The Maldives consists of about 1190 small low-lying coral islands of which few of them are, just a meter above sea level. These islands stretch more than 800 km from north to south covering a total area of about 90,000 square km. Ninety nine percent the total area of is water.
About 200 islands are inhabited while 93 islands are developed as holiday resort islands. The fragile house reefs of these islands act as a barrier of protection from tides and waves. These reefs also contribute to the formation of sand and supports of the vibrant marine life. It also acts as a habitat to thousands of tiny and large organisms.
About 298,000 according to 2006 census. Origin of the Maldivians are lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 3,000 years ago. Early settlers were travellers on the Silk Route and from the Indus Valley Civilisation. Inherently warm, friendly and hospitable by nature, it is easy to feel comfortable and relaxed with a Maldivian.
The tropical climate, white beaches and rich marine environment have made the country a tourist magnet for the past 35 years. The Maldives as the 14th century Moroccan traveller described as “one of the wonders of the world” today is said to be second to none for sun lovers, beach wanderers, scuba divers, surfers and those who seek peace in its simplest form.