I have been living in Maldives for the past 5 years. Talking about the cost of living I would first tell you about the cost of living for a Expatriate who come here for work and holds a valid Work permit.
Cost of living for a Expatriate holding a work permit or a visa
Usually the employer provided the foreign employee with accommodation and food or allowance for the same and the employee has to arrange for it. Institutions like IGMH provide excellent accommodation for the specialist doctors and they have their own facilities too. If you get a job in a resort, then you do not need to worry about the accommodation or the food part. Resorts like Kanuhura, W Maldives, Hilton, One and only Reethirah, Four Seasons,Landaa Giraavaru, etc provide excellent facilities to their staff. They are paid fixed salary plus service charges. Service charges for resorts like W Maldives, Four seasons are very high.
General Cost of living
Accommodation– Accommodation is the most expensive part here. For a single bed room fully furnished accommodation you will need to pay around US$ 700. Staying with your family with only one person working will be expensive as you will be need to go for a better accommodation.
Food – Food is expensive as almost everything is imported here. Fish is affordable if you go to the local market or if you are living in an Island, you can get fresh fish and vegetables at very affordable price. If you are living in Male’, the cost of food is high but if you cook yourself, then you can Manage with less than US$70 per month. There are some Indian and Sri Lankan hotels who provide monthly packages for about US$ 80 per person which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Phone Calls – There are two telecom service providers in Maldives, Dhiraagu and Wataniya. Now the local and international calls are very much affordable, but there are other ways also to make cheep International phone calls.
Others – These are the basic things which you will be forced to spend when you live in Maldives. Other things like cosmetics, dresses, or any luxurious items are also costly, but you can get some products which are of very high quality and popular brands. I would not like to associate these things with the cost of living in Maldives.
If you are working for a Good Reputed company, then you should not have problem with the basic needs like food and accommodation. Cost of living is high when you compare with India or Sri Lanka, but the currency value is much higher when you compare with India or Sri Lanka. I find lots of Foreigners searching for job vacancies in Maldives and many coming and working here from more than 50 countries around the world.
Now a days there are lots of Bangladeshi’s coming to Maldives to work, mostly for the construction projects
If you have any more questions or comments, please post it, I will try my best to answer it.
Update : May 6, 2013, 12:02 pm
I had written this post few years back, lot of things have changed here, but as everywhere in the world, the cost of living is going up in Maldives too. One of the biggest problem in Maldives is the cost of accommodation has gone very high. If you are coming to Maldives to work, make sure that your employer is paying well for your housing or providing you with proper accommodation.
Update : 17-March-2017 18:22 (IST)
Was going through this post and thought of updating it as I had written this post many years back. As in every part of the world, cost of living always goes up and its the same in Maldives, yes the cost of living is very high compared to neighbouring countries like India and Sri Lanka, but again you would be payed more than you get paid in those countries.
You can options, can go for shared apartments, or move to nearby island call Hulhumale’ and get some better deal. Also you can check out online on website like ibay.