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Male’ – The Capital of Maldives


The name Malé is derived from the word “Mahaalay” which is said to be inferred from the two words of Sanskrit language “maha”, signifying “big” or “great” and “aalay which means “house”. But the application of the word “Mahaalay” is applied for the palace of a king or capital (king's island) in Sanskrit. In this way, whole archipelago of Maldives is named after its capital as the word “Maldives” means “The islands (dives) of Malé'.”

Malé with its population of 104,403 as per the record of the census of 2006 is the capital, seat of government and the location of many important historical and religious landmarks and largest city of the Republic of Maldives. It is situated at the southern boundary of North Male' Atoll Kaafu Atoll and served as one of the Administrative divisions of the Maldives. Historically, it was the King's Island from where the ancient Maldives Royal dynasties dominated and where the King’s palace was situated, the city was also called Mahal. At one time it was a walled city circumvented by munitions and gates. The Royal Palace was ruined along with the picturesque garrisons and bastions, when the city of Malé was reconstructed under the Presidentship of Ibrahim Nasir's after the abolition of the monarchy rule.

A commercial harbour is placed in the Island. It is the centre of all business activity in Maldives. Many Edifices and agencies are situated on the waterfront. Malé International Airport is on next Hulhule Island which admits a hydroplane base for internal transportation. Somewhat, less than ⅓ of whole population of Maldives resides in the capital city of Malé, therefore, many, if not most, Maldivians and foreign workers in Maldives get themselves in casual short term abode on the island since it is the only entrance point to Maldives and the heart of all administration and bureaucracy.

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