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Maldives Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Maldives is in Southern Asia. The Maldives consist of over a thousand coral islands, grouped in twenty-six major atolls, in the Indian Ocean.

Male is the capital of the Republic.

The islands are flat with sandy beaches. The climate is tropical.

Environment
The islands of the Maldives are low-lying; between three and six feet above sea level.

The Maldives first National Environmental Action Plan was developed in 1989. One environmental measure was the introduction of a tree planting programme throughout the country. Protected Marine Areas were also established.

Birds are protected under the Environment Protection and Preservation Act. Over a hundred and fifty bird species can be found in the Maldives. These include the Glossy Ibis, Pacific Golden Plover, Maldivian Pond Heron, Red-footed Booby and Great Frigatebird.

The Maldives is well known for marine life. A variety of colourful fish, such as clownfish and parrotfish, inhabit the waters and coral reefs surrounding the islands.

Architecture
Unlike other islands in the Maldives, Male's skyline is increasingly dominated by high-rise office blocks and apartments. The golden dome of the Grand Friday Mosque is a prominent landmark in the capital.

Old buildings in Male include a number of mosques and markets. The Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miski), built in 1656, is famous for intricate carvings and decorative work.

Population
The population of Maldives was estimated at 385,925 in 2008.

Languages
Maldivian Dhivehi is the language of the Republic of Maldives. English is spoken by most government officials.

Religion
The people of the Republic of Maldives are Sunni Muslims.

Food
Fish, such as tuna, is an important part of the Maldivian diet. Rice is also a staple food. Coconut and spices are used in recipes. Fruit is often added to curries. Flat bread is eaten.

Vegetables grown are breadfruit, onions, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and taro. Fruit available includes bananas, mangoes, papayas and watermelons.

The Republic of the Maldives is an Islamic country and residents do not drink alcohol.

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