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Old Sep 23, 05, 3:50 am   #1
 
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Maldives & Alcohol !!

I have heard you can not take any Alcohol into Maldives! Is that true?

Am planning a vacation there in December and my hotel charges almost $15 for a Vodka with coke. Could be quite an expensive affair! Also sometimes you feel like just chilling in the hotel room at night, dont really want to pay that much for a few drinks from the mini bar where as normally i take a bottle along with me from Duty free.

Can i just put a duty free bottle in my hand bag or will they check at the airport?

Any other way of taking it into the country? Putting Vodka into a water bottle maybe?

I guess there is no other option as there aren't any 7/11 around there
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Old Sep 23, 05, 9:06 am   #2
 
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Yep, your luggage is x-rayed when you enter the country! And any alcohol will be confiscated.

As I mentioned on your Delta board post, you can try to smuggle some hard tack in - it really isn't difficult if you have dive gear. But the customs officials are obviously used to all the standard ruses and are especially diligent about hand luggage. I have seen countless ill-informed arriving passengers being relieved of their duty free packages.

I prefer to just accept that there is a high tax on booze in the Maldives and make peace with it. It also pays to adjust your choices. I drink beer when I'm there - it's much cheaper and anyway more thirst quenching in the tropics. Wine, my usual tipple of choice, is excruciatingly expensive and often of dubious quality (not surprising given the logistics of getting it there and storing it) so I tend to avoid it. The occasional cocktail, most resorts will feature a cheaper "cocktail du jour" each day, seems appropriate in the setting and soothes feelings of deprivation.

Or, here's a radical thought, you could use the opportunity to dry out.
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Old Sep 24, 05, 12:57 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA
Or, here's a radical thought, you could use the opportunity to dry out.
Definately not likely on a holiday !!

A friend of mine took some in vodka in a water bottle? What do you think of that? Will that work?
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Old Sep 24, 05, 1:27 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by lallyr
A friend of mine took some in vodka in a water bottle? What do you think of that? Will that work?
If you got caught, then you'd be busted for smuggling. Definitely not worth a fine or worse.
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Old Sep 24, 05, 2:37 am   #5
 
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Or worse? What else could they do?
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Old Sep 24, 05, 3:23 am   #6
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Or worse? What else could they do?
The Maldives is a dictatorship. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old Sep 26, 05, 7:09 am   #7
 
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Yes, unfortunately the Maldives is not a shining beacon of human rights protection. (Pity, that. I hope they're not going to become one of those "great country, wonderful people, shame about the government" places, like Zimbabwe.) That said, I doubt they're going to risk their essential and already struggling tourist industry's reputation over your 750ml of vodka. Most likely they will scowl at you and take your details and confiscate it and that will be that. But it is AYOR (at your own risk), as a famous travel guide used to say.

For what it's worth I'd say the water bottle thing has probably been done ad nauseam and I would check it if I were a customs official. But they have never checked any (half empty) that I have carried in. Friends have been successful with distributing miniatures in their luggage or in a metal hiking flask among their diving gear.
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Old Sep 26, 05, 7:44 am   #8
 
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Alcohol in the Maldives

At least alcohol is available for you. I recently took a small ship cruise to Libya and as soon as we docked, the officials were on board taping shut the liquor cabinets for the duration of our stay.
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Old Jul 25, 10, 2:06 pm   #9
 
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Bumping this thread to ask a related question. If you arrive in the country early enough in the day, is it possible to go into Male to purchase a bottle(s) of alcohol? I assume that if they ban visitors bringing it into the country, they don't make it available for sale except via drinks at resorts. But thought I'd ask nonetheless.
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Old Jul 26, 10, 5:52 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Bumping this thread to ask a related question. If you arrive in the country early enough in the day, is it possible to go into Male to purchase a bottle(s) of alcohol? I assume that if they ban visitors bringing it into the country, they don't make it available for sale except via drinks at resorts. But thought I'd ask nonetheless.
AFAIK Male itself is "dry" - no alcohol outlets, except a few hotels...
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Old Jul 26, 10, 7:55 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Bumping this thread to ask a related question. If you arrive in the country early enough in the day, is it possible to go into Male to purchase a bottle(s) of alcohol? I assume that if they ban visitors bringing it into the country, they don't make it available for sale except via drinks at resorts. But thought I'd ask nonetheless.
To my knowledge, the only place alcohol is sold to the public in (actually near) Male is at the airport, where departing passengers can buy at fairly lousy duty-free prices.
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Old Jul 26, 10, 8:06 am   #12
 
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Someone had mentioned to me that you can buy Alcohol from certain places in the City. I never actually went to check but he was quite confident about this and he is a regular to MLE.
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Old Aug 2, 10, 6:17 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by lallyr View Post
Someone had mentioned to me that you can buy Alcohol from certain places in the City. I never actually went to check but he was quite confident about this and he is a regular to MLE.
AFAIK the entire island of Male is alcohol-free. Only the hotel on Hulhumale, the airport atoll, is allowed to sell (legally) any, plus possibly the new Holiday Inn.
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Old Aug 3, 10, 8:25 pm   #14
 
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I would just except the cost of drinking there and be done with it. Lets face it nothing is cheap there to begin with. If you think 15 dollars is stiff,what about the food prices and anything else purchased there?
In regards what could they do to confiscating and the smuggling....well they could put you on the next plane home if they wanted to.
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Old Oct 11, 10, 10:48 am   #15
 
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Cool alcohol in the Maldives

Since a few years, I am spending lots of time in Maldives.
I can confirm / inform you about this :

Import of alcohol is indeed strictly forbidden, also in Male (the capital) and the 1200 odd islands.

Exceptions are (as of now - October 2010) :

a) at the airport is a hotel with restaurant, Holule Island hotel, the only one, where you can buy alcoholic drinks

b) all resorts have bars where alcoholic drinks are available

c) foreigners residing on long term visas can buy a certain amount of alcohol every month - but this can only be done at the same airport, special department

Indeed, in the tax free shops at the airport you can buy alcohol, buts that's only possible while leaving the country.

Next to that, it would be very disrespectful to the warm hospitality of the Maldives to try to smuggle alcohol into the country. I think, if you are not addicted, you can easily live without alcohol for few weeks?

Last edited by Randy Petersen; Oct 11, 10 at 11:52 am.
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