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Tipping is not compolsory in the Maldives as 10% service charge is added to everything - but given the low salaries earned by the staff and the level of service generally offered as being excellent it is a nice gesture to help the staff of resorts to earn some extra money - It is also not entirely certain that the 10% service charge is passed onto the islands staff.
Over the years tipping culture has changed in the Maldives, manly due to the Europeans & other continents visiting and giving varying amounts of cash as tips, so this inside page is designed to give an insight to what is an acceptable level of tipping. This will obviously vary from person to person based on the term 'what is acceptable'. All quotes are in US Dollars $ as this is the most widely accepted currency.
There are also ways in which you can tip, the traditional standard is to tip usual staff (room boy /waiter) once per week, however some people prefer to tip once per holiday and others everyday, the original European way of tipping is once per week and this has always worked fine and never affected the way in which the tourist receives the service from staff.
The below are just guides and the dynamics of the island you stay on may differ considerably. ie shared dinner tables/ more than one waiter/room boy - Just a guide
Generally staff outnumber guests by 2-1 but on some resorts by as much as 5-1 - it is the unseen staff that usually do not feature highly on tips so it is important to find a tipping box for this purpose.
Muslim is the predominant religion in the Maldives and although dress is casual to very casual on the islands, beachwear is not acceptable in the restaurant(s) on resort or away from the resorts. According to religious values, locals do not eat pork and alcohol is only available to foreigners within resorts, this includeds importing alcohol. Topless sunbathing is against the law, but is seen from time to time from ignorant tourists.
Visitors should dress respectfully when visiting a mosque or local village by keeping arms, shoulders and legs covered.