Malé serves as the capital city of Maldives. The city is located on the southern edge of the North Malé Atoll and is densely populated with 133,412 people and an area of 2.2 square miles. The city is famous for its colorful buildings and mosques. It also hosts the Islamic Center that features a distinctive gold dome, a library, and a mosque. A popular fish market resides near the city's harbor.
History of the Capital of the Maldives
Initially, Malé city was the King’s Island that hosted the palace and acted as the central ruling place for the ancient royal dynasties, and from this role, the city was given the name Mahal. Moreover, fortifications and gates used to surround the city, a design that made it a walled city. After the abolition of monarchy in 1968, the Royal Palace was destroyed following the remodeling of the city during President Ibrahim Nasir’s regime. The bastions and the attractive forts were also demolished alongside the Royal Palace, but the Friday Mosque in the city remained. Recently, there has been a considerable expansion, which involves landfilling operations of the city (island). Furthermore, the political history of Malé shows that the city has been the central point of milestone events and political protests.
Government and Administration In Malé
The local government body that has the responsibility of running the administration of Malé is the Malé City Council. The council was formed following the Decentralization Bill enactment in 2011. The purpose of the bill was to introduce local governance in Maldives. Malé comprises of eleven political wards, each having its councilor, and a significant portion of these councilors belongs to the Maldivian Democratic Party. The councilors joined the second local council through the 2014 elections.
Economy of the Maldives
The biggest contributor to Maldives’ economy is tourism, which accounts for 28% of the country’s GDP and over 60% of her receipts from foreign exchange. In fact, more than 90% of tax revenues to government is from tourism-related taxes and import duties. Malé hosts the most critical aspects of the country, some being the many tourist attraction sites and the surrounding resorts. Besides, the city hosts the port of Maldives and the central harbor, which act as the center for all the commercial operations in the city and the country. Furthermore, the head offices of Maldivian and Flyme airlines are in Malé.
Maldives faces several crises in the infrastructural sector, the most common ones being the transportation and water crises. Particularly, the country’s capital city has only six miles of coral highways. The small number of cars in the entire island is the basis of the unknown total number of roads in Malé. Also, the city and country as a whole lack railways; however, there has been a considerable improvement of the availability and the frequency of the inter-island transport since the 1970s’ tourism boom. Due to the limited infrastructure in Maldives, the wealthy class and tourists opt for private helicopters, seaplanes, and speedboats, but the cheapest and popular means used are fishing boats.