When it comes to size Male’ would perhaps count as one of the smallest capitals in the world. It is home to one third of the country’s total population. It is a city of skyscrapers and paved Roads. While the government offices are located in one area, the main streets are lined with shops and offices. In Male’ you would not find any beach, instead it is encircled by seawalls. The city is quite green and pleasant. The streets in the residential areas are shaded with trees, at places forming an arch overhead.
Please be informed that exportation of products made of turtle shell, black coral, pearl oyster shell and red coral are strictly prohibited.
Attractions of the City
Tour starts at the Republic Square and will be taken on the walking tour past some prominent Landmarks such as the main police precinct, past the President's Office and the Coast Guard Building to the Peoples Majlis (Parliament House).
The Islamic center was opened in 1984.The Center’s most important feature is the Grand Mosque with its beautiful architecture, which holds up to 5,000 people.
The magnificent Golden Dome of the Mosque is also evident on the skyline of Male’.
In Addition to the Grand mosque, the Islamic Center houses a conference hall, an Islamic Library and classrooms.
The shrine of Abu-al Barakaat, who converted the Maldives to a Muslim country in 1153.
First built in 1153 when the Maldives’ conversion to Islam. It was rebuilt in 1657 in the present state during the reign of sultan Ibrahim Iskandar. It contains some of the finest samples of Maldivian workmanship. The walls are built with finely fluted coral blocks with elaborate coral carvings. Inside the mosque are intricate wooden engravings and lacquer works. The Friday mosque is also the first ever school established in the country
The Sultan Park and the National Museum are part of the old Sultan’s Palace grounds during the time of the monarchy. The museum opened in 1952 displays a variety of objects and artifacts from times gone by. The collection comprises of relics from the pre-Islamic times to royal antiquities belonging to deferent monarchs. Other articles that adorn the museum include the rifle used by Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his fight against the Portuguese in the 16th Century, ceremonial robes, headgear and umbrellas used by Sultans, statues and other figures dating from 11th century, excavated from former temples. It gives an insight into the cultural heritage of the island. The museum remains open every day except on Fridays and public holidays from 09.00 to 11.40 and 15.00 to 17.40hrs.
Situated right in front of the HukuruMiskiyy-Mulee-aage is a palace built in 1906 by Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen the third. The palace garden was used for growing vegetables to meet the shortage of food during World War 2. It became the president’s official Residence when Maldives became a republic in 1953 and remained so until the new Presidential Palace was built in 1954.
Built during the late 1790’s, this little but interesting mosque was situated in a more central part of Male’ on the road named Majeedhee Magu. In 1978 this mosque was auctioned off by the then Government and bought by Furana Tourist Resort (now Full Moon beach resort). Due to its heritage as an important historical site the mosque was bought back by the present government and was again relocated to its present place in the Sultan Park. Like the Friday Mosque this mosque is made up of carved coral stones and carved wood with engravings.
The Fish market is one of the most exciting places to visit in Male’. The market really comes to life in the afternoon when Dhoni’s or the local fishing boats start arriving with their catch. Considered as the second biggest industry of the nation, this is evident from a visit to the fish market. Check out the variety of fishes that are unloaded just across the street into the fish market for sale and also the deftness of the fishermen who guts and cleans the purchased fishes.
A little further to the west of the fish market is the aptly named Local Market. The market consists of a series of stalls that stocks the produce of islands from all over the Maldives. It is the perfect place to sample someMaldivian local produces and take some as souvenirs.
What to Buy?Garments perfumes and cosmetics, jeweler, watches or electronics, canned fish, and souvenirs like “thudu Kuna” the Maldivian mat woven with local natural fibers and the wooden miniature ‘dhoni’.
The northern end of Chaandhanee Magu is the best place for souvenir shopping. The area was earlier known as the Singapore Bazaar for its many imports from Singapore.The Majeedhee Magu, the main road on the island, is fringed by a slew of shops selling goods from the smallest commodities to virtually everything you can imagine. The unusually clean fish market is the best place for buying fish products.