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PEOPLE, HISTORY, AND
Maldives comprises 1,191 islands in the Indian Ocean. The earliest settlers were probably from southern India. Indo-European speakers followed them from Sri Lanka in the fourth and fifth centuries BC. In the 12th century AD, sailors from East Africa and Arab countries came to the islands. Today, the Maldivian ethnic identity is a blend of these cultures, reinforced by religion and language.
Originally Buddhists, Maldivians were converted to Sunni Islam in the mid-12th century. Islam is the official religion of the entire population. Strict adherence to Islamic precepts and close community relationships have helped keep crime low and under control.
The Sun, the Sand and the Sea. These are just the three simple realities beckoning tourists from far and wide to these little islets, giving as a result, a glorious sense of happiness and proving to be a heavenly getaway from the world and its worries. No wonder then that tourists flock in large numbers to the 70-odd self-contained island resorts provided with all the comforts and warmth exuded by traditional Maldivian hospitality.