Male, Maldives

Malé is the capital, the seat of government and the center of trade, commerce, business, health, education and also the largest city (in terms of population) in the Republic of Maldives. It is located at the southern edge of North Male' Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). Although Malé is geographically located in Kaafu Atoll, administratively it is not considered part of it. The central part of the city is formed by Malé Island. Three more islands are part of the city. A commercial harbour is located on Malé Island. It is the heart of all commercial activities in the country. Male is a small island buzzing with the sounds and activities of more than 150,000 people, which is more than one third of the entire population., Male' is perhaps the smallest urban capital in the world.

Attractions & Sights

Male' is a small but busy capital, it is the island in the whole of Maldives that allows a glimpse into Maldivian urban life which is very different from the lifestyles in the resorts or the other inhabited islands.

The Islamic Centre is not only the most famous architectural landmark in Male', but also houses one of the biggest and the finest mosques in the southeast Asian region. The grand mosque that accommodates more than 5,000 people; its golden dome and minaret are standouts that can be seen before reaching the shores of Male' and the ornate woodcarvings and Arabic calligraphy inside are magnificent tributes to the talents of Maldivians.

The Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque) built in 1656 is another facinating monument that is an essential stop on any tour of Male'. All the walls in the mosque are built with coral stones intricately carved with Arabic calligraphy and ornamental patterns; the roof, window frames and doors made of different kind of wood such as teak, sandalwood and redwood. This mosque also displays breathtakingly Beautiful coral carvings and expert lacquer work done by Maldivians. There are also a number of ancient tombstone erected in memory of past sultans, heroes and nobles in the mosque compound.

Medhu Ziyaaraiy is the shrine of Abu-al Barakath Yusuf al Barbaree - the Moroccan scholar believed to be responsible for the advent of islam in the Maldives in 1153 AD. Muleeaage next to the Medhu Ziyaaraiy was originally built by Sultan Shamsudheen III for his son just before the First World War. The building was declared a government property when the sultan was banished in May 1936. Since then it has been used as an office complex by subsequent governments and also as a presidential palace.

The Fish Market is a bustiling center where local fishermen sell their daily catches. Buy a fish for yourself or take a stroll along the jetty to find a long line of local fishing vessels. Opposite the fish market is the local market where you would find fruits, vegetables and other products brought in from the islands.

Seaside cafe's are numerous and most are located along the coast of the Henveiru district. Witness the local coffee culture and be part of it as you sip your coffee while gazing at the sea.

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