The Malé Atoll is formed of two separate atolls, which are the North and South Malé atolls. It is part of the Republic of Maldives, which is a long island nation that covers roughly 115 square miles and has 26 atolls. Administratively, Malé is part of the Kaafu Atoll. The Maldives' capital, Malé, is located in on the north atoll, which is also home to the island's largest airport.

There are currently about 150,000 permanent residents in Male, which is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Tourism is a main economic driver in Male, while fishing is a staple of the island's economy too. The Maldives' largest commercial airline company has headquarters in the capital city.

Brief History

Historically, the Malé Atoll, like the other Maldivian islands, has had a long and complex chapter in the story of human exploration and discovery. The first inhabitants of the Maldives appeared around 540 BC. No physical remnants of the earliest settlers remain today, most likely due to the fact that they lived in shelters made of wood, palm leaves, grass, and other materials that easily decayed and were prone to coastal erosion. The native population today, most of which lives in the capital city, has a strong sense of culture with a language, stories, and rituals that pay homage to their ancestors.


Malé Atoll's natural composition is coral and sand. The atoll's shoreline and surrounding waters are home to a complex ecosystem with hundreds of aquatic plants and animals. The diversity of the atoll's natural life makes it a prime destination for aquatic activities and helps support local economic activities like fishing and handmade tourist products. The combination of cerulean waters, palm trees, coconut groves, and pristine sandy beaches make the Male atoll a world-class tropical getaway.

The Male Atoll has a monsoon climate with a wet rainy season for half the year and a more mild, sunny, and dry climate during the other half of the year. Tropical storms are a constant threat to the atoll, which is prone to flooding and sea level rise. Although treacherous to sailors, the coral reefs and channels around the island's shores are home to thousands of magnificent tropical fishes, which makes it a top destination for snorkeling and deep-sea diving.