Alcohol Laws, Regulations and Considerations in the Maldives

Alcohol regulations in the Maldives

The Maldives has a unique approach to alcohol laws that reflect its cultural and religious values. As a predominantly Muslim country, the Maldives adheres to Islamic law, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol by its citizens. This prohibition is rooted in the Islamic belief.

Private Islands

However, recognizing the importance of tourism to its economy, the Maldives has made exceptions to these strict alcohol laws in designated areas, primarily in resorts located on private islands. These resorts, catering mainly to foreign tourists, are allowed to obtain special licenses to serve alcohol to their guests. The contrast in alcohol regulation between public areas and private resorts is stark.

Public Islands

Inhabited islands, where the local population resides, strictly prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol in line with Islamic principles.

Maldives Customs

Tourists are also forbidden from bringing alcohol into the country and are subject to customs checks at entry points.


In the private resort islands, tourists can enjoy a variety of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits, in a controlled environment. The resorts are responsible for adhering to the regulations set by the Maldivian government, which include not selling alcohol to Maldivian citizens and ensuring that alcohol is consumed only within the confines of the resort. This unique system allows the Maldives to maintain its cultural and religious integrity while also accommodating the desires of international tourists.

The Maldivian government’s approach to alcohol regulation is a delicate balance between respecting Islamic laws and traditions and fostering a lucrative tourism industry. It reflects the country’s commitment to preserving its cultural identity while being open to the global community. This balance is crucial for maintaining social harmony and ensuring that both residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Maldives.