Male is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Maldives.
The city of Male is located on an island in Kaafu Atoll. The population of Male is 105,000 people. Traditionally, Male is considered the Royal Island, from which the Maldives has been ruled by dynasties of royal families since ancient times. The name of the capital of the Maldives comes from the Sanskrit words Mahaalay – Big or Great and aalay – Home.
According to andyeducation, Male island is only 2 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, completely built up with buildings, covered with roads, and therefore there are very few open spaces. At the same time, Male remains a clean and tidy city with mosques, markets, a labyrinth of small streets, wrapped in a veil of charm. Officially, the population of the capital is about 65,000 people, but together with foreign workers, tourists and residents of other islands who often come here, the city usually has 100,000.
The size of the island has been doubled through the implementation of land restoration projects, and one of the islands is located the airport. The government plans to develop other islands to reduce pressure on the island of Male.
Directly in front of the pier, opposite the Republican Park, is the Islamic Center, the main building of which is the Grand Mosque. Its golden domes sparkle so brightly that they can be seen from the sea as you approach Male from the north. Across the road – Sultansky Park and the National Museum. Its exposition presents a large collection of clothes and jewelry of the sultans and interesting pre-Islamic statues found during the archaeological excavations of Thor Heyerdahl.
Among the unique monuments are the head of the Buddha statue from the island of Thoddoo, dating back to the pre-Islamic period, and a wooden panel from the 13th century, covered with ancient inscriptions. Fruit, vegetable and wood markets are never empty and are picturesque places where islanders from other atolls trade their goods. The nearby fish market is initially empty while the fish are being caught, and in the afternoon fishermen begin to flock here with their prey. Fishermen cutting and cleaning fish have turned this process into an art.
It is a clean and well developed area that attracts many tourists and gives a glimpse of the life of a typical Maldivian fisherman. Other attractions are the Singapore Bazaar – a cluster of shops – selling quality local handicrafts and Maldivian and imported trinkets and souvenirs.
In addition, there are shops selling electronics, marine equipment, fishing equipment and household goods for local villages. In many small teahouses you can have a bite to eat, smoke and chat with the locals. There are no tall buildings here, and there are many more bicycles than cars.
It is almost impossible to get lost in Male, all the streets lead to three big roads. There are many hotels on the island. Each hotel has its own pleasure boat, where you can cruise around the archipelago for several days.
Artificial beach – this phrase may surprise in a country known for natural beaches, but the residents of Male have really chosen an artificial beach built on the eastern side of the capital. The beach is ideal for swimming enthusiasts and those who do not have the opportunity to get to the nearby islands.
In the north of Male there is an art action park, there are also restaurants, cafes, shops. The country has four local airports. Local airline Island Aviation operates scheduled flights from Male International Airport to the Gan Islands in Siinu Atoll, Kadhdu in Laamu Atoll, Kaadedhdu in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and Hanimadhoo in Haa Dhalu Atoll. There are no scheduled passenger and cargo ships between Male and the atolls, although sea transportation is quite frequent.
Male is the commercial center of the country with a wide range of shops to meet the needs of residents arriving from the islands. Small shops on the outskirts of the capital can receive visitors as early as 6 am, while shops on the main streets open at about 10 am. All shops close at 23:00 and also for short 15-minute prayer breaks.