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  4. Alcohol in the Maldives: where it is allowed, importing alcohol into the country and other nuances

The state religion of the Maldives is Islam. Therefore, the sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. The ban applies not only to the local population, but also to tourists. However, there are exceptions that you will find in this article; you will find all the alcoholic nuances that you need to know before visiting the paradise islands.

Alcohol in the Maldives: country rules

It seems a little odd that you cannot always enjoy a glass of champagne or an alcoholic cocktail in paradise. Nevertheless, the Maldives is a Muslim country with its own limitations. You can only drink alcohol in certain locations. In public places, you can get punished for breaking the rules.

You will not be able to buy alcohol in the Maldives; it is not sold in stores. The only exceptions are the island resorts and floating bars, where you can get alcohol at high prices.

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives

Mission Impossible: to bring alcohol with you to the Maldives

Many tourists having learned about the situation with alcohol in the Maldives seek to bring it with them. However, we do not recommend taking strong drinks with you to the paradise islands, alcohol will be taken away at customs. This also applies to alcohol purchased in duty free shops. It will have to be left at the airport, in the luggage room. Therefore, it makes no sense to buy alcohol at duty free if you are flying to the Maldives. Unless you plan to drink during the flight, which may also be prohibited by the rules of the air carrier.

The alcohol seized at the airport is placed in a locker.

The tourist is given a receipt and a token. Alcoholic drinks will be returned upon departure, upon presentation of a token and receipt.

At the same time, there are rumors that the Maldivian authorities are planning to cancel the storage of alcohol in the cell, alcohol will be automatically confiscated.

Yang Wewe
Yang Wewe

Pumping alcohol into oranges: tourist gimmicks

On the Internet, on the forums, you can find tips and stories from experienced people on how to bring alcohol to the Maldives. Tourists go through many tricks to bring alcohol with them. They are poured into lotion bottles, micellar water bottles, mineral water bottles and even pumped into oranges. However, it is always worth remembering the consequences of disregarding the laws of a Muslim country. If some tourists are lucky and they were not caught with alcohol, this does not mean that luck will smile on everyone. Moreover, the Maldivian customs officers have long known all the tricks that tourists use to transport alcohol.

  • At the checkpoint, luggage is carefully checked, including hand luggage.
  • Do not be surprised that containers with any liquid may be asked to open, smell and pay attention to the color.
  • Not everyone is able to slip through with alcohol. When trying to smuggle alcohol illegally, a tourist immediately falls into the ranks of violators and smugglers.
  • If you walk along the green corridor trying to disguise alcohol as mineral water, you risk getting a fine or even arrest.
  • In rare cases, alcohol can be confiscated or fined up to $ 500.

Alcoholic Maldives island resorts

The problem of lack of alcohol concerns only tourists who go on vacation to inexpensive hotels located on local islands. The expensive resorts offer alcohol, but it is quite expensive. If you want to relax all day long with alcoholic cocktails, pay attention to the hotels operating on the all-inclusive system, which includes alcohol. You will not need to worry about where to get your favorite drinks.

  • The hotel must be licensed to sell alcohol. Only such resorts can offer a wide selection of alcoholic beverages.
  • The all inclusive resort hotels offer an unlimited number of cocktails, as well as whiskey, vodka, and cognac.
  • The more expensive the hotel is, the higher quality alcohol is offered to guests.
  • As a rule, elite alcohol and champagne will not be included in the all inclusive system, and you will have to pay extra for them.
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Vakkaru Maldives
Vakkaru Maldives

Alcohol prices in the Maldives

Liquor prices in the Maldives are really quite high. Officially, alcohol can be ordered only in the restaurants of the resort islands. Estimated cost of alcohol in Maldives in hotel restaurants

  • A can of beer - $ 5-10
  • Vodka, cognac 50 g - $ 6-12
  • Alcohol cocktail - $ 15-25
  • Glass of wine - $ 10-30
  • Bottle of wine - $ 50-80
  • Collection wine - $ 90-250
  • Champagne - $ 75-150
  • Spirits bottle - $ 100-250

High taxes and transportation difficulties have affected the cost. Remember, the alcohol on the menu is not the final price. You must take into account the 22% tax on the price tag.

  • There is a restriction on the place of drinking alcohol can be drunk in the restaurant or in the bar.
  • If you have chosen the all inclusive system, which does not include alcoholic drinks or the full board system, then alcohol will be served free of charge only at dinner. The rest of the time during the day - for an additional payment. As a rule, the cost of a voucher in this case is $ 200-500 cheaper.
  • Alcohol is available in 4-5 star resorts by the pool or on the beach in bars where you can buy alcohol for an additional fee.
  • Many bars have happy hour, roughly between lunch and dinner, when alcohol is available for half the price. It is during happy hours that the bars are practically filled with visitors.

Kudadoo Maldives
Kudadoo Maldives

Alcohol on local islands

Choosing a cheap vacation in the Maldives? Get ready for “Prohibition”. On the local islands, alcohol is strictly prohibited. Therefore, when choosing a hotel, pay attention to its location. If it is on an island where locals live, it is forbidden to sell and drink alcohol. In addition, if you see a can of beer in a local cafe, do not flatter yourself, it is non-alcoholic.

You will practically have to give up alcohol consumption; with the exception of visits to the floating bar, there is nowhere to take it. Difficulties will arise even with drinking it. If the locals notice that you drink alcohol on the beach or on the street, they can turn you in to the police. Therefore, you can drink it only in your room or in special bars.

"Drunken bars"

Enterprising residents have figured out how to make extra money on tourists suffering from alcohol. In addition, they opened floating bars where they sell alcohol. This is a clever way to get around the law, because there is no formal sale of alcohol on the islands. The so-called drunken barges ply near the islands. These are alcoholic bars on the high seas, where you can buy it quite legally. A small boat is on duty waiting for customers who want to get to the bar. They will take you to the floating bar and back completely free of charge. You should not expect a large assortment in the bar. The choice is meager; usually there is beer, vodka, whiskey and brandy of not the highest quality. However, the cost of alcohol in floating bars is close to hotel rates.

  • Small can of beer - about $ 5
  • Spirits cost from $ 80 to $ 150 per bottle

Natives of India or Pakistan sell alcohol in floating bars. Local residents are prohibited from touching alcohol.

What drinks are available in the Maldives

In the Maldives, you can find any alcohol, and even an elite one. As a rule, alcohol is brought from India and Sri Lanka. It is from there that elite brands of wine, champagne and spirits come from different parts of the world. You can taste them in specialized bars. There are also supplies from Europe.


Perhaps this is the most popular drink in the hot Maldives. Most often, hotels offer such well-known brands as Heineken and Carlsberg. Also in the Maldives, a brand originally from Singapore Tiger is quite popular; beer is originally from Sri Lanka Lion and San Miguel from the Philippines. Light lager is among the most popular varieties.

Chris Taljaard
Chris Taljaard


The all-inclusive resort islands with alcohol offer cocktail hours. All resorts offer a set menu with refreshing cocktails. Typically, they include a mixture of exotic notes with alcohol. For example, with coconut, mango, pineapple. You will also find the usual gin and tonic or margarita.

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa


Wine is quite popular in Maldivian resorts, because there are many true gourmet connoisseurs among the guests. Now they rely on wine cellars. Certified sommeliers assist guests with wine selection during dinner.

The air temperature in the Maldives is + 26-28 degrees, which, together with high humidity, complicates the storage of elite wines. Therefore, they are stored at depth, in cellars. For example, there is an underwater wine cellar at the Anantara Kihavah Resort, which is located at a depth of 6 m. It contains 8000 bottles brought here from 20 countries of the world. The top sellers in the Maldives are refreshing wines such as rose, pinot grigio, sauvignon, bordeaux, burgundy, champagne.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives
Anantara Kihavah Maldives

Strong alcohol

The quality of alcohol directly depends on the cost of the hotel. Naturally, Hennessy will not be included in the all inclusive program for elite drinks purchased for an additional fee. In general, lovers of spirits will find any drinks on the resort islands - vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, brandy.

Innahura Maldives Resort
Innahura Maldives Resort

Best hotels with alcohol

The best places to drink alcohol in the Maldives are special bars located at famous hotels. Among the best hotels with alcoholic bars

  • Bubble Lounge. This is the first champagne bar in the Maldives with over 50 sparkling wines. Among them are elite expensive varieties. The bar is located in The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi 5* hotel.
  • Music bar at Kurumba Maldives 5* for vibrant parties.
  • Thundi Bar is located on the beach and offers to spend time with a beautiful view at Veligandu Island Resort & Spa 5*.
  • Reethi has over a thousand collection wines. Considered one of the best for romantic getaways and is located in One & Only Reethi Rah.
  • The Wine Cellar is an elite wine cellar at the Conrad Maldives, which houses over 600 collection wines. You can arrange wine and cheese tasting.
  • Floating Bar & Safari is a floating bar located next to one of the most popular local islands in the Maldives, Maafushi. Here you can have a $ 6 beer or a glass of wine overlooking the serene sunset.

Veligandu Island Resort
Veligandu Island Resort

Let's summarize. If you are planning a budget trip to the local islands of the Maldives, it is worth preparing for a non-alcoholic vacation. Alcohol is nowhere to be found besides floating bars. On the chic island resorts, you can enjoy an all-inclusive spirits. However, you must pay extra for elite alcohol. If you are not ready to overpay for alcohol, choose the full board system and buy alcohol in hotel bars during happy hours at discounted prices.


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