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Travellers forbidden from bringing alcohol to Maldives holidays

  • 15-Apr-11 12:15
  • Maldives
  • Holiday Industry

Travellers taking Maldives holidays will not be permitted to bring any alcohol into the Indian Ocean nation from 1st May 2011, and if any is found on passengers upon arrival it will be confiscated and not returned.

Travellers forbidden from bringing alcohol to Maldives holidays

From 1st May, 2011, travellers will not be allowed to bring alcohol with them during their holidays to the Maldives.

According to changes in the Maldives Customs Law, passengers taking Maldives holidays will no longer be able to carry alcohol and produces of pig items into the country, and if any items are found on travellers, they will be confiscated near the Customs check in area to a "drop box" provided by the Maldives Customs Services.

Previously, tourists taking holidays in Maldives were allowed to store any items of alcohol at the Airport Customs bond and collect them back before their departure flight but the increase of Maldives flights has made it impossible to accommodate the storage facilities for the increasing number of passengers arriving and departing to and from Maldives holidays.

The new regulation will take effect from 1st May 2011 and will be communicated to passengers via a notice boards and advertisements at the airport.

Inhabited islands in the Maldives are prohibited from serving alcohol and uninhabited islands are allowed to serve beer, wine and spirits at tourist resorts and Maldives hotels. Until now the system has worked well but recent happenings at Hulhumale beach where tourists were spotted drinking alcohol and wearing bikinis has raised concern for tourism officials, especially since the recent rise in travellers going on Maldives holidays.

Mohamed Ibrahim ‘Sim’, Secretary General of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), said: “The way it is currently structured is that alcohol is banned and there is a dress code for inhabited islands. Unless the regulations are changed – and I’m not saying they should be relaxed – tourist areas will need to be separated from local areas. In Male’ people cannot drink alcohol openly and nobody wears bikinis – it isn’t a problem.”

Under the new customs law, the following items are prohibited from the Maldives: religious materials offensive to Islam, idols (for worship), pornographic material, narcotics and psychotropic substances, and live pigs.

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