Social Life in the Maldives
Most of the behavioral rules and restrictions in the Maldives are related to Islam,
beginning with the conservative dress (above), but more important are their dietary
restrictions. Islamic law forbids pork products and alcohol; fortunately, there
is little expectation that you follow these rules unless you are in public. Few
restaurants serve pork products and if they do it is in a resort, in which no local
will be offended at your order. Alcohol is only available in resorts; in fact hotels
expect you to drink alcohol as it makes up a part of their income and appeal to
the foreigner. However, alcohol isn't available outside resorts and public intoxication
(outside your resort) is forbidden, even if you only had one or two drinks. See
our Maldives Dining & Food Page
for further details.
In addition to following the dress restrictions mentioned below and following the
local dining etiquette, the most important behavioral restrictions are basic courtesy.
Avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business
unless initiated by your local counterpart.