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Safe to travel to Maldives now?

Safe to travel to Maldives now?

Old Apr 8, 20, 1:59 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post

....I'd appreciate constructive insight (as opposed to a mere dismissal that I'm being over-paranoid).
Ben Schlappig seems a flimsy source of advice for serious matters beyond a macadamia vs cashew debate

If you are concerned about personal security, maybe it's best to switch destination.

Risk assessments are useful for sanctioning business-related trips, or even activity-based holidays. But when it comes to beach resorts, if there is sufficient unrest for you to raise the concerns you delineate above, maybe it's better to head for another resort, another set of beaches.

Even if reassurance reduces your worry to occssional niggles, these are are not conducive to a serene and resful holiday.
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Old Apr 8, 20, 3:37 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
If you are concerned about personal security, maybe it's best to switch destination.

Even if reassurance reduces your worry to occssional niggles, these are are not conducive to a serene and resful holiday.
Ding, ding, ding! I think there's your answer, evergn. I've never been to Maldives, so I can't address your question from that standpoint. But vacation time is too precious and too expensive (especially that destination) to spend it worrying abut security. If you're at all apprehensive, don't go. There are hundreds of other destinations to choose from.
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Old Apr 8, 20, 6:26 am
  #18  
 
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I can. It's more to do with drugs that the stabbing occured. Maldives does have an issue with drugs.
As for overnight stay Male is always safer than Hulumale for the reason it's more packed and always someone around.
The resorts are completely safe and there are no private firearms in the Maldives.
Unlike Tunisia there are no land borders to any country. India is the closest and the Indian Coast Guard has round the clock surveillance between India and Maldives.
Maldivian Coast Guard is present in various regions and they also operate two helicopters in conjunction with the Indian military.
There is nothing to worry about security in the Maldives.
Right now most of the resorts are closed due to covid 19. How ever it looks like it's under control in the Maldives as there have been no deaths so far fortunately. There are a few positive cases all from abroad and some have recovered too.
The last thing you need to worry about Maldives is security. It's not that they are lax but it's not easy for anyone to do it in the Maldives unless they of course is backed by a state. The Indians take the security of the Maldives very seriously if there is any outside threat.
Go and enjoy Maldives.
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Old Apr 8, 20, 2:15 pm
  #19  
 
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Thanks a lot for the responses.
I definitely agree that ideally you can spend your precious remote island vacation without any worries at all.
On the other hand, we've become quite a fan of above-water luxury bungalows, and Maldives is the only place where I can stay in one all on points. Hence, we're wanting to get back there as long as there're no security concerns.

I definitely feel a lot better after reading @dav662's informative post. So thanks!
I welcome any additional feedback.
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Old Apr 8, 20, 4:50 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
...we've become quite a fan of above-water luxury bungalows, and Maldives is the only place where I can stay in one all on points. Hence, we're wanting to get back there as long as there're no security concerns.
OK. I guess reassurance for a done deal is whatyou are after And the the UK government's is generally reassuring (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/maldives):

Most visits to Maldives are trouble free. The most common problems faced by visiting British nationals are lost and stolen passports, and swimming and diving related accidents.

but adds:

Terrorism

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the Maldives. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers including tourists.

In February 2020, Maldives police confirmed the arrest of seven people in relation to knife attacks, which injured three foreign nationals; two resident employees and one tourist in Hulhumale. The attack was claimed by an extremist group. You should remain vigilant.

The Maldivian authorities have disrupted a number of terrorist attack plans since 2017, and have made several arrests relating to attack planning, recruitment of terrorist fighters and spreading extremist ideology. There have been anti-Western protests by extremists on some islands, including expressions of support for ISIL.

Canada is a little less reassuring (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/maldives):

Maldives - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in the Maldives due to the threat of terrorism.


US travel advice is much the same (https://travel.state.gov/content/tra.../Maldives.html)
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Old Apr 8, 20, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
OK. I guess reassurance for a done deal is whatyou are after
Thanks for the link.
No, not a done deal. The hotel booking is cancellable, but I haven't yet booked the flight.
I've seen the seen the advisory from US State Dept... seems not too different from what I recall reading last year prior to our trip to Maldives. But this UK one I'd not seen before, and that does look more worrisome. Just when I was feeling relieved by dav662's info that there're no private firearms in Maldives...

If it were up to you, would you feel comfortable going to Maldives later this year in spite of UK's travel advisory?
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Old Apr 8, 20, 10:31 pm
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Have stayed at hotels in Hulhumlae on multiple occasions and have never faced any issues there. I'd say its best to visit all these plans a few months down the road when overall things are in a better place.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 12:53 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Thanks for the link.
No, not a done deal. The hotel booking is cancellable, but I haven't yet booked the flight.
I've seen the seen the advisory from US State Dept... seems not too different from what I recall reading last year prior to our trip to Maldives. But this UK one I'd not seen before, and that does look more worrisome. Just when I was feeling relieved by dav662's info that there're no private firearms in Maldives...

If it were up to you, would you feel comfortable going to Maldives later this year in spite of UK's travel advisory?
I recognise there's a threat of terrorism just about everywhere, but I don't want to be paralysed by fear so If I am drawn to somewhere, I'll go. At my last place of work we paid the fees of a company that assessed travel risks, and we were mandated to follow the advice given: but for personal travel I never accessed that facility.

But I'm not a dare-devil, and placing myself in an isolated resort populated by (mainly) conspicuously wealthy westerners in the midst of a troubled region would be a step too far - at least a step that required a particularly strong incentive to overcome the unease.

For you that incentive exists, and i certainly don't knock your wish for dream fulfilment. And the odds on you enjoying a trouble-free vacation are very high, but with the caveat that the (highly unlikely) downside is catastrophic, maybe deadly, rather than annoying.

Anecdotal advice on the lines of "I was there and saw nothing untoward" isn't useful to risk assessment. If we are thinking terrorist attacks, these have a history of coming out of the blue as far as victims are aware. If governments know of threats they'll likely keep that knowledge under wraps. There were plenty of warnings of trouble brewing in Sri Lanka before the attacks last easter, which included the Shangri-la among three Colombo 5-star hotels. Some of the warnings Sri Lanka received were quite explicit, but for many reasons nothing much was done, no clear warnings were issued.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 4:44 am
  #24  
 
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@evergrn: In the hope of making you feel more "reassured" ... been 4 years in a row at different resorts / islands, carefully planned so that no overnight stays needed, combination of all types of transfers (boat, prop plane, sea plane) ... will i go again - yes, already booked for the end of this year at yet a different place. Just my 2c ...
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Old Apr 9, 20, 5:22 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by MichaelA380 View Post
@evergrn: In the hope of making you feel more "reassured" ... been 4 years in a row at different resorts / islands, carefully planned so that no overnight stays needed, combination of all types of transfers (boat, prop plane, sea plane) ... will i go again - yes, already booked for the end of this year at yet a different place. Just my 2c ...

There yah go...! Don't want to go, don't go is how I look at it..!
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Old Apr 9, 20, 6:34 am
  #26  
 
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The knife attacks in Hulumale was drug related as one attacked was a Chinese guy. The government tries to downplay the drug side in Maldives.
It's a country without any firearms. Not even a pellet gun is allowed into the country. Not even a plastic replica gun is allowed.
Sri Lanka is full of arms and even heavy arms and assault rifles around too. A terrorism related attack like in Sri Lanka has never happened in Maldives and I don't think will happen either because everyone knows it's the economy.
There is fundamentalist in Maldives too. You can see the Niqab etc to some extent. The ridiculous thing is in Maldives everyone knows everyone and they all know who the leaders of the fundamentalists are and that keeps everything in order. Most of the violence if there is happens in Male and it's political and now with the new elections in 2018 everything has calmed down.
The airport is very secure and for tourists it's safe. Most of the resorts have their own security experts who have law enforcement background and are always doing risk assessments and liaising with the local law enforcement agencies.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Anecdotal advice on the lines of "I was there and saw nothing untoward" isn't useful to risk assessment.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
It's a country without any firearms. Not even a pellet gun is allowed into the country. Not even a plastic replica gun is allowed.
Sri Lanka is full of arms and even heavy arms and assault rifles around too. A terrorism related attack like in Sri Lanka has never happened in Maldives and I don't think will happen either because everyone knows it's the economy.
Actually, I decided to look things up and this website says there're 6.2 guns for every 100 civilians in Maldives.
That compares to 0.3 in Jpn (which is a truly gun-free country), 1.1 in Tunisia and 2.4 in Sri Lanka.
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/maldives
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/tunisia
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/sri-lanka
So suddenly I don't feel so assured that Maldives is free of firearms.
But the fact that you say such major attack has never happened in Maldives is worth noting.

Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
Most of the resorts have their own security experts who have law enforcement background and are always doing risk assessments and liaising with the local law enforcement agencies.
But they wouldn't be on-site on remote resort islands, correct? Do you have any idea specifically what type of measures might be in place by the resorts from such risk assessment?

I think I'd like to try to hold off on booking my flight as long as possible to keep an eye on things.
However, the bad thing with that is that the airfare is likely to be significantly higher if I were to wait till a couple months before.
I'd definitely like to avoid overnighting in Male at this point, although for whatever reason every itinerary that gets you into MLE before 4pm is very expensive from where I am.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Agreed.


Actually, I decided to look things up and this website says there're 6.2 guns for every 100 civilians in Maldives.
That compares to 0.3 in Jpn (which is a truly gun-free country), 1.1 in Tunisia and 2.4 in Sri Lanka.
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/maldives
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/tunisia
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/sri-lanka
So suddenly I don't feel so assured that Maldives is free of firearms.
But the fact that you say such major attack has never happened in Maldives is worth noting.


But they wouldn't be on-site on remote resort islands, correct? Do you have any idea specifically what type of measures might be in place by the resorts from such risk assessment?

I think I'd like to try to hold off on booking my flight as long as possible to keep an eye on things.
However, the bad thing with that is that the airfare is likely to be significantly higher if I were to wait till a couple months before.
I'd definitely like to avoid overnighting in Male at this point, although for whatever reason every itinerary that gets you into MLE before 4pm is very expensive from where I am.
Anyone who says there are guns in the Maldives in the hands of civilians are out of their bloody minds and should be put in a mental asylum. ( This not for you OP).

Even the police in Maldives are unarmed. Period. They do not have even handguns. By law. Only the military ( Maldivian National Defence Force) have arms. I would say they may have a few thousand in their force. But not more than 4 to 5 thousand. This includes the coast guard.

Yes the security specialists are based in the resorts. I have met a couple of them. All ex law enforcement. Most of the Police is trained by the FBI. The military is trained by the US. Either the army or the Marine Corps. All high ranking officers are trained abroad. Either in India, or in the UK or USA.
Diego Garcia is about 40 mins flying from the Maldives and India in the north is about 20 mins flying. I would be more scared of stepping on a coral and getting cut than a terrorism attack in the Maldives.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 7:07 pm
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Let me comment on this website. I know Maldives extremely well. This site is absolutely wrong. There is zero guns in the hand of civilians. Zilch. The Police also do not have any guns. Zero. One of the few countries where the police has no legal right or authority to have any fire arms. Only the military is allowed and under very strict conditions.
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Old Apr 9, 20, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
Anyone who says there are guns in the Maldives in the hands of civilians are out of their bloody minds and should be put in a mental asylum. ( This not for you OP).

Even the police in Maldives are unarmed. Period. They do not have even handguns. By law. Only the military ( Maldivian National Defence Force) have arms. I would say they may have a few thousand in their force. But not more than 4 to 5 thousand. This includes the coast guard.

Yes the security specialists are based in the resorts. I have met a couple of them. All ex law enforcement. Most of the Police is trained by the FBI. The military is trained by the US. Either the army or the Marine Corps. All high ranking officers are trained abroad. Either in India, or in the UK or USA.
Diego Garcia is about 40 mins flying from the Maldives and India in the north is about 20 mins flying. I would be more scared of stepping on a coral and getting cut than a terrorism attack in the Maldives.
Okay, I appreciate your insight on this. I trust that you know Maldives extensively, so I will believe your statement regarding the guns/firearm situation there. I'm surprised to learn that those Maldives resorts are actually equipped with such well-trained security personnel on-site, as a lot of these places are so small. But that is definitely good to know.

I would hope that I'd be thinking more about coral cuts than terrorist attack! If that weren't the case, I would never go because I've had a bad experience with coral cuts and that's always been a concern of mine on every subsequent trip to the tropics.
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