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Shopping in Maldives: Best Places and Things to Buy

TeamAckoJan 18, 2024

The Maldives are known for their stunning natural beauty, but they also have a unique shopping scene that adds to their status as an island paradise. In this blog, we will explore the shopping in Maldives and show you the hidden gems, local crafts, and luxury items that every shopaholic adventurer can find there.




Best Places & things to consider while Shopping in Maldives 

Who said a tropical getaway is only about sun and sand? In the Maldives, shopping takes on a new dimension. The vibrant markets and upscale boutiques are ready to cater to your shopping desires, making sure you return home not only with a sun-kissed glow but also with some stunning souvenirs.

Imagine strolling through bustling markets brimming with vibrant colors, fragrant spices, and handcrafted treasures. These lively marketplaces are not just places to buy souvenirs; they are windows into the soul of Maldivian culture, where you can interact with friendly locals and immerse yourself in their traditions.

And for those seeking a touch of luxury, upscale boutiques beckon, showcasing elegant jewelry, fashion, and art that capture the essence of the Maldives' beauty and charm.

Exploring local markets or indulging in upscale boutiques, and shopping in Maldives is a journey of discovery, a celebration of culture, and a way to bring a piece of this breathtaking destination back with you. This is further explained in the article below with all the details you will need!

Products to buy from The Maldives

  • Lacquer Work: Intricate designs carved on wood mainly 

  • Local Jewelry: The richness of the local accessories  

  • Fish and Pickles: Taste of Maldives for a takeaway 

  • Traditional Attire: The ethnic wear of the Maldivian community

  • Macramé work and so much more!

This article will guide you through the retail journey you are about to take in the Maldives. 

The Local Treasures of Bustling Markets

Malé Local Market

This is the beating heart of Maldivian shopping. Bursting with color, the Malé Local Market offers an array of fresh produce, spices, and handmade crafts. Dive into the bustling aisles, and you'll find tropical fruits, aromatic spices like cinnamon and cardamom, intricate lacquer work, and woven mats that showcase the Maldives' craftsmanship.

When to visit: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Things to buy: Bottled local pickles, souvenirs, most bought are miniatures of boats, or palm sleepers, some seashell home decor, fresh coconut milk, and of course packaged sweetmeat

Address: Malé Higun, Malé Maldives

Majeedhee Magu – Everything you want is here!

In the heart of the city is an establishment for all things Maldives! Garments, accessories, and electronic gadgets. It's a sprawling street market, and it's best well-known for being the jack of all trades. Remember to bargain; don’t settle for any price. Don’t miss out on stopping by at the infamous Cafe Asiana

When to visit: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

Things to buy: Local jewelry, cosmetics, clothes, canned/smoked fish

Address: Majeedhee Magu Road, Malé, Maldives

Thulhaadhoo Island

Known as the Coral Island, Thulhaadhoo gives you a unique shopping experience where you can enjoy the intricate art of coral stone carving. Discover stunning jewelry, decorative pieces, and even traditional Maldivian thundu kunaa (coconut graters) made from coral stone. Thulhaadhoo Island is infamous for its lacquer work , and is found in abundance in their local markets!

When to visit: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

Things to buy: Lacquer Wear, local ornaments

Address: Thulhaadhoo Island

Luxury Havens and High-End Finds

The Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives

For those who enjoy indulging in luxury shopping, The Marina is your haven. With a range of high-end international brands, it has everything from designer fashion and accessories to luxury watches and jewelry.

When to visit: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Address: The Marina CROSSROADS, Maldives

Island Boutiques

Many luxury resorts have their own boutique stores, offering an exclusive selection of items that reflect the culture of the Maldives. From resort wear and swimwear to accessories and spa products, these boutiques provide a curated shopping experience.

When to visit: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Things to buy: Handmade jewelry, Elhabe, Scarves, macrame-works also handmade items

Address: Thulhaadhoo Island

Shopping for Local Fashion in Maldives

Dhivehi Libaas

Want to dress like a Maldivian local? Dhivehi Libaas is what the traditional dress of the Maldives is called. For women, this includes a feyli (a long dress) and a hijab. Men usually wear a kandu (a sarong-like cloth) along with a kurta (a long shirt). You can find beautifully made  Dhivehi Libaas in many markets.

Where to buy: Most souvenir shops have dhivehi libaas, but they fit you best when they're custom-made! 

The Joy of Haggling

Haggling is a common practice in the local markets of the Maldives. Engaging in friendly negotiations with local vendors can be an exciting experience. Remember, it's not just about getting the best deal; it's also about interacting with the local culture and making connections.

Eco-Friendly Shopping

The Maldives has made a promise to become more eco-friendly, the way the islands used to be before tourism. To support their sustainability, the Maldives try to bring this quality to their shopping scene. You can find eco-friendly and sustainable products, such as items made from recycled materials, natural fibers, and locally sourced ingredients.

Tips for a Memorable Shopping in Maldives

Cash is King

While credit cards are widely accepted, it's wise to keep some local currency. Always have the Maldivian Rufiyaa handy for going shopping at street vendors and smaller markets. In a place where the networks might not always be great, having cash makes sure you're always prepared for cute finds along the way.

Explore Local Markets

Beyond the busy capital of Malé, each island has its own treasures waiting to be discovered. Local markets are the beating heart of Maldivian culture, where you can get to enjoy the tapestry of local life. Talk to friendly Maldivian locals, learn their stories, and learn more about the island's heritage. Every market visit is a cultural exchange that makes your holiday more meaningful.

Check Resort Boutiques

If you're indulging in a resort stay, don't overlook their boutique stores. You might be pleasantly surprised by the exclusive collections and unique items they have that perfectly capture what the Maldives means. Even if you're not in a shopping mood, exploring these boutiques can be an easy way to pass the time and bring a piece of paradise back home.

Cultural Sensitivity 

When you shop for traditional clothes, crafts, or souvenirs, remember to respect the cultural significance of these items. Engage with vendors, ask about the stories behind their crafts, and appreciate the rich heritage they represent. It's not just about getting stuff but about embracing the culture with respect and appreciation.

Pack Smart

As you get ready to leave on your shopping journey, leave some space in your luggage for the treasures you'll find. You wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to take a piece of the Maldives back with you, they're a tangible memory of your unforgettable journey.


Shopping in Maldives isn't just buying stuff. When you shop in the Maldives, you're connecting with the heart and soul of the people who call these beautiful islands home. In the Maldives, shopping goes beyond a mere activity—it's a way to experience culture, craftsmanship, and luxury in paradise. Whether you're haggling for souvenirs at local markets or enjoying luxury finds at upscale boutiques, the shopping scene in the Maldives promises to give you an unforgettable experience. From unique coral stone carvings to hand-woven crafts, each item you discover carries a piece of the Maldives that you can take back home. 

Quick tip

Getting travel insurance that fits your travel needs before you head to your vacation in the Maldives is a smart move. Maldives is beautiful no doubt, but unexpected setbacks like flight cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage can occur anywhere. Travel insurance policy ensures you can gladly enjoy this tropical paradise, knowing you have financial and logistical support if the unexpected happens, allowing you to focus on making some crazy memories.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some commonly asked questions answered regarding Shopping in Maldives


Is haggling common in Maldivian markets?

Yes, haggling is common in local markets. Don't overdo it though, because this is their livelihood. 

What's the best currency to use for shopping?

Many places do accept credit cards but having Maldivian Rufiyaa is a must when you're shopping at smaller markets and vendors.

Are there any eco-friendly shopping options?

Absolutely! Many markets offer products made from sustainable materials, which is a product of the Maldives' commitment to the environment.

Can I find luxury brands in the Maldives?

Yes, you can find luxury brands at places like The Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives. The Marina is for shoppers who enjoy high-end shopping.

What are some must-buy souvenirs?

Traditional crafts like lacquer boxes, woven mats, and coral stone carvings are excellent souvenirs of the local culture to take back home.

Can I buy stuff in places outside of Malé?

Absolutely! Luxury resorts often have their own boutiques, and each island may have unique products in their local markets.


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