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  4. Drones in the Maldives: filming permits, rules of use

Everyone is familiar with the photographs of the Maldives, striking the imagination with enchanting landscapes, bright colors of the ocean and snow-white beaches framed by luscious green palm trees.

It is quite natural that many travelers want to bring beautiful pictures from their vacation and share with friends the impressive pictures of the Maldives, including from a bird's eye view. However, before you pack your drone in your luggage, be sure to read the following information.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

Shooting Permit

First of all, you need to know that the use of drones in the Maldives is limited .

  • This is primarily due to the large number of seaplanes carrying tourists between the islands, as well as excursions. Unregulated use of drones can affect flight safety.
  • Secondly, the Maldives resorts are renowned for their wide range of opportunities for a relaxing and secluded holiday. Many hotels have outdoor bathrooms and Jacuzzis, and drones buzzing over tourists' heads are a nuisance and discouragement from most resorts.

What if, despite the limitations, you really want to capture the beauty of the Maldives using a drone?

To do this, follow the next 3 steps.

  1. Obtain permission from your hotel or local island council. If you plan to use the results of the filming not only for personal, but also for commercial purposes, then you should coordinate this issue with the National Center for the Arts.
  2. Obtain approval from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF). To do this, you must fill out the application form and send it to the email address [email protected].
  3. Having obtained permits from the hotel (island) and the MNDF, you must contact the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority by filling out the appropriate application on their website and be sure to attach the two previous permits to your application.

Once approved by the authorities, the general rules for using drones should be followed: do not fly over people's heads, near military installations, power plants and airports, or above 122 meters (400 feet) above the ground.

Josh Sorenson
Josh Sorenson

Drone use in Maldives resorts

Regarding the policy of resort hotels regarding aerial photography, there are resorts that strictly prohibit the use of drones and similar aircraft on their territory. These include, for example, locations such as Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa and Sun Siyam Iru Veli . In exceptional circumstances, management may grant special permission to photograph the resort for promotional photography, while advising guests in advance and taking steps to minimize the impact on guests and protect their privacy. 

At the same time, there are a number of resorts where they are more loyal to aerial filming and allow them to be carried out, but only in specially designated places.

Among these resorts:

  • Kuredu Island Resort (drones can be used in certain areas of Dream Island with the agreement of the Guest Services Team or Front Office Team).
  • Ayada Maldives ( Drone use is permitted in most public areas and strictly prohibited above villas. No drone areas are clearly marked).
  • Four Seasons (flight is possible in a strictly limited area and under the supervision of resort personnel).

Drones are officially banned at Hurawalhi , but guests have the option to book an excursion to the Dream Island Sandbanks for some great aerial footage. The resort offers its guests the use of a paid local photographer and professional drone photography for $ 800.

To summarize : as we can see, the Maldives have great respect for the safety and personal space of vacationers, therefore the issue of using unmanned aerial vehicles is controlled by the authorities and the administration of the resorts and is decided on an individual basis in each case.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort


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