Male – The Capital City of Maldives
Maldives Male – The capital
Male’ would absolutely count as one of the tiniest capitals in the world in terms of its natural size. One third of the country’s population, about 75,000 live in Male’. Really different from any other island in the country, Male city buildings are tall and concreted roads.
While the government offices are located in one area, the main streets are lined with shops and offices. In the old bazaar area which still houses the country’s hub of wholesale and retail trade, the lanes are so narrow that a single vehicle would find it difficult to steer through, especially with its crowds of busy people. There are no beaches on Male’; instead seawalls surround all its sides.
However, a newly landscaped artificial beach area and adjoining breakwater extending all the way round to the harbor in the southwest of the island provide a pleasant jogging route, especially popular in the evenings when it is cooler.
Male’ is still relatively green and pleasant. The streets in the residential areas are shaded with trees, at places forming a curve overhead. A fair number of main streets are lined with big trees providing shade on both sides. Even a walk around it would offer interesting sites and shots for the memories; the fish market and the local market at the northern waterfront, the new harbor in the south-west corner and the 400-year old Friday Mosque, to name a few.
A walk around the domestic areas or shopping streets would provide a perception into the life and livelihood of the residents of the capital. Or simply sit down and relax at one of the small parks dotted around the capital and just watch the stride of life. You may be astonished at the large number of motorized vehicles in Male’.
If you prefer, you could make a tour of the capital by taxi. Many taxi centers operate a number of comfortable, well-maintained taxis. The maximum rates that can be charged are set by the government; the basic fare for a single journey for four persons or less, from one point to another is MRf.15.00, luggage carried in the trunk is charged at the rate of MRf.5.00 per item, the basic charge increases to MRf.20.00, from 12.00 midnight to 06.00 in the morning and charters cost MRf.85.00 per hour.