It tickles me pink that they found me through random search in Google. Yay! But when I checked my posts, I found no substantial posts about Maldives. How disappointing.
So I've decided to write about the basic things I think expats (especially filipinos) may want to know about Maldives. This is a bit late considering we've moved to KL already. But as my mother always tells me, "it's better late than never".
Maldives - Sunny side of life
A lot of people still haven't heard about Maldives considering it is a very popular tourist destination. Somebody asked me before - Is it in Europe?
Maldives is part of South Asia. It is a string of islands (1190 islands) scattered over the Indian Ocean. Maldives is a very popular tourist destination for Europeans. It is famed for its turquoise, crystal clear water. When I was still there, there were around 90 resorts and a few more were slated to open that year. Maldives is unique because it is a one island, one resort style.
Maldives - Workplace
There are only two work destinations in Maldives:
1) Male (Capital) - Male is a small city. Don't expect to find ala Manila. No shopping malls, no big cinemas. If you're the type who can't live without malls, then Maldives is not the place for you.
Filipinos who are working in Male are usually employed in the Resort's Head office, Travel agency or in a Telecoms company. And oh, there are no bars/pubs too (unless you go to another island).
2) Resorts - Majority of Filipinos working in Maldives are working in the resorts as carpenters, singers, front office people, waiters, reservation officers, architects, managers, directors and chefs. I used to work in Fullmoon Maldives now called Sheraton Fullmoon Maldives (I love my stay there!) and was about to move to W Hotel Maldives but I got married and decided to become a full time wife and later a full time mother.
Cost of living in Maldives
Maldives is a relatively expensive place to live (my point of comparison is Manila). Land is scarce, thus the high rent on accommodation and everything is imported (grocery prices are triple sometimes quadruple the price in Manila). If you work in the resort, almost everything you need is provided for. But if you work and live in Male, you have to ask your employer to shoulder your accomodation expenses and ask for an additional transportation and food allowance. Based from my recollection, here's a list of items and its prices (calling my friends in Maldives, please correct me if I am wrong):
Apartment - $700 (1-bedroom fully furnished) $1,200 - $1500 (2-bedroom fully furnished)
Electricity - $60-75/month for a family or group of 4 people
Water - $25/month for a family or group of 4 people
Internet - $50/month
Lunch/Dinner in a resto - $7-10/meal or higher in fancy restaurants
Coffee - $1.50 (no Starbucks though)
Chicken - $4 apiece
Coke in can - 40cents
Filipino Society in Maldives
I don't know how many Filipinos are there exactly in Maldives. All I know is that it is increasing in number. They even have an "unofficial group" now. I heard they had fabulous party just over a month ago.
I was in Maldives for three years. And I can truly say I enjoyed my stay there. It may not be an expat's ideal place but Maldives is a nice place to work.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city then Maldives is the place for you. If you want to work abroad and save most of your earnings, then Maldives is the place for you.
I have to warn you though that there are no malls (like the ones we're used to in Phils), no Starbucks, no cinemas/movie theaters and other conveniences associated with big cities. If you're the type who cannot live without the above, then Maldives is definitely not the place for you.
Here are some pics while we were still in Maldives.
The place looks deserted! Well, it was a Friday morning and locals were probably still sleeping.
At the Male Jetty
At Biyadhoo Island Resort
At Kuda Bandos - one of the uninhabited islands. Great for Snorkeling