Diplomat Interviews

Interview with the High Commissioner of Maldives to India

A Slice of Heaven

Explore the Sunny Side of Life

The flattest nation in the world, Maldives is indeed a dreamy affair.  Renowned for its white sandy beaches, pristine turquoise waters, and unique underwater marine life, this island is an old nation, populated for well over 2500 years. Let’s know more about Maldives with TravelJingles in conversation with H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Shaheeb, High-Commissioner of Maldives to India.


Maldives is for rich. It is synonymous to luxury. How far it is true? Do we also have options for the backpackers?

The name Maldives has been always associated with ‘luxury’ and ‘high-end’. But what has changed over the years and what those who would love to travel to Maldives ought to know is that one can also afford a budget-friendly holiday to Maldives. There is more than what the luxury world Maldives offers – hopping into inhabited islands and to explore the local lifestyle would guarantee you a more heart-warming touch to your holidays. Maldives is rich in history, culture, and heritage – there is a lot one can learn. Guesthouses in local islands and the recent introduction of homestay will surely help those who would love to learn more about the Maldives and also enjoy the sun, sand, and clear waters. When you stay in guesthouses you have the advantage of living with the locals and experiencing the Maldivian way of life. I can assure you the best of hospitality in these close-knit communities, each with its unique set of characteristics, food, traditions, and even dialect. Guesthouse and homestay concept in the Maldives is new – there are options ranging from luxurious to budget-friendly. Staying at a local home would be the absolute way to experience authentic Maldivian culture.

What is the best time to visit the Maldives?

As the name says, “Maldives – the Sunny Side of Life” you can enjoy sunshine all throughout the year – However one should always look out for the weather before travelling – The Southwest monsoon from May to October brings rain and the Northeast monsoon from November to April is generally sunny.

 Tell us about Maldivian cuisine or Dhivehi Cuisine?

When it comes to Maldivian Cuisine – Tuna fish dominates it. Be it cooked, smoked, sun-dried, grilles or deep-fried, various subspecies of fish are featured in everyday meals such as curries, cakes, seared steaks, garudhiya (a broth made out of cooking fish), mashuni (a typical Maldivian breakfast option missed with coconut, onions, chillies, lime). Our meals also have a bit of mix – South Indian and Sri Lankan influence. Spices, coconuts, starches are commonly found in our kitchens.


Travel to you is…. (One word)

Travel to me is ‘to explore’.


People from across the globe visit the Maldives to relax and revitalize their inner being. Tell us about the various wellness activities the country offers to its visitors.

Indeed, a visit to any island of Maldives would assure you of a relaxing and revitalizing environment. Be it a barefoot walk on the warm white sandy beach, a swim in the crystal clear waters, or even sunbathing on the beach while inhaling the cool breeze are a few things for which many repeaters come. After the pandemic, especially, we have seen more and more resorts coming up with new and innovative ways to consolidate the concept of ‘wellness’ into their packages. From luxury and world-class fitness experiences, spas, meditation, and to nutrition – Maldives also is the ideal getaway for those seeking a wellness retreat.

Do you find any similarities between Maldives & India

Maldives and India do share some similarities – which is why India is a popular destination for Maldivians when it comes to travelling, be it for holidays, medical purposes, or adventure. If I have to choose one, I would say ‘food’ is one such area.