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  Republic of Maldives - Land & People
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The Maldives is characterised by coconut palms, white sandy beaches and crystal clear lagoons. There are no hills, mountains or rivers. The protective coral reef surrounding every island is a submerged underwater garden which is home to hundreds of species of multi-coloured tropical fish and countless shapes and sizes of coral and shells.

Maldivians are racially homogeneous and predominantly of Aryan and Dravidian origin.

Society is very cohesive. The language is called Dhivehi, and the religion is Islam.

Dhivehi, the national language, has different dialects. English is widely spoken. In the resorts, a variety of languages are used including English, German, French, Italian and Japanese in order to cater to the tourist population.

No more than 200 islands are inhabited. Another 87 islands are dedicated tourist resorts. The rest are uninhabited though some are used for drying fish or other agricultural activities.
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