Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 26 August 2022, 12:18 NZST
  • Still current at: 16 April 2024

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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in the Maldives, including on Malé Island, due to the threat of terrorism (level 2 of 4).

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Civil unrest
Demonstrations and protests sometimes occur on Malé Island. In the past, some demonstrations have resulted in violence between police, military and demonstrators. 

New Zealanders travelling to Malé Island are advised to exercise increased caution, particularly at night, and avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little warning. We recommend monitoring local media to stay informed of developments and adhering to any restrictions or instructions issued by the local authorities.

There is a threat of terrorism in the Maldives. Public places, including tourist locations, could be targeted. There have been several terrorist incidents in recent years. On 6 May 2021, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated in Central Malé, injuring a high-profile politician and several bystanders. In March 2020, there was an arson attack on a police speedboat in Laamu Gan and in February 2020, there was a stabbing attack on three foreigners in Hulhumalé. 

New Zealanders in the Maldives are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising vigilance in public places.

Petty crime such as bag snatching, pickpocketing and petty theft occurs in Maldives. Thieves have stolen items left unattended on the beach or in hotel rooms. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings and take steps to secure their personal belongings at all times. 

Some gang and drug-related violence, including knife crime, also occurs,  including in Malé and on Hulhumalé. While this typically occurs away from exclusive resort islands, exercise caution and remain vigilant.

General travel advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include life imprisonment. 

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious, social and cultural traditions in Maldives to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour. It is illegal to publicly observe or import religious material related to any religion other than Islam.

The importation of alcohol into Maldives is illegal, as is the consumption of alcohol (unless at a resort island).

The sea around the Maldives can be dangerous due to strong tidal currents. You should always take local advice before entering the sea. Several drownings occur each year.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Maldives should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Maldives are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand High Commission Colombo, Sri Lanka is accredited to Maldives

Street Address Unit 2401−2402, Level 24 One Galle Face Tower 1A Centre Road, Galle Face 00200 Colombo Sri Lanka Postal Address Unit 2401−2402, Level 24 One Galle Face Tower 1A Centre Road, Galle Face 00200 Colombo Sri Lanka Telephone +94 11 217 4717 Email Web Site

See our regional advice for South Asia

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Accredited New Zealand High Commission Sri Lanka

Street Address
Unit 2401−2402, Level 24 One Galle Face Tower 1A Centre Road, Galle Face 00200 Colombo Sri Lanka

Telephone: +94 11 217 4717



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