Imagery ©2021 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, TerraMetrics. Map data ©2021 courtesy of Google Maps.

Why You Will Now Pay Between $60 and $240 More When Visiting the Maldives

Both a new departure tax and a new airport development fee are now in effect.

When thinking of the Maldives, you might imagine a cozy bungalow over the calm turquoise water on some remote exotic island — and you might also think incredibly expensive: at least one thousand dollars per night for the room with tax; at least $730.00 to take a seaplane from Male; and nine dollars for a ginger ale and as much as $58.00 for a hamburger…

Why You Will Now Pay Between $60 and $240 More When Visiting the Maldives

…and that does not include the myriad other expenses which you will need to pay to relax and enjoy yourself at this subtropical island paradise, which is located approximately 540 miles west southwest of the southernmost tip of India…

…but you will now be required to pay at least $60.00 in United States dollars simply to leave the Maldives effective as of Saturday, January 1, 2022, as Ibrahim Mohamed Solih — who is the current president of the country — ratified the first amendment to the Airport Taxes and Fees Act, which was passed by the Parliament of the Maldives on Monday, July 5, 2021.

The ratified amendment “introduced a Departure Tax to be levied from all passengers departing from any airport in the Maldives, as per the set fee schedule. This tax will be implemented starting 01 January 2022, and the previously enacted Airport Service Charge will remain in effect until 31 December 2021. The Departure Tax would be waived for passengers with diplomatic immunity and children under the age of two years”, according to this official press release. “In addition to the Departure Tax and the Airport Service Charge, the new amendments further stipulate an Airport Development Fee imposed upon all passengers flying internationally via Velana International Airport.”

Individual airlines would be responsible for collecting the Airport Development Fee and Departure Tax from their passengers as follows — all of which are in United States dollars:

Travel Class

Airport Development Fee

Departure Tax


Economy Class $30.00 $30.00 $60.00
Business Class $60.00 $60.00 $120.00
First Class $90.00 $90.00 $180.00
Private Jet $120.00 $120.00 $240.00

The one exception is for residents of the Maldives who travel as passengers in the economy class cabin aboard an airplane, as they will be required to pay a total of only $24.00, which comprises of $12.00 for the Airport Development Fee and $12.00 for the Departure Tax.

Although the new departure tax will apply to all airports in the Maldives, passengers who depart out of Velana International Airport — which is the main international airport of the country — will be required to pay the Airport Development Fee in addition to the new departure tax.

“The airport from which the flight departs would be responsible for remitting the tax money to the government”, according to the aforementioned press release. “The amendments also stipulate monthly bookkeeping and record-keeping of passenger departures in addition to collecting the fees. Airport Service Charge, Departure Tax and Airport Development Fee must be submitted to MIRA by the 28th of the following month, as per their sample document, and all charges imposed must be paid in United States Dollars.”

The former Airport Services Charge which was in effect prior to Saturday, January 1, 2022 and was official repealed required all passengers to pay a flat $25.00 in United States dollars — regardless of the class of service aboard an airplane — except for residents of the Maldives, who were required to pay $12.00 in United States dollars

Final Boarding Call

This article at The Gate first warned of the increased Departure Tax and Airport Development Fee back on Thursday, July 22, 2021. In response to that article, DaninMCI — who is a reader of The Gatecommented: “I always hate to point out that the Maldives is prone to terrorist attacks and is an ISIS hotbed as well which nobody on travel blogs ever seems to point out.”

I have never been to the Maldives; but I would like to go one day. I would consider visiting every country and territory in the world at least once — of course, some more favorably than others…

…but I have a feeling that once I have been to the Maldives, I will never want to return — especially as expensive as is the cost of visiting the country.

I prefer when countries either reduce or eliminate visa fees — such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Belarus — as well as other fees. I give reasons as to why other countries should follow their leads in this article.

One might argue that when spending thousands of dollars for a trip, another $240.00 is just another drop in the bucket, and “if you cannot afford $240.00, then you should not be going to the Maldives.”

Do you agree? Will the new increased Departure Tax and Airport Development Fee deter you from visiting the Maldives?

Imagery ©2021 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, TerraMetrics. Map data ©2021 courtesy of Google Maps.

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