The Maldives is not the most shopper-friendly destination. Like everything else it doesn’t come cheap. However, there are several places to curb visiting shopaholics. Home to number of popular items, be sure to bring back a famous Maldivian handicraft lacquered wooden boxes and a reed mat.
Male is the center of commerce in the Maldives, both politics and retail. The city is home to a number of important shopping areas which shouldn’t be overlooked. Head to Chaandanee Magu, which is said to be the best souvenir spot in the country. Many intricate wooden items can be found along with regular gifts like clothes and key chains.
A great range of goods can be found in the Male Market. The hawkers are renowned for their bargaining skills, so put your negotiating to the test to see what kind of bargains you can end up with. Even if you don’t buy anything, the thrilling atmosphere is enough to astound and delight.
When purchasing goods, be aware that the Maldives has a very strict customs ban on the exportation of turtles, turtle shell, and coral. It is best not to purchase anything related to this as there is a large chance it will be confiscated before leaving the country.
The Maldives trading hours are open from Saturday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. with shortened Friday hours from 1:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Shops also close sporadically for fifteen minutes during the daytime for Muslim prayer rituals.