Doubtless you will have heard of the Maldives already, since they are a very popular spot for tourists to visit. However unless you have been to the Maldives before, you may not be aware their currency is called the rufiyaa. Here you can find out all you need to know about the currency and the country that uses it.

What coins and notes are available for this currency?

The rufiyaa is a decimal currency and the subunit is called the laari. You will find coins denominated in both the laari and the rufiyaa when you go to the country. The laari coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 coins. You can also see and use the one and two rufiyaa coins. These generally appear as a number when written down, as do all rufiyaa amounts. They will also have the letters Rf in front of them to denote they are rufiyaa amounts.

There are half a dozen rufiyaa bank notes available for you to use as well. The smallest one is the five rufiyaa note. Following on from this there are the 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 rufiyaa notes as well.

From past to present – the history of the Maldivian rufiyaa

Currency in the Maldives is believed to stretch back as far as the 13th century. However the rufiyaa has not been around for that long, as you can imagine. Coins of various kinds have been in use since the 1600s though, which is really quite impressive.

The rufiyaa was originally introduced in 1947. The coins denominated as laari would not follow until 1960, but since then the currency has been used as we know it today.

How to get hold of the Maldivian rufiyaa

This is not the easiest of currencies to find before you actually go to the Maldives. Many bureaux de change will not stock it, although some might be able to order it for you. It is more than likely you may have to wait until you arrive in the Maldives to be able to get the local currency however.

With that said though, you should perhaps consider whether you would like to get some US dollars before you head out to the Maldives. These can actually be accepted as payment in some places, although by no means all. Hotels are most likely to accept them. However the US dollar is also pretty easy to exchange when you arrive in the Maldives, so this should be borne in mind.

The good news is that cash machines are regularly available and easy to access to holidaymakers and other visitors to the country. Male in particular is particularly easy to find cash machines in. With regard to making credit card payments you can take a Mastercard or a Visa card vwith you and use this to make payments in a variety of places. American Express is another option if you have it. Once you get there you therefore have a variety of options in front of you with regard to getting your hands on the cash you need.

How to find out what your home currency is worth against the Maldivian rufiyaa

All you need here is a good currency converter so you can get hold of the rate you need. Rates change all the time so it will only ever be a rough guide to the information you need. However it does give you an idea as to how many rufiyaa you will get in exchange for your own currency. You will get the latest exchange rate and you can use this as the basis for finding out how much you are likely to get when you exchange your cash for the rufiyaa. Obviously fees are likely to be involved so you have to bear these in mind.

If you are thinking of travelling to the Maldives it makes sense that you would want to get hold of some information so you know what to expect. London has a Maldives High Commission that you can visit, but you don’t actually have to go there in person. You can visit their website instead. This is available at

Travelling safely with the Maldivian rufiyaa

The good news is that you are unlikely to come across any major problems when you travel to the Maldives. However there is the potential for problems to occur. Recent reports include those of street protests so you should check the current situation prior to travelling. This should help you get the latest details so you know what to expect and whether there are any areas you would be wise to avoid. Don’t let this frighten you however – the British government says on its official website that few tourists will encounter any problems when they visit the Maldives. There is plenty here to enjoy in every respect.

It does pay to be aware of the situation in the country though. For example there are instances where petty crime does occur. There are few and far between and you will be far more likely to avoid them if you are able to ensure you keep your possessions safe. Many hotels offer you a room safe to make good use of, so do make sure you use it. Furthermore be alert when withdrawing money from cash machines. You should be fine but those who flaunt any cash or valuables are far more likely to encourage others to see what they have and to be alerted to their possessions. It makes sense not to draw attention when it is not needed. Having a room safe also gives you a safe place to keep your passport tucked away when you don’t need it during your trip.

Where to spend your rufiyaa in the Maldives – and what to spend them on

As you might have guessed or known already, the Maldives is an island country. However it does not consist of merely one island. Instead it is a chain of them, all of which are known as atolls. They all sit in the Indian Ocean beneath India and Pakistan, and to the south-west of Sri Lanka. Indeed this is the closest land mass to the Maldives.

The capital is a place called Male, which is located on the North Male Atoll. In reference to the spread of the islands that form the Maldives, the capital is slightly north of the centre. Male is a popular place for tourists to visit for many reasons. The National Museum of the country is here, along with many superb collections of artefacts. These include pieces dating back many centuries that reveal much about the island’s history. There are also other assorted places to visit, including spas, mosques and even a fish market! You certainly won’t get bored exploring the way of life here.

Nearby you can also see Hulhule, an island that is very close to the capital and indeed was reclaimed from the sea. If you fly into Male you will actually land on this island, since the main airport is located there.

As you might expect though, the Maldives is known for being a great location to visit for anyone wanting to enjoy some high-quality beaches. The white sands of places such as those seen at the Biyadhoo Island Resort are well-known, and you would be forgiven for not wanting to do anything other than sunbathe. Many people who have been there agree that the Maldives is spoilt with some of the best beaches the entire world has to offer. Wouldn’t it be great to go and see some of them for yourself? Look at exploring the likes of Angsana Ihuru and Reethi Beach among others. The latter is located all around a stunning island with all kinds of other activities available as well.

Don’t miss the HP Reef either if you plan to try some snorkelling, or even better, some scuba diving. The coral there is quite breath-taking to see, but you can also look out for the many different types of fish that live down there. This is not an experience anyone should miss. And if you aren’t near to the HP Reef don’t worry, you could always try the Banana Reef instead! As you can see, the Maldives have just as many delights to share with you that are beneath the waves as they have those that are above them.


Whether you have been to the Maldives before or not, you can see they have plenty to share with the many visitors who do go there each year. Perhaps if you are searching for somewhere different to try next year, this could be the ideal solution? There is a well-known fear that the Maldives may one day disappear altogether. No one is quite sure whether this will happen or how long it will take, but many people are considering going there now for what could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

If you haven’t been yet, perhaps this could be the one reason that does make you go soon.

Maldives Rufiyaa – MVR

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