Friendly people, a safe environment, white sandy beaches, shiny and blue shades of water, and incredible marine animals attract millions of tourists every year. It’s no wonder why so many people worldwide want to move to the Maldives.
If you are one of those, who have decided to relocate to the Maldives, the first thing is figuring out general expenses once you get there.
SDC International Shipping has prepared this article to provide the information you need to know about the cost of living in the Maldives. We hope it will help you get ready to take root on one of the islands of this archipelago country.
The Maldives in Comparison to the US Cities
One of the first things to consider is how much US dollars will be equivalent to Maldivian Rufiyaa, how far it gets you, and the handling charges you need to pay to exchange your money.
Especially if you will be paid in US dollars, you’ll have to deal with currency exchanges pretty often.
Unfortunately, most banks and hotels with money exchange services tend to uprate the fees to increase their profits.
The only dedicated exchange counter in the Maldives is at the Bank of Maldives Foreign Exchange in the airport’s arrival hall.
Once you’ve sorted out the currency exchange, you’ll get the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), called laari and represented by the currency symbol Rf. One US dollar is equivalent to 15.45 Rufiyaa.
In addition, the table below contrasts some basic costs of living in the Maldives and some major cities in the US, so you can picture general pricing for everyday expenses.
|Comparing basic costs (in the center)||1-bedroom apartment||Meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant||Transportation monthly pass|
|Maldives (Male)||13,048Rf ($844)||525,00Rf ($33)||$43Rf|
The Most Expensive and Cheapest Islands in the Maldives
Islands across the Maldives can vary significantly in how expensive or affordable they are. See below the following list of the top expensive islands in the Maldives.
Prices at local islands, such as Bidu Huraa and Addu City, are more reasonable.
The General Cost of Living in the Maldives
|Total Living Expenses in the Maldives||Average Cost|
|One person (without rent)||$1,286 (per month)|
|One person (without rent)||$15,432 (per year)|
|Family of four (without rent)||$2,841 (per month)|
|Family of four (without rent)||$34,092 (per year)|
The Average Salaries in the Maldives
When it comes to the cost of living in the Maldives, the other factor is how much you’ll earn. Depending on the position you plan to take in the Maldives, your salary could differ hugely. If you are going to start everything from scratch, the charts below will give you an understanding of the wage you can expect in your industry in the Maldives.
|The Maldives||Average salary|
|Information Technology||32,181 MVR ($2,083)|
|Electrical and Power Engineering||21,973 MVR ($1,422)|
|General Labor||15,600 MVR ($971)|
|Human Resources||24,044 MVR ($1,553)|
|Economy Finance, Accountancy||23,136 MVR ($1,498)|
|Customer Support||18,150 MVR ($1,175)|
|Car Industry||20,379 MVR ($1,319)|
|Banking||25,379 MVR ($1,643)|
|Administration||17,354 MVR ($1,123)|
|Construction and Real estate||23, 102 MVR ($1,495)|
|Marketing and Advertising||22,185 MVR ($1,436)|
|Management||31,991 MVR ($2,071)|
|Medicine and Social Care||18,713 MVR ($1,211)|
|Telecommunications||24, 693 MVR ($1,598)|
Housing and Accommodation in the Maldives
No matter which country you are heading to, rent will always comprise a significant part of your budget. You will spend about 30% to 50% of your monthly expenses.
The charts below list rent prices throughout the two main administrative divisions in the Maldives.
|Rent in Male||Average monthly cost|
|Small Apartment||12,625Rf /$817 (in center) or 8,714Rf/$564 (outside center)|
|Large apartment||26,222Rf/$1,697 (in center) or 20,250Rf/$1,311 (outside center)|
|Rent in Hulhumale||Average monthly cost|
|Small Apartment||13,666Rf /$884 (in center) or 10,000Rf/$647 (outside center)|
|Large apartment||30,000Rf /$1,942 (in center) or 28,000Rf /$1,812 (outside center)|
Healthcare and Dental Costs in the Maldives
The Maldives has two major hospitals in Male that provide general and specialty healthcare services, surgeries, and advanced diagnosis: Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and ADK Private Hospital.
A public free healthcare coverage applies to expats legally residing in the Maldives. If you are a foreign worker, your employer will pay $6,500 per year for your coverage. It includes doctor’s visits, diagnostics tests, emergency hospitalization and treatments, prescribed medications, and some dental services.
However, it is recommended to have a private healthcare package to cover you in case of serious health issues, when a transfer to a hospital in another country is required, etc.
Travel and Transportation Costs are in the Maldives
Male is the biggest city in the Maldives, but it’s still very compact, so you can easily walk to get where you need, and it will only take only 15 minutes. Buses are also available, although not very reliable. Locals prefer to use speedboats to travel from one island to another. Motorbikes are also very popular in the Maldives.
|Transportation and vehicle prices||Average cost|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||10.97Rf ($0.71)|
|Monthly pass||678Rf ($44)|
|On-way ticket||20Rf ($1.29)|
|Taxi tariff (1 km)||25Rf ($1.62)|
|New Car (e.g., Toyota Corolla Sedan, Volkswagen Golf)||516,666Rf ($33,441) – 700,000Rf ($45,307)|
Education Costs in the Maldives
Maldivians offers a free public school system for children up to grade 12. For post-secondary education, prices in the Maldives are lower than in the US.
The chart below will give you an idea of school costs in the Maldives.
|School||Average cost per 1 Child|
|Preschool/kindergarten per month||2,412Rf ($156)|
|International Primary School per year||51,333Rf ($3,323)|
|Bachelor’s program, 6 semesters in the Maldives National University||19,807Rf ($1,282)|
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in the Maldives?
Everybody has different living standards when it comes to achieving financial comfort. Most Maldivians believe that 39,381Rf ($2,549) per month for a family or 11,663 ($800) per month for a single person without rent could offer a more comfortable life. If you are planning to retire in the Maldives, you are likely to enjoy the financial comfort from your retirement income.
All in all, this beautiful archipelago is not the cheapest place, but the cost of living in the Maldives is lower than what you are typically used to in the US. You will pay less for groceries, restaurants, housing, clothes, childcare, and even entertainment and sports.