As though the beautiful Maldives do not have enough beaches scattered along its 644-km coastline, the country’s capital city of Male built one for its own. With hundreds of pristine white-sand beaches in the many islands and atolls in the Maldives, you have got to wonder why the residents of Male decided to construct the Male Artificial Beach, a 10-million dollar beach project in the middle of the city.
The Maldives is an archipelago made up of 1,192 tiny coral islands and 26 atolls. It is located in the Indian Ocean. If you looked at the Asian map you will notice a chain of tiny islands that looks like a garland just below India and Sri Lanka. Those islands make up the Republic of Maldives. Only 200 islands are inhabited and just about 100 were developed as resort destinations. Scattered in these low-lying islands are countless numbers of white-sand beaches with crystal-clear blue waters.
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Many are so clear that you wouldn’t need to jump in to see the candy-color corals and amazing reef fishes. The most popular beaches are in Cocoa Island, Nika Island, and Banyan Tree Island. About 80% of the archipelago has a coral reef, except for the island of Male. Male does not have a beach, which is why it constructed its own artificial beach.
Male city is the busiest and only commercial hub in the Maldives. Formerly Sultan’s Island, Male is the seat of the Maldivian government. Of the country’s total population of 400,000 people, 100,000 live here. The only two shopping malls in the country, Majeedhee Magu and Chaandanee Magu, are located in Male. All shopping activities are concentrated here, along with the local market and fish market. It seems that the capital city has everything – the national museum, Sultan Park, Grand Friday mosque, business centers, tea shops, cafes, restaurants and breathtaking views, except for a beach, which is why it constructed its own artificial beach.
Thousands of tourists come to the Maldives every year and they used to just pass by the Male International Airport. People used to say, “Let’s get out of Male to have some fun in the sun.” This is why Male constructed its own artificial beach.
Today, the man-made beach is the talk of many backpackers and foreign travelers. If you do not know beforehand that it is man-made, you would probably get no clue that it is, and if you do know that it is artificial, you will definitely be amazed that it looks like the real thing. The sight is especially beautiful during sunsets, rivaling all the other beaches in the Maldives.
Male Artificial Beach is now the most popular spot among Male residents. It is fully packed in the early mornings and afternoons, especially in summer. Today, people come here not only for a swim but to do all sorts of family fun such as to play in the sand, read a good book by the water, picnic, stroll, play with the children, build sand castles, or simply spend quality time just bumming around. It has also become the venue of many national events, water sports, concerts, carnivals and parades, so that tourists do not need to rush out of Male and to their final beach destinations.