The Maldives is an Islamic republic made up of a chain of nearly 1,200 islands. The islands are grouped into 26 atolls, which are ring-shaped coral reefs. The islands lie in the Laccadive Sea off the south-western coast of India. Around 200 of the islands are inhabited, while another 80 are used as tourist resorts.
Many people visit the Maldives to scuba dive and snorkel. The Maldives offers an amazing variety of marine wildlife including the 1100 species of fish, five species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins, and 187 species of corals.
The Maldives is the lowest country in the word with its average ground level standing at only 1.5 metres above sea level. That’s about the height of one and half hurdles used in men’s athletics!
In 2009, the Maldives held the world’s first-ever underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness of climate change to the rest of the world.
While many countries in the world take their weekend break on Saturday and Sunday, Maldives – like other Muslim countries – has its weekend on Friday and Saturday.
The Maldives joined the Commonwealth in 1982 and made their debut in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.