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Male’ would certainly count as one of the smallest capitals in the world in terms of its physical size. A third of the country’s population, about 75,000, live in Male’. Different from any other island in the country, Male’ is a city of high-rise buildings and paved roads. There are no beaches in Male’; instead seawalls surround it on all sides. However, a newly landscaped artificial beach area and adjoining breakwater stretching all the way round to the harbour in the southwest of the island provide a pleasant jogging route, especially popular in the evenings when it is cooler. Male’ is still relatively green and pleasant. The streets in the residential areas are shaded with trees, at places forming an arch overhead. A fair number of main streets are lined with large trees providing shade on both sides. Even a simple stroll around the area offers interesting sites for visitors and great photo shots to take home; the fish market and the local market at the northern waterfront, the new harbour in the south-west corner and the 400-year old Friday Mosque, to name a few. A stroll around the residential areas or shopping streets would provide an insight into the life and livelihood of the residents of the capital. Or simply sit down and relax at one of the small parks dotted around the capital and just observe the pace of life.
The Maldives has a wide variety of accommodation for visitors. Choices vary from 73 resort islands which will increase to 74 in the very near future.
The untouched white beaches are perfect for relaxation and a healthy tan under the Maldivian sun. Crowned by majestic coconut palms which characterise the Maldives the vegetation on all islands are quite similar; rings of tropical vegetation adapting to a variety of environments salt resistant and hardy varieties closer to the beach-line giving way to shrubs and plants and more delicate and dense greenery towards the centre.
Naturally, most of the activities centre around the sea. The reefs around the islands are excellent for diving and snorkelling. Activities such as water-skiing and windsurfing may seem strenuous but exciting. Water sports equipment and facilities are available for hire on all resort islands. There is also a fully equipped diving school or a more elaborate water sports centre.