Not many may know that the Maldives is not only a great place to enjoy luxurious island escapes, but shopping escapades as well. From lively local markets to resort boutiques, this guide equips you to find the perfect Maldivian memento.

Shopping in Malé

Explore Malé, the capital, for an authentic shopping experience. Bustling streets like Majeedhee Magu and Chaandhanee Magu offer plenty of treasures – handcrafted souvenirs, clothing, electronics, and more. For a touch of modernity, LeCute boasts an impressive selection of duty-free cosmetics and perfumes. Modernity meets convenience at Centro Mall in Hulhumalé, housing a variety of shops. Don’t miss the Male Local Market, a must-visit for fresh produce and a taste of local snacks and desserts.

Resort Retail Therapy 

Shopping meets convenience when you stay at private resorts like OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO which has an on-site boutique. It’s perfect when you want some retail therapy in between experiences like working on your tan, enjoying fun water sports or unwinding at one of the Maldives family villas! You can expect to find locally made handicrafts, exquisite gifts, and unique souvenirs. Whether it’s a memento of your unforgettable getaway or a last-minute present, you are sure to find something special.

Must-Buy Maldivian Souvenirs

Maldivian Souvenirs – Image via Flickr

Look for traditional handwoven mats (known as “thundu kunaa”) to add a touch of island charm to your home. Also consider intricate lacquerware, from decorative baskets and boxes to stunning vases. Miniature wooden dhonis (traditional Maldivian boats) and handcrafted jewellery incorporating seashells make for beautiful keepsakes too. Eco-conscious shoppers will appreciate products made from coconut shells, leaves, and shells. Don’t miss colourful sarongs to make a unique fashion statement back home!

Top Tips for Savvy Shoppers

When shopping in the markets and streets of Malé, put your bargaining skills to the test for great deals! Remember, the Maldives is a Muslim nation, so many shops in the capital close on Fridays; on weekdays, shops may have brief closures during prayer times. It’s also handy to carry Maldivian Rufiyaa (the local currency) when making purchases at markets or from street vendors. Finally, as a responsible traveller, be mindful not to buy any prohibited items like products made from turtle shells.