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  4. Maldivian holiday vocabulary: specific terms, local names and other obscure words

The Maldives is a country capable of giving a fabulous experience to everyone, without exception. There is so much colorful, sensual, amazing in the archipelago! But it is also a completely different world, with its own life, attitude and rules. In this article, we will recall the most common concepts and names that travelers often come across in this paradise on the way to the islands, in a hotel or directly during their holidays.


  • An archipelago is a group of islands located at a short distance from each other and united into a single whole. Such islands have the same origin and geological structure.
  • An atoll is a coral island (often a chain of islands) in the form of a broken or solid ring that surrounds a shallow lagoon. Atolls are found only in tropical and subtropical open oceans. They arise around islands of volcanic origin, consisting of skeletal remains of coral and red algae.
Article About the most popular atolls in the Maldives.
  • House Reef is a coral reef located next to a private resort hotel. The house reef provides an opportunity to explore the unique underwater world and is especially appreciated by diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
  • The lagoon is a shallow body of water within an atoll surrounded by a coral reef. As a rule, a narrow strait connects the lagoon to the sea (or ocean).

Kuramathi Island Maldives
Kuramathi Island Maldives


  • Atoll Ferries are regular ferries that run between local islands within the same atoll. They represent a large closed boat with the ability to climb to the roof. The average speed is 15-20 kilometers per hour.
  • Seaplane is a seaplane capable of taking off and landing on the water surface. The fastest and most expensive type of transfer in the Maldives.
Article Transport in the Maldives.
  • Speedboat - a speedboat, the speed of movement on which significantly exceeds the ferry. Speedboats are generally available at every resort island. The cost of a speedboat transfer is divided according to the price among all passengers. In addition, speedboats can run on request. The speed of movement is 60-70 kilometers per hour.
  • Ferry - ferries from the capital of Male (Male ferry), go to distant places of the archipelago. Travel time from 1 to 10 hours.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Hotels and amenities

  • Island Resort - a hotel operating on the principle of “one island, one resort”. This means that on a small island there is only a hotel complex of coastal and water villas, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, a gym and everything else that is necessary for a comfortable stay.
  • Local island - an island inhabited by local people. On many local islands there are budget accommodation for tourists (guesthouses), accommodation in which is often not inferior in comfort to 3 hotels.
  • Pillow Menu is a selection of pillows from a variety of materials and fillings offered by high-end hotels.
  • The recessed bath is a stylish design element, the main feature of which is that the top line of the bath coincides with the floor level. In fact, these are minipools. Exclusive bathtubs are made from natural materials.
  • Rain shower is a special mode of operation of the shower, which with its density, strength and softness resembles falling drops of a tropical shower.
  • Floating bed - A floating bed is a type of low-profile platform bed that appears to “float” on the floor surface due to its invisible support system. Visually, it seems that the floating bed is hanging in the air.
  • King size bed - a double bed that is comfortable and large in size. According to the American classification, the concept of King size corresponds to the value of 200 by 200 centimeters, the English one - 180 to 200 centimeters. These options are not universal.
  • Twin bed - two separate beds in a hotel room.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives


  • Diving - snorkeling with special equipment. In addition to fins, a mask and a breathing tube, the equipment includes a gas cylinder with a regulator, a weight system, a pressure gauge and other components.
Article all about diving in the Maldives.
  • PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is a professional association of diving instructors, as well as an international network of diving schools and specialized shopping centers.
  • Snorkeling - swimming under the surface of the water with a mask, snorkel and fins, allowing you to observe the life of the underwater world for a long time with minimal effort.
  • Manta rays are the largest stingray species found in tropical and subtropical ocean waters. Despite the second name - a giant sea devil - manta rays do not pose a danger to humans. Watching manta rays is one of the highlights for divers in the Maldives.
  • Plankton is a collection of small living organisms that live in the water column in a drifting state. The presence of a large number of plankton determines the transparency of the turbidity of the water and depends on the season.
  • Upwelling - the rise of deep water layers saturated with plankton to the surface of the sea or ocean. It attracts many manta rays and tiger sharks by the possibility of feeding on plankton, and divers by the chance to enjoy an amazing spectacle.
  • Fly-fishing is a type of fly fishing with artificial or live bait. Unique flying fishing spots are located on many uninhabited islands in the Maldives.
  • Photo-flight - a seaplane flight over the islands with the possibility of photo and video filming.

Kurumba Maldives
Kurumba Maldives


  • Monsoon - winds characteristic of the tropics and determining the type of climate, in particular, in the Maldives. The monsoon climate is characterized by increased importance in summer and dryness in winter.
  • Halhangu is the name of the summer monsoon, characterized by frequent rains and low-cloud skies. Occurs between May and November. In the tourism industry, this is the low season.
  • Iruvai is the name of the dry season in the local language. Comes from December to April.
Article What season is it better to go to the Maldives.
  • High season is the most successful period for rest. In the Maldives, it starts in November and lasts until mid-April. During this period, there is the least amount of rainfall, and the sun is above the horizon from about six in the morning until six in the evening.

Kandolhu Maldives Resort
Kandolhu Maldives Resort

Wedding Ceremony

  • Boduberu is the traditional folk music of the Maldivians in a group performance. The name literally means "big drum". Boduberu is a dance song with a slow beginning, ending at a frantically fast pace.
  • The coconut palm is a traditional tree in the Maldivian culture. The wedding ceremony is often accompanied by the planting of a coconut tree, symbolizing a happy family life.
  • Bungalow is a luxurious one-storey house with all amenities, built on stilts above the lagoon, with a staircase to the sea. In addition to water bungalows, there are also beach bungalows. These are small cottages on the island located next to the beach.
  • Dhoni is a traditional Maldivian boat. Used as a way to travel short distances. The often decorated dhoni is part of the wedding ceremony.
Article All about the wedding in the Maldives.

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa
Kuredu Island Resort & Spa


  • The underwater restaurant is one of the specialties of a luxury holiday in the Maldives. Panoramic restaurants with transparent walls, located under water, are more reminiscent of the scenery of a fantasy movie than a gastronomic establishment. Located exclusively on resort islands (Ozen by Atmosphere Maadhoo 5, Anantara Kihavah Villas Resort, Conrad Rangali Island and some others).
  • A la carte is the practice of ordering individual dishes from a restaurant menu, as opposed to a set menu. The assortment of food and drinks in à la carte restaurants differs for the better from the usual ones.
  • Buffet is a way of serving food, meaning that many dishes are displayed side by side on the tables, and the food is sorted into plates by the guests themselves.
  • Wine Chiller is a special nozzle used to quickly cool wine to the desired temperature. The chiller is tightly inserted into the neck of the bottle, passing through it, the wine is instantly cooled and at the same time saturated with oxygen.
  • Papadu (papadam) - traditional crunchy cakes made from a special flour consisting of chickpeas, lentils or rice, as well as spices.
  • Roshi is a flat, yeast-free bread, a traditional food of the indigenous Maldivians.
  • Bondi is the main dessert of the Maldives. Represents white coconut sticks. They are made from the pulp of coconuts and stored and transported wrapped in banana leaves.
  • Teashop - small budget cafes serving a variety of traditional Maldivian cuisine. Located only on local islands.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Culture, traditions

  • Divehi is the official language of the Maldives. It has a Tana script based on the Arab-Persian script. Words are read from right to left.
  • Kadhamali is an ancient exotic dance of the Maldivians, preserved only in the southern atolls. Performing kadhamali is a rare phenomenon that can be seen during traditional festivals.
  • Thaara is a local dance, the name of which comes from the word “tambourine” in the Divehi language. It is performed by more than two dozen people sitting opposite each other in two rows.
  • Bandiya jehun is a music show in which girls and boys take part. The peculiarity of the action is that the artists use rhythmic beats on metal dishes filled with water as musical accompaniment to their chants.

Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Shopping, souvenirs

  • Coconut sausage is a traditional Maldivian delicacy consisting of coconut flakes and nuts.
  • Black corals are amazingly beautiful polyps that you want to bring with you as a souvenir. It is important to know that it is prohibited to export items raised from the bottom of the sea from the Republic of Maldives, in particular corals and products made from them. An exception is souvenirs made by officially certified manufacturers.
  • Sarong - traditional clothing for women and men, beautiful and soft to the touch, popular among tourists as a souvenir.

Business tourism

  • MICE is an acronym for Meetings-Incentive-Conferences-Events. The sphere of the business travel industry related to the organization and conduct of meetings, conferences and other events.
  • Event - a public event of an entertainment or advertising nature.
  • Team building - a special type of event for employees, organized for the full development of the company. Team building is one of the most effective HR management tools.
  • Quest is a sports and intellectual team game, during which teams solve logical problems, conduct searches on the terrain, build optimal routes for movement, look for original solutions and tips.
  • Cruise - sea (oceanic, river) travel by ship. The most popular in the Maldives are cruises on comfortable premium yachts. During the cruise, you can swim, sunbathe, fish, dive, or even visit a desert island.

Kandolhu Maldives Resort
Kandolhu Maldives Resort

Excursions and Holidays

Islam is the official religion in the Maldives. It is important for travelers not to violate the main rules that are adopted here (during excursions, do not go into churches in too open clothes, do not drink alcohol), respect the traditions and faith of the local population. Many holidays in the Maldives have a religious basis and are celebrated according to the Islamic lunar calendar, that is, they have “floating” dates.

  • Ramadan is the main religious event for the Maldivians. This is the month of holy fasting throughout the Muslim world. During Ramadan, believers should not eat during the daytime, drink, smoke or have intimate relationships.
  • Kuda Eid - a holiday of the birth of a new moon. Celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Minaret - in Islamic culture, this is the name of the tower from which the muezzin calls believers to prayer. The minaret is compositionally located next to the mosque.
  • Namaz is a Muslim prayer, one of the main pillars of Islam. Namaz is performed 5 times during the day and includes five obligatory prayers.
  • Eid al-Adha is the holiday of the end of the thirty-day fast in the month of Ramadan. On this day, traditional dishes are prepared, and after the festive prayer, festive tables are laid, they go to visit, rejoice and have fun.

Kanuhura Maldives
Kanuhura Maldives


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