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Maldives International Airport

Maldives International Airport is also known as Velana international airport. The airport is located on the south edge of Male atoll, It is a separate artificial island located on the edge of North Male atoll.  The airport is very unique and different from the rest of the world. It is important to read the whole article, especially if you are a new visitor to the Maldives. This is a detailed guide about all the places in the airport.

maldives international airport


International Terminal

(Entrance, Immigration, baggage rollers, baggage control desk, Security scanners and exit)

Domestic terminal

(Check-in counters, Security screen, and boarding gate)

Tourist Services

(ATM, Pharmacy, Free Wi-Fi, Luggage store, Sim Card, Lounge, Information desk, Tourist police, Foodcourt, Prayer room, smoking area, and layover hotel)

Transfer service

(Taxi, Speedboats, seaplane, and Domestic flights)

Things to do at the airport

(Day visit to resorts, Capital City tours)

International Flight Map

1. International Terminal


Most of the time it will be short work to the arrival hall, when you get off from the flights, in some case a bus transfer is also offered. After arriving at the hall you will find the immigration counters. Sometimes the queue can be long especially on Sunday. Sunday is the busiest of all days. After passing the immigration counters you will meet the baggage rollers. There are only 3 rollers so you might have to wait for a few minutes for your baggage to arrive. On a side of the baggage rollers, you will also find a baggage control desk, in case of missing or damaged baggage, you can report to the counter directly. After collecting the baggage now you have to proceed for the scanners. This is the place your hand carries are scanned. (note* Maldives is 100% Muslim country, therefore, alcohol are not allowed to carry beyond this part of the arrival terminal). After passing the scanners you will see the exit gate. The exit gate is the area where your hotel staff will be waiting for you, there are also many hotel counters in front of the exit.

International arrival terminal

The departure gates are located on the left side of the arrival gate. There is a total of 4 departure gates named by numbers from 1-4. Your passport is required at the entrance, after entering you will face the security screening and baggage scanners and then straight in front of the scanners, you will find the airline check-in counter. Once you pass the scanners you cannot come out of the departure terminal, so make sure you have all your belongings with you before proceeding. After check-in from the airline counter, now you need to take the electronic staircase or lift to the 1st floor. You will find your boarding gate from the 1st floor. There will be duty-free shops, smoking area, bank, food court on this floor.

International departure terminal

2. Services

Similar like other international Airports Maldives also provide some very basic service at the airport. Below is the list of service available at the airport for visitors.

  • # Sim card services:

    In the Maldives at the moment there are only 2 mobile operators available (Dhiraagu and Ooreddoo) both companies has a service desk available at the airport. On the right side of the exit, you will find a written signboard of service providers.

  • # ATM & Bank:

    A branch of the Bank of Maldives ATM machines are placed in the Maldives International Airport. International cards like (Visa, Master, Amex ) are accepted by the bank of Maldives. USD withdrawals Booths are also placed at the Airport. The bank also provides currency exchange services.

  • # Layover:

    For the tourists who arrive late night, sometimes need to wait for the next day to take the domestic flights, in this case, a Hotel is available at the Maldives International Airport to spend the night. 5 minutes distance by the bus and the transfer free of charges to the hotel. The bus stop is on the right side of the arrival exit on the walkway to the domestic terminal.

  • # Lounge Service:

    A VIP lounge and wellness Massage Lounge is also available at the Male International Airport in case you feel tired from a long flight needs to take a shower and relax.

  • # Food Court

    Maldives International Airport has a food court with some international brands. The food court is located at the main exit area close to the departure gate of the airport.

  • # Information Desk:

    At the main gate, an information desk is provided for traveler inquiries and FIT travelers to book hotels and transfers.

  • # Tourist Police:

    A police desk is located next to the wellness lounge in Main waiting Hall. Missing luggage and other issues can be reported to the tourist police. Tourist police contact Number is 332-2111 ext. 3322112

  • # Pharmacy

    A Pharmacy is situated next to the main exit area.

  • # Post Services:

    A branch of Maldives post is also located in the Airport.

  • # Luggage Store:

    In case you want to visit the capital Male city from the airport during your waiting time you can store your luggage in the luggage store. 6$ is charged for a normal-sized bag. The cash counter for the luggage store is located next to the departure gate.

  • # Prayer Room:

    For Muslim travelers, a Mosque is located in the waiting hall area next to the restrooms.

  • # Free WiFi:

    Free wifi is available at the domestic waiting hall, you just need to log in by using a mobile number of Facebook. The domestic terminal is within 3 minutes’ walk distance from the international terminal.

  • # Smoking Area:

    A designated area for smoking is provided at the main exit, international terminal and domestic area of the airport. Smoking in other areas is not allowed and will be fined for 35$.


3. Domestic Terminal

Maldives International Airport is a combined airport for domestic and international flights. The domestic terminal is located within 3 minutes walking distance on the right side of the international arrival gate.

Maldives is one the dispersed country in the world and all the islands are surrounded by seawater, therefore a domestic flight transfer is required for many visitors. At the entrance of the domestic terminal, you can find easily the check-in counters. The domestic transfer is very busy and only very flights are available at the moment, therefore prior booking is required if you have to travel by domestic flights. Straight in front of the check-in counter, you can find the boarding gate, where your hand carries will be scanned before boarding. There are 16 airports in different regions of the Maldives. To the most distant airport (GAN) it takes 1hour and 25 minutes. The domestic arrival hall is located in the same building next to the departure. Again in most cases, it will be a short walk from flights to the domestic terminal where you will meet the baggage rollers.

airports in maldives

The two types of activities available at the airport and they are day visits to resorts and city tours to the capital Male city. If you want to kill the domestic waiting time, these tours are the best things to do at the Male International Airport. Male city is located next to the airport and only takes 10 minutes transfer. City tour and day visit resorts  

Book Day visit
Book City Tour

4. Transfers:

Direct transfers to the airport are most available for the visitors who stay in close by resorts or in Male city. All other
Taxi: only for the visitors who stay in Male or Hulhumale city. For the tourists staying in private resorts need other modes of transportation.
Speedboat: Only for the tourists who stay in close by or Male atoll islands and resorts. For far distance resorts and islands, another mode of transportation is needed.
Book Speedboat
Seaplane: Maldives International Airport operates the biggest seaplane platform in the world. Seaplane is one of the most convenient ways for far distant resorts as it can take off from Maldives International Airport and land directly to resorts. Tourists who take domestic flights are still required to take additional speedboat transfer from Domestic airport to the Hotels/Resorts. Private charters are also available.
Seaplane counters are also located in front of the international arrival gate. After check-in the baggage, a bus transfer will be offered by the airline.


5. Maldives International Flight Map: