There are 1,192 islands in the Maldives, a coral necklace of idyllic and much photographed low-level sandy islands strung over 430 miles of the Indian Ocean below Sri Lanka.
Around 200 of the islands are inhabited and well over half of those are tourist hotels, mostly high-end, luxurious resorts beloved by honeymooning couples and wealthy celebrities seeking Robinson Crusoe-style privacy. They also come to snorkel and scuba dive among exceptional marine life.
Fishing and tourism provide the island’s main income with exclusive hotels enjoying strong occupancy levels in recent years. International arrivals arrive at the airport in the densely populated capital Male and then disperse by seaplane or speedboat to the outer coral atolls.
Typically, most islands are less than one square mile and there is only one resort on each island. Property can only be owned leasehold, currently on renewable leases from the government. So far only two resorts sell properties in the Maldives but there has been notable new interest especially from the burgeoning Asian market.
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