Home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and tropical islands, there’s a good reason for the huge tourism industry of the Maldives. A beautiful country that is known around the world for its incredible island resorts, the Maldives attracts a huge number of foreign visitors seeking fun, sun, and incredible relaxation.
Most of these visitors, however, aren’t so interested in retiring. While the Maldives ranks as one of the area’s top vacation destinations, it’s largely untouched by much of the mass retirement from Western countries movement that can be found in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
This is largely because of the atmosphere and environment of the Maldives. With a capital city that’s incredibly densely populated and busy, most visitors seek out the relative comfort of a resort island. These islands are typically aimed at tourists, and not so much at long-term retirees and visitors.
The capital of the Maldives is Malé, a densely populated capital city that’s bustling with activity. Home to a vibrant tourism industry, Malé is a great place to base your stay in the Maldives. Despite this, however, it’s not a particularly interesting city for long-term visits due to its extreme geographic isolation and urban density.
Most visitors to the Maldives quickly transfer from the capital to one of the resort islands. Thanks to its simple immigration system, by which all visitors receive 30 days of unrestricted entry into the country regardless of their nationality, visiting the Maldives as a tourist is a stress-free experience that’s remarkably simple.
Likewise, visitors wishing to extend their stay in the Maldives can do so using the local immigration services, which offer a 90-day visa service. It’s worth noting that many accommodation options in Malé specialize in short-term tourism, and that a long-term hotel or apartment might be difficult to find as an expatriate.
The Maldives’ resorts are largely aimed at short-term tourists seeking a fun place to relax for a few days. Despite this, there are occasionally resorts willing to lease their rooms or apartments for long-term visitors. During the low tourism season, it can be very inexpensive to rent rooms on many of the popular tourist islands.
Medical care is limited in the Maldives, with the capital of Malé home to two public hospitals and most islands offering little more than private clinics. As such, retirees seeking a destination with a reliable healthcare industry and a large choice of clinics and hospitals are advised to look at other desitnations.
Likewise, the level of financial services in the Maldives is somewhat limited. While it’s technically possible to reside in the country long-term as a retiree, finance and banking options are limited, and foreign visitors will not be able to open local bank accounts in order to finance their stay.
Despite its popularity amongst tourists, the Maldives is far from ideal as a long-term retirement destination. While its beaches may be beautiful and its temperature very comfortable, the limited banking options, restrictive medical industry, and the lack of suitable visa and accommodation options make the Maldives a poor option for a foreign retiree.