You’ll come for the beaches, the warm weather, the underwater adventures and the comfortable resorts, but when you’re there, there’s no denying that the shopping is incredible. A shopping trip here is more than just a shopping trip. The weather is perfect, there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a snack or a meal, and just beautiful scenery everywhere to see as you go along your way.
Shopping in the Capital
In the capital city of Male, you’ll find everything everywhere, including local handicrafts, cheap clothing, perfume and jewelry. Although there are plenty of shopping venues all over Male, the best place to start is at the Chaandhanee Magu, or the Majeedhee Magu areas. Chaandhanee is a great place for souvenirs and gifts and local handicrafts, as well as brand-name goods. Chaandhanee used to be known as the Singapore Bazaar because it had so many imports from Singapore.
Small Local Shops Full of Surprises
Majeedhee is also a good place to spend an afternoon, with its many shops featuring beautiful jewelry and handbags, along with electronics, clothing, and perfume. Also, try the local shops near the Male Fish Market by the water. It’s just a wonderful place to spend an afternoon looking at the beautiful scenery—and while you’re taking it all in, you can stop in and enjoy all of the small shops at the bazaar there, selling handicrafts and locally produced souvenirs and goods.
One item you won’t want to miss are the lacquered, wooden boxes which are painstakingly hand-made by hollowing out solid hunks of wood from local trees. The detail is unbelievable, with intricate and beautiful designs. The reed mats that are woven locally are also available at most local shops, some decorated with very detailed and unique designs.
15 minutes 5 Times for Prayer
Because of its mostly Muslim population, the shops typically close for fifteen minutes, five times a day to accommodate Muslim prayer times. In some of the more touristy areas, the shops may stay open during the call to prayer, but even if you do encounter a closed shop, all you have to do is wait for fifteen minutes for the shopkeeper to return.
With so many tourists coming to Maldives to take in the exotic and tropical environs, you’ll find it easy to use your credit or debit cards here. Most vendors will take plastic, and you’ll also find ATM machines on the island.