The Maldives is known as the numero uno tourist magnet in the world. We all have a secret desire to visit the country once in our lifetime to enjoy the serene beauty of the blue ocean, white beaches. But let me tell you that just like other small countries, Maldives also suffer from many social and economical problems you can't even think of. And after COVID-19 pandemic their economy is now at the lowest point of all time. But first, enjoy the familiar Maldives.
Now, let's uncover those dark secrets which only a Maldivian knows.
The Maldives only have bits of land scattered across the ocean and it is not as dreamy as one might think. Islands are made up of coral, the soil is not fertile enough. So they totally depend on neighbouring countries. This country is not even capable of producing 10% of the total consumables. Tourism is the only cash inflow the Maldives has. And with COVID-19 pandemic that income has come to an end. Survival is much tougher nowadays for an average Maldivian.
Huge expense is another big disadvantage for local residents. Maldives ranks 60 worldwide at GDP per person per capita. So, you may think it should be a little expensive than other Asian countries. But in the Maldives only 200 sqft. apartment cost as low as $2000 USD. It can cost a hefty $5000 USD to live comfortably with a family. Normally people use to share apartments to lower the rent. To make it worse other amenities like foods, furniture and internet also come at a luxurious price. If you wish to use 1GB data per day, get ready to spend $100 USD per month.
This is another common thing for any other Asian countries. But here it extends to a new dimension. As the country suffers from a scarcity of landmass, having land of your own is a dream of a millionaire. Most of the lands are own by government officials or few rich people hiding behind corporate logos. They influence the government heavily. Passing any law in favour of reducing expenses means a loss for them.
Only For Tourists
The beautiful huts and the resorts you see in pictures are not at all for residents, they are made only for tourists. Maldivians don't even get a chance to see those from inside if they are not super-rich. There are many facilities in the Maldives which are accessible only if you are a tourist. Business owners don't like the risk of losing money by letting locals use those facilities. They don't write those words directly but their behaviour explains it all.
A few miles and a short boat ride from the Maldivian capital, Malé, Thilafushi began life as a reclamation project in 1992. The artificial island was built to solve Malé's refuse problem. But today, with more than 10,000 tourists a week in the Maldives adding their waste, the rubbish island now covers 50 hectares (124 acres). Some of the waste is incinerated but most are buried in landfill sites. No one talks about it and nobody goes there apart from a few workers.
Circles Of Hell
The main reason why someone can't open a new firm or business is because of limited land and skyrocketing rent. You may want to start a small firm, but WHERE? Believe it or not, people pay at least $8,000 USD to rent a small office room. By small, I mean TINY. So basically, you have nowhere to go. One can only think of getting a job - mostly in the tourism sector. It pays a good amount of money, but saving is not an option here. Earning good money does not lead to riches in the Maldives.
Every year few millions tourists visit the beautiful country to enjoy their vacation. But most are whisked off to uninhabited resort islands before even knowing the true essence of the Maldives. Those dark truths might change your perception about the country but don't make those change your decision to visit Maldives. Because the country depends on you and going there is the only way you can help it!