Are you planning a beautiful and exotic honeymoon to the Maldives?  Read on to learn about their customs, manners, and etiquette.

Gestures and Manners

The majority of the indigenous population does not comingle with the tourist visitors.  However, this excludes those involved with tourism in the resorts and Malé.

The people of Maldives are warm and accommodating as long as they are treated with respect. While the Maldives is an island country, its customs and manners do not differ very much from our own countries.

Meeting & Greeting

When meeting a local for the first time, a handshake is the most common form of greeting.

Greetings between a man and a woman may involve a handshake which is a common greeting.  However, a simple nod or slight bow is appropriate because men and women generally do not engage in physical contact. Allow the woman to offer her hand first. If the woman does not, then a nod is the best practice.  Maldivians are very conservative and follow Islamic religion and its beliefs.


When a Maldivian friend invites you to their home, be certain to remove your shoes or slippers upon entering their house. Leave them at the front door along with the owner’s footwear.

Dining Etiquette

At the dining table, visitors should wait until all guests are seated before eating. Eating before everyone is seated is considered rude and disrespectful.

It is polite to sample everything that you are offered. Otherwise, the host and/or hostess or chef would find it somewhat offensive if you turn down something that they dedicated time and effort to prepare. Additionally, avoid eating everything on your plate as this might indicate that you were not offered enough food.  Your host and/or hostess may feel insulted.

When you invite Maldivian friends to a restaurant, you are expected pay the bill.

Eating pork and drinking alcohol is not allowed in Islam, so it would be best to avoid offering it to anyone. However, tourists are allowed to partake in these indulgences.

Gift Giving Etiquette

If you wish to give parting gifts at the time of your departure, Maldivians gracefully accept any gift that is given to them.  However, this does not mean that it is necessary nor are the Maldivians expected to return the favor. Every gift is accepted with gratitude, especially an item from your country or something that is unavailable in the Maldives.