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The Maafushi Story


Maafushi is one of the most popular local islands in Maldives. It is located in South Male Atoll just 25 km away from Male’ and the Velana International Airport. It is one of the three local islands in the South Male’ Atoll, and has a local population of about 2,700.

Prior to 2010, Maafushi was an island with a small population of about 2,000 locals, mostly depending on fishing, and public sector jobs. The Island had a few souvenir shops targeting those tourists who would visit Maafushi on ‘Island-hopping’ trips, arranged by the Resorts nearby. Those were the days when tourist were allowed only in separate Island Resorts. Having hotels and guest houses in local islands were not allowed. Naturally, the residents of Maafushi, or any local island in the country did not get the direct benefits of the country’s tourism industry. Apart from fishing, most youth and others had to depend on the low-paying Government jobs, that were also very limited in number. However, the local residents have always been very hospitable and friendly in nature, and also very enterprising as well.

This was very evident, when the Government in year 2010 amended laws allowing tourist establishments in local islands, Maafushi residents were the first to open guest houses for tourists. The local entrepreneurs started investing on guest rooms, diving centers, restaurants, and other guest facilities, and over the past 13 years, Maafushi has become the ‘hub’ of guest house tourism in the Maldives. The local residents are now able to obtain the direct benefits of tourism revenue, and lead a better life. As a result, there are improvements in the health facilities, cleanliness of the Island, and educational opportunities for the children and youth.

Maafushi now has more than 55 Guest Houses in operation, with over 800 guest rooms, and it is the local inhabited island with most number of guest houses and guest beds in the country. The island has a friendly pool of local and foreign professionals serving guests, and has to offer a variety of activities.

Available activities in Maafushi include, diving, water sports, excursions, fishing trips, and cultural shows. There are also many dining options with specialty restaurants.


Emergency Contacts 

Maafushi Hospital: +960 6640410 

Maafushi Police Station: +960 9790091

Secretariat of Maafushi Council: +960 6640073