advisable for keeping cool. The dress code is generally quite casual in the resort areas, but more modest on inhabited islands. You do not need to pack any coats, no matter the time of year!
Enjoying the sun safely
During the day, visitors spend a good portion of time in swimsuits and beachwear, so you’ll want to pack a number of swimsuits! Two-piece swimsuits are acceptable on women. However, overly skimpy swimsuits may be culturally offensive and should be avoided. You will also need to cover up before entering restaurants. Sarongs are generally sufficient for women, but check with your resort as some have rules about covering your shoulders. Men must wear shirts in all restaurants. Most visitors wear flip-flops or sandals during the day. Check with your particular resort for any additional rules, some of the more upscale resorts have stricter dress codes.
It’s also important to note that nudity is not allowed in the Maldives so topless sunbathing is prohibited. It is not just culturally offensive, but a punishable offense.
When the sun goes down
In the evenings, the dress code is fairly casual. Some guests choose to dress up, but the dress code on most islands is relaxed. You will not find occasion to use formal wear, even in the nightclubs. Men often wear tailored shorts or lightweight pants with t-shirts or short-sleeved, button-down shirts. Women can also be seen wearing tailored shorts and t-shirts or nicer tops. They may opt for summer dresses and skirts. Both men and women tend to wear flip-flops in the evenings as well. Women may prefer low heels, but anything more than a small heel will be inconvenient due to sand walkways and boarded decks. If you pack high heels, you most likely won’t wear them.
If you plan on taking excursions that require walking or hiking, you will want to bring trainers or other comfortable shoes for walking. You will most likely want to wear shorts and t-shirts or other lightweight clothing on your excursions to keep cool. The women may want to bring a one-piece swimsuit for excursions in the water. You may need athletic wear for certain excursions or yoga wear if you plan to take advantage of spa services.
For cultural reasons, see-through clothing should be avoided. Also, while in the capital, Male, or on any of the inhabited islands, the dress code is more modest and women must, at a minimum, cover their shoulders and thighs. If you’re unsure if you should wear something, it’s best to change. In these more modest areas it is actually illegal to wear revealing clothes that don’t cover the shoulders and thighs, as well as to wear sheer fabrics.
Lastly, in addition to bringing plenty of sunscreen, make sure to pack sunglasses and hats! The sun can be unrelenting and you’ll want to protect yourself.