Business & Economy



Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives. 20% of the GDP and 60% of the foreign exchange that flows into the country is through the tourism sector. Also, over 90% of the government tax revenue comes from tourism related taxes and import duties.

Fishing is the second leading economic sector of the Maldives. A significant amount of country’s income is generated through export of live fish and other fish/marine products.

Largely constrained by the limitedness of cultivable land and domestic labour, agriculture and manufacturing play only a minor role in the economy of the Maldives.

Other economic activities in the Maldives include garment production, boat building and handicraft production. However, these are not major income generating activities and accounts only for about 16% of the GDP.

The GDP of Maldives totalled US$435 million in 2000 – about US$1,400 per capita. The Maldives has experienced relatively low inflation in recent years. Real GDP growth averaged about 10% in the 1980s. It expanded by an exceptional 16.2% in 1990, declined to 4% in 1993, and has since bounced back to the 7% to 9% range.

Velaanaage Building



Maldives show a steady average annual growth of the economy. Tourism is the main industry, contributing close to 20% of the GDP. Fisheries, construction and trade follow close behind. The Maldivian economy is regarded as exemplary in the region and welcomes foreign investment.


Boat Building, Coconut processing (toddy making, sugar making …), Fishing (mostly pole and Line), Fish processing, Garment manufacturing, Handicraft making, Mat Weaving, Rope Making, Shipping, Thatch Weaving, Tourism, Construction, etc.


Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) and Laari (L) (1 Rufiyaa – 100 Laaris)
Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500
Coins are in the denominations of MRf 2, MRf 1 and 50 L
Payments of most hard cash currencies are accepted at all resorts and hotels

Commonly Used Credit Cards

  • America Express
  • Visa
  • Master Card
  • Diners Club
  • JCB
  • Euro Card
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