Republic of the Maldives is a chain
of around 1200 islands stretching
750km across the Indian Ocean.
According to the season and method
of classification, the exact number
of islands are changed.
islands are geographically grouped
into ring shaped reefs called
"atolls". The English word Ďatollí
originated from the Dhivehi
(official language of Maldives) word
ĎAtholhuí. In Maldives there are 26
of these atoll formations.
atoll there are more number of
smaller ring shaped reefs and tillas.
Of the 1200 islands only 199 are
inhabited by local Maldivian people,
88 islands have been developed as
tourist resorts and the remaining
islands are uninhabited.
Maldivian Government has taken steps
to restrict the impact of tourism on
the local community, tourists are
most likely to see just 11 of these
26 geographical atolls. In 1997 the
Government announced the proposed
development of 14 new islands
opening the atolls of Meemu, Faafu,
Dhaalu and Raa to tourism.