VELANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
GETTING TO THE MALDIVES & DHIFFUSHI
Velana International Airport is located on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé Atoll, nearby the capital island Malé, only 38km from Dhiffushi.
When searching for flights you are looking for the MLE airport code. Scroll down for a list of airlines flying to the Maldives and click here to go to the official airport website.
Once you've exited the secure area you will find the information desk, public toilets, dining areas with coffee bistros a Burger King and others, plus a few convenience shops, currency exchanges, ATM's and the option to purchase a sim from one of the only two local mobile network providers. Dhiffushi doesn't have ATM's or places to purchase a sim. It's important you purchase a sim and withdraw local currency at the airport.
There are no walk in landside lounges, only the the VIP Service Lounge which is part of the arrival/Departure VIP Service. The VIP Service is available for a fee. You will be greeted at the plane & cared for right through to boarding your transfer to the island. For more information please go to the dedicated page on the airport website here.
Scroll down for details on entering & departing immigration & customs.
To transfer to Dhiffushi you would normally be able to use the slow MTCC Ferry, Altec Mee Express or Sigma Dhiffushi fast public speedboat transfers but due to current health restrictions only Altec Mee Express and the properties own vessels are operating. We will of course update you when the others recommence. The transfer takes approximately 40 minutes.
Due to COVID-19 & limited availability you must book your transfer with the Hotel or Altec no less than 72 hours prior to arrival at the airport or departure from Dhiffushi. Failure to do so, may result in your not being able to board any of the vessels. Where you have made a last minute holiday booking, resulting in you arriving in less than 72 hours and you have not booked a transfer with the property, we cannot guarantee a convenient transfer for you. In these circumstances you should immediately contact either your property or Altec to enquire if they can provide a transfer on the day of your arrival at the airport.
ALTEC MEE EXPRESS SPEEDBOAT TRANSFER
Public speedboat arrangements from Airport to Dhiffushi Island (Maximum 16 Passengers):
Price Per Passenger
$35.00 per trip or $70.00 round-trip per passenger
Infant (under 2 years old) complimentary
Schedule: Every Day Excluding Fridays
Airport - Dhiffushi 17:00 / Dhiffushi - Airport 07:30
Contact Altec Mee Express
When the hotel vessels have a sufficient number of guests transferring at the same time they may provide the transfer at a reduced rate if the guests are happy to share the vessel. Particularly during these unique times, the various properties are doing their best to help with the transferring of guests, regardless of where they are staying.
Regardless of which transfer option you choose, you will not need to pay separately for your transfers as these will be included in your property booking. Where you are transferring by means of another property's vessel they will arrange for their transfer service to be added to your property booking. Where transferring with Altec you can either add the fare to your property booking or pay them when boarding the vessel in cash.
Upon arrival and having exited the secure area of the airport you will be greeted by a transfer representative from either the hotel or Altec vessel in the arrivals hall, whereby you will be escorted to the vessel in the airport harbour which is only a few meters away.
UPON DISEMBARING THE AIRCRAFT YOU MUST KEEP YOUR MASK ON AT ALL TIMES.
AS YOU ARE STAYING ON AN INHABITED ISLAND, MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES UNLESS IN YOUR ROOM. YOUR PROPERTY WILL ADVISE YOU WHERE & WHEN YOU MAY REMOVE YOUR MASK WHEN USING THE BEACHES OR ENJOYING WATERSPORTS & EXCURSIONS.
While you are heading to immigration your luggage is being screened before you receive it at Baggage Claim. However, after immigration you may be asked to do a second screening. It is an offence to have pork and pork products, alcohol, explosives, weapons, firearms, ammunition, pornographic material, materials deemed contrary to Islam including ‘idols for worship’ and bibles.
Immigration & Customs
Duty Free Allowances. Items brought in by passengers for their own use when travelling to Maldives. These items include:
Clothes, jewellery, watches, pens, portable gadgets, toiletries, books, magazines, newspapers and zero Alcohol. Bringing in any type of alcohol is strictly forbidden. 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250g of tobacco & up to MVR 6,000 worth of other personal items.
All travellers are required to go through immigration clearance upon arrival. Tourist visas are granted for all nationalities, free of charge, on arrival. Inbound passengers must satisfy the following basic entry requirements before they can be considered for entry into Republic of Maldives:
Prior to boarding from your home airport you must complete the online health declaration which must include a Negative Molecular PCR Test certificate taken no more than 96 hours prior to embarkation of your flight. The certificate must be also available in printed format to be shown to immigration on arrival. Full details of the Covid Requirements and the online form can be found. here: https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/ethd/create
While not a legal requirement, for your own safety & others it is strongly recommended you download & activate the TraceEkee App. This supports the efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. The Health Protection Agency will seek and need your actioned consent to upload your encounter data for contact tracing analysis.
A passport or Travel Document with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) with a minimum of 1 month validity after your departure.
Proof of a Pre-Paid hotel booking/accommodation (Confirmed with payment on arrival are accepted in most cases but this is not guaranteed).
Proof of Travel Insurance (TI) for the intended period of stay in the Maldives. If not covered in your own travel insurance policy, you can additionally purchase the Maldives Government approved Tourist COVID-19 Insurance policy from Allied’s website here.
Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Maldives
Confirmed onward/return tickets to home country or a country of Resident (not applicable for valid Resident permit holders)
Entry facilities to their onward destinations, e.g. visas.
Completed Disembarkation/Embarkation Card approved by Maldives Immigration
Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if applicable
Other vaccinations: Unless you are flying from tropical Africa there are no required by law vaccinations for the Maldives for entry or exit. However for your own personal health it is strongly recommended that travellers be covered against the main food and water borne diseases (Hepatitis A and Typhoid) and Tetanus. Please check with your Foreign Office service to keep up to date with changes to vaccination requirements and or recommendations.
The maximum number of days granted on arrival will be 30 days unless agreed by any bilateral means or Treaty. The 30 days is not for the passenger to claim, but lies at the discretion of the Immigration to grant any number of days less than or equal to 30. The period of stay granted is shown on the endorsement given on the passport. Passengers are advised to check their passports for the arrival endorsement and take note of the number of days stay given.
All Passengers Entering on a Tourist visa are not permitted to engage in any form of business, occupation, profession or paid employment while in Maldives. It is a punishable offence to overstay in Maldives beyond the number of days given. A fine of MVR 15750 will be imposed as an overstayed fee. and denial of re-entry is common for your lifetime.
You are required to conduct a PCR test 72hrs prior to your scheduled departure from the island of Dhiffushi when you are traveling from the island to the airport to leave the Maldives. The test will be carried out by your property on an agreed date & time. The cost of this mandatory test is an average of $85 per person and includes anyone above the age of 1 year.
In addition, during exit screening if any tourist is found to have fever or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, they must undergo PCR testing for COVID-19.
The airport is essentially open 24 hours a day and has toilet and dining facilities landside as well as some small convenience shops but that's about it until you are through customs/immigration and airside. There are no lounges landside. It is important to note that unlike many other airports the security and ability to go back outside the terminal ends the moment you pass through the screening when entering the check in hall.
As with on arrival there is a VIP Service available for a fee, where you will be greeted on arrival to the airport & cared for right through to boarding the plane. For more information please go the dedicated page on the airport website here.
Immigration & Customs
You & your luggage will be screened before entering the check in hall and once checked in, you and your carryon luggage will be screened for a second time prior to passing through immigration.
When leaving the Maldives you should know it is an offence to depart with alcohol, tortoise shell and coral. Customs checks/baggage screening is very thorough so it is important you have all your receipts for items purchased during your stay, so as to avoid being inadvertently accused of attempting to leave with prohibited items or items which may incur export fees and so forth.
After Immigration & Customs
There are no on-site sleeping facilities but there are two lounges airside which can be accessed for a fee or free depending on the arrangements with your airline. None of the airlines have their own lounge. For those of you which smoke, you will be pleased to know there is a smoking lounge airside along with restaurants and the usual adornment of duty free shopping.
Finally, there are some amazing areas throughout airside where you can view the apron and runway which due to the small size of the island and it's airport, you can get up close to arrivals and departures more than most other airports around the world.
This is a list of both scheduled & charter airlines which have recommenced their services to Velana International Airport.
Click on the airline name to open their official website to check schedules & fares.