The Maldives is a nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, that spans across the equator. While the country covers an area of approximately 90,000 square kilometers, only 298 square kilometers of that is dry land.
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Depending on where you choose to live in the Greater Male' area (Male', Hulhumale or Villingili), shopping for groceries is relatively easy as there are retail outlets of bigger chains within a close proximity and small grocery shops around every corner. Most shops are open from morning 8 am to 10 pm at night with shops closed for every prayer break. There are few shops open 24 hours and also offer online shopping as well.
Greater Malé is made up of 3 islands. Malé, Hulhumalé and Villingili. Living in the Greater Male' area is fairly easy where all essential services you need on a daily basis are usually within a close proximity. Generally everyone speaks or at least understands English. Streets are safe to walk at all times.
The Maldivian official currency is Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) (1$= MVR15.42). The dollar exchange rate is fixed in Maldives. If you choose to work at FISM, you salary will be paid half in MVR and half in USD.
FISM is situated in Male'. Hulhumale is connected to Male' via a bridge that connects through the main International Airport of Maldives. You can travel by bus, taxi or ferry to reach Male'. You can also choose to drive on your own via motorbike or car. It roughly takes 10-15 minutes to reach Male via the bridge and 20 minutes via ferry. From Villingili, you can take a 7 minute ferry ride to reach Male.
There are 2 government hospitals and 2 private hospitals in the Greater Male' area, with many smaller private clinics and pharmacies. Staff of FISM has medical insurance which covers the majority of services provided by any of these hospitals
Accommodation Living space in Malé is quite limited as it is one the most densely populated cities in the world. We recommend and provide most of our accommodation in Hulhumalé - a more planned and green city with a long stretch of beach nearby. All utilities and general services can be paid online.
Going to the beach is possible throughout the year. There is always a beach within close proximity in the Greater Malé region. Walks on the beach, gyms and sports facilities are available on all 3 islands. During holidays and weekends, Maldivian resorts and Guest Houses offer special deals for expatriates working in Maldives.
There are lots of restaurants open from morning till midnight and delivery services available throughout the day. Alcohol is not allowed on islands inhabited by locals. However, alcohol is available to expatriates at the airport hotel, 30 minutes ride from Hulhumalé or Malé.