12 Things Maldives Leads the World In

Maldives world champion

An update to “Maldives, the Best Of” for Maldives National Day adds several new items. For a country so small, it sure commands a big number of superlatives. Not surprisingly, most concern its uncanny natural beauty and the throngs of visitors drawn to it from around the world (detail links in the title word of each bullet).

  1. Skinniest – Length to width that surpasses Chile.
    Maldives overview map
  2. Lowest Lying – Another topological distinction making the Maldives the poster child for the vulnerability of AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) to the rising seas of global warming.Maldives sand spit
  3. Snorkeling – Simply. The best. In the world. A side effect of being just the right elevation (islands in the South Pacific “tower” much higher at hundreds of feet, and a place like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is most submerged leaving fewer islands and shallow lagoons).
    Snorkeling
  4. Traffic Safety – As chaotic as Male traffic might seem, you are safer than you think (but I would still cross carefully).
    Maldives traffic
  5. Divorce – It takes more than enchanting paradise to secure lifelong romance. The country renowned as the top honeymoon destination just happens to also have the highest divorce rate in the world.
    Dead rose on Maldives beach
  6. Resort Density – Many popular destinations offer hundreds of resorts and tourism is the leading contributor to their GDP, but none more so than the Maldives.
    Anantara Maldives neighbourhood
  7. Airport Density – And along similar lines to #6, despite being the 8th smallest country in the world, the Maldives has 10 airports.  An airport every 30 kilometres.
    Maldives airports
  8. Plastic Water Bottle Refuse Density – And a more dubious density distinction of the most plastic water bottles discarded into the ocean.
    Maldives plastic water bottles
      
  9. Water Villas – Water Villas originated in the South Pacific resorts of Bali (where local maritime culture had had villas on stilts for centuries, but the Maldives has taken them to a whole new dimension.
    Gili Lankanfushi - residence water villa
  10. HotelsUSA Today reports this week, “The island chain in the north Indian Ocean is *the* place to be. That’s according to TripAdvisor. The site ranked the Top 25 Hotels in the World and 3 are in the Maldives. The only country with more than 2 countries on the list. Including #1, Gili Lankanfushi.” Also includes Cocoa Island #6 and Constance Moofushi #15 (thanks Mom).TripAdvisor Top 25 Hotels of the World
  11. Beaches The Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI) developed by Norstat and dp2research found “Maldives comes out, less surprisingly, on top worldwide with a segment score of 9.5 in the ‘beaches’ category.”
  12. Safety – The same Norstat/dp2reseach found Maldives ‘safely’ on top of the worldwide list in the category of…safety:  “Safety wise, no other destination of the world came close to Maldives which held an index value of 9.4 while the closest European destination was Austria with a score of 8.9 and similarly Maldives landed top spot in accommodation with an index score of 9.4 once again.”

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