Tourist Safety in The Maldives

Updated: 2023-11-16T17:55:00.880Z
Tourist Safety in The Maldives

The Maldives is generally regarded as a safe destination for tourists and is well regarded. This is particularly true of the resorts which each occupy their own exclusive island. Simple steps will ensure a smooth and relaxing holiday.

Is the Maldives safe?

Yes, it is seen as safe to visit the Maldives. The crime rate amongst the resorts is low but not non-existent. It largely consists of petty theft from hotel rooms and the beach. It is advisable to avoid leaving items unattended, remember to lock your room when away, make use of safes or safety deposit boxes, and be vigilant of your valuables if visiting local islands.

In the past there have been some terrorist threats, political demonstrations and protests but these were typically isolated to the capital city of Malé. These resulted in some violence between police, military and demonstrators. Although there are many resorts based in the North and South Malé Atoll, there is no resort on Malé itself and travellers are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations, if visiting the capital, and to check their foreign office before travelling for up-to-date information

Are Seaplanes safe?

Seaplane in the Maldives

Seaplanes are a safe method of transport in the Maldives. Hundreds of tourists and travellers use them daily, and as such, they are subject to strict regulations. Seaplane pilots are highly trained and skilled pilots, and the crew will always do a safety briefing. There are two pilots in the cockpit and at least one other crew member sitting in the back of the plane to help you board and disembark with ease.

Seaplanes do not fly in the dark so make sure you check that your flight arrives in daylight and well before the last departure to your resort. They also do not fly in bad weather, but luckily bad weather doesn’t tend to last long in the Maldives!

We recommend bringing some comfortable earplugs (or ear defenders for young children) for your trip as it gets very loud - although the seaplane airlines will often have some earplugs to give you if you forget.

Is it safe to honeymoon in the Maldives?

Honeymoon in the Maldives

Absolutely. Despite being a conservative country, the Maldives resorts are very relaxed and perfect for honeymooners and couples. It’s probably worth noting that public nudity, including topless sunbathing is not permitted anywhere in the Maldives. Public displays of affection should also be kept to a minimum. Holding hands may be fine on a resort island but it is not advised if visiting a local island.

Is the Maldives safe for children?

Toddler drinking a mocktail in the Maldives

With over half of the resorts in the Maldives now having kid’s clubs and children’s activities available and many more having babysitting services, it means there are a lot of qualified people looking out for children whilst in the resort. You can read more about what to do with kids in the Maldives on our Is the Maldives Child Friendly page. There are two main things to watch out for when you take children to the Maldives. These are the sun and water.

Sun safety in the Maldives

Thermometer on the beach

The Maldives is on the equator and although the temperature tends to stay at 26-32°C (that's 80-90°F) all year round, the sun is still exceptionally harmful. Take adequate precautions by applying a high SPF, reef-safe sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours (from 10 am to 4 pm). With the tropical climate, it's easy to get dehydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you're indulging in water activities.

Is the water safe to drink in the Maldives?

Bottled water

Fresh water is a scarce and valuable resource in the Maldives, and tap-water is generally non-potable. Always consume bottled water and drinks where possible, especially if visiting local islands. Boiled / treated water can be used if needed.

All the resorts will provide bottled water for their guests. This may or may not be included in your package price. The water from the taps is likely to be either desalinated water or treated rainwater. While this water will likely be fine for brushing your teeth you may not want to drink it.

Recycling is important in the Maldives, and you will likely not see any plastic drinking bottles. Take care of the glass water bottles and make sure you return them once empty or leave them in your room for collection as they will be reused.

Water safety in the Maldives

Beach warning flag

The warm waters around the Maldives are particularly inviting but the ocean must be respected at all times. Tides and currents can pose a risk to swimmers.

We recommend speaking to the dive centre at your resort for advice specific to your island. They’ll be able to inform you of local conditions and best practices as well as the times and locations to hit the water. Safety and snorkelling equipment will also be available.

Water may be an obvious hazard. We all know not to go in the deep end if we can’t swim and to always accompany children but here is some, perhaps less obvious, Maldives specific advice.

  • Make yourself aware of the danger systems in place on the island. Many islands use standard beach warning flags to indicate swimming conditions so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these.
  • Avoid certain areas - We recommend speaking to the dive centre at your resort for advice specific to your island. They’ll be able to inform you of local conditions and best practices as well as the times and locations to hit the water. Safety and snorkelling equipment will also be available. You want to avoid strong tidal currents, water sports and boat traffic!
  • Although it is often advised to wait until a child is 5 or 6 to begin snorkelling, there is no official minimum age limit. As long as they have a well fitted mask and can comfortably breathe through a snorkel, they can give it a go. We recommend practicing in the swimming pool first or even the bathtub.
  • Being able to swim is a bonus but life jackets are usually available to hire at resorts. You could also use your own inflatables or noodles. Even for those who are strong swimmers, you may want to consider a life jacket or inflatable as snorkelling in the sea can get tiring very quickly.
  • It’s always advisable to swim in pairs in the sea, even if you are a strong swimmer.
  • Read up about the tides and what to do if caught in a riptide. (Tip: swim parallel to the shore).
  • Never do any water sports while intoxicated.
  • Check the requirements for Scuba Diving in the Maldives before you go. If you are an experienced diver, make sure to remember your certification card and logbook. The resort may require you to do an orientation dive too.

Visit our Snorkelling and Swimming Safety page for further information.

Are there dangerous animals or wildlife in the Maldives?

The Maldives wildlife is largely very safe. When in the water simply avoid touching any wildlife and maintain a safe distance. You could accidently injure yourself or stress the animal. If you follow the simple rule of looking without touching you are extremely unlikely to have any problems.

Here are some animals you may have concerns about.


You’ll be relieved to hear, there are no great white sharks in the Maldives. The sharks you may encounter are:

  1. Reef Sharks – Blacktip Reef shark, Grey Reef shark, Whitetip Reef shark
  2. Whale sharks
  3. Scalloped Hammerhead shark
  4. Zebra sharks – A.K.A Leopard sharks
  5. Nurse sharks
Whale Shark

The sharks of the Maldives are primarily non-aggressive. They do not see humans as a threat and will often swim away from you or be completely indifferent to your presence in their home. There is also an abundance of available food for them and with their poor eyesight and good sense of smell they will follow the fish, not the tourists. As with most wildlife, however, don’t go too close or touch or hurt them as they could turn aggressive.


Shoal of powder blue surgeon fish

Whilst the majority of fish in the Maldives are harmless there are some to watch out for if you spend a lot of time diving. Venomous fish are among the most dangerous animals in the Maldives. Stingrays, stonefish and lionfish may attack if provoked.



Coral might look like a plant, but it is an animal and can be dangerous, but not life threatening.

Are overwater villas safe to stay in?

Overwater villa

Yes. Overwater villas are typically located in shallow lagoons or waters and are anchored deep into the sand by strong, sturdy pillars. They are not going to float away. Balconies and decks sometimes have railings to prevent accidental falling but not always. Children and vulnerable adults must be supervised at all times, so they don’t climb through the railings or descend the stairs/ladder into the water unaccompanied. The steps down to the water can often be wet and slippery so always take your time when using them and help others who may be less able.

It is never advisable to jump into the ocean from your water bungalow as the water is typically only 1-1.5 m (3-5 ft) deep. Some overwater villas will have slides into the lagoon. These are safe to use, however, always be cautious and remain in pairs when swimming or playing in the sea.

Lastly, make sure you are aware of the safe places to snorkel and swim around the island. Some places may have strong currents, boat traffic or water sports. If you start from your own balcony, make sure you know where you’re going.

Are there doctors in the resorts?

Doctor and patient

All the resorts will have something in place in case a guest or staff member becomes unwell during their stay on the island. With most resorts this includes an onsite clinic with a resident nurse or doctor on-call. Some resorts even have x-ray, ECG or ultrasound scanning available and possibly even a hyperbaric (decompression) chamber.

Currently there are 5 hyperbaric chambers in the Maldives. These are in the following locations:

  1. Kuredu Island Resort (Lhaviyani atoll)
  2. Bandos Maldives (Kaafu atoll – North Malé atoll)
  3. Kuramathi Maldives (Alifu Alifu atoll – North Ari atoll)
  4. Kandima Maldives (Dhaalu atoll)
  5. ADK Hospital in Malé – the capital city of the Maldives.

Is the Maldives safe for solo female travellers?

Woman posing in the Indian Ocean

The Maldives is seen as very safe for solo travellers. Since the only way to get to the resort islands is via boat or plane, you are surrounded by highly vetted staff or other tourists who have paid a similar amount to you to get there. Therefore, the only general worry is swimming, snorkelling or diving by yourself. This is rarely a problem though as resorts usually have a vast array of excursions available where groups can go snorkelling or diving together.
If staying in a guest house then these aren’t quite as secure as a resort, however, there is still very little crime on the local islands. The main difference is that guests will have to be mindful of local customs which includes not drinking alcohol. A female traveller staying on a local, inhabited island will be expected to dress more modestly as well.

Can you go to the Maldives while pregnant?

Pregnant woman walking on a beach in the Maldives

You must always consult your own doctor or midwife before travelling abroad while pregnant. Although there have been no cases of Zika virus recorded in the Maldives since 2015 (according to WHO) there is limited information available which may delay reporting of new cases.

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