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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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What to Wear in The Maldives – Dress Code Guide in Maldives

What to wear in the Maldives is a common concern among all those intending to visit this destination. It's a tropical country but it is also a Muslim country; so you will need to find a balance.


Resort Beach Attire

Tucked away in individual islands, the many Maldives luxury resorts are among the most private places in this destination. If there is one place you can comfortably feel free in anything your heart desires, it is probably at the resorts. Take the PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi for instance, surrounded right round by beaches you will invariably find yourself in swimwear the whole day. You may wonder what the stand on bikinis is in Maldives and rest assured it is perfectly acceptable at resorts. However if you want to enjoy skinny dipping of any sort be aware that nudity and topless bathing is against the law. There is also the option of getting into a pair of shorts or any form of loose and comfortable clothing. Be mindful that the weather in Maldives is hot and humid year round hence short, airy clothing are the most comfortable to wear. As for footwear, flip flops and sandals are your most comfortable options. Keep your heels back at home. Even dinners here have a smart casual dress code.


Restaurants and Reception Attire

Even if you are in a resort be mindful of your attire when you walk into a restaurant or the reception for instance. Butt shorts and extreme exposure is relatively frowned upon so best cover up with a sarong or a beach dress that is not transparent to avoid any unpleasant encounters of any sort. If you want more clarification, it is best to check with your own resort. Not all resorts have the same rules when it comes to what is expected of guests; some for instance even expect the shoulders to be covered in public areas. As for men, shorts that are not too short and three quarter pants are the best option; there is not a lot to choose from so men do not have too many problems with attire to begin with.


Male and Other Local Islands Attire

The freedom in liquor and attire in resorts cannot be expected in a conservative city like Male. When it comes to clothing it is best to maintain modesty in places like Male and other local islands. Do remember that this is a conservative Muslim nation. To stay on the safe side make sure you are covered from shoulders to knees even when visiting beaches other than at resort islands. This applies for both males as well as females. However not all local islands are the same. In some guest houses, tourists have access to 'bikini beaches' where it is acceptable for tourists to get into swimwear in public places.