Velana International Airport also known as Male Maldives Airport is the only international airport in the country of the Maldives. This airport was built on the Hulhulé island to the north of Malé Atoll, only 10 minutes by ferry or taxi from the capital Male. So, what you need to know about Velana International Airport? Let’s check out our Male Airport guide with all things you need to know before arriving Velana Airport (Male Maldives Airport, Male International Airport, Male Airport) from its lounge, transfer services, what to do, what to eat and shop… to find out the answer!

Velana International Airport, Maldives
Aerial view of Velana International Airport, Maldives
Private Jets of super richers.
Velana International Airport lounge
Moonimaa Lounge at Velana Airport

Because it is the transport hub and place to welcome guests from all over the world of the famous, high-end, classy and luxury hotels and resorts in Maldives, so Male Airport is designed to offers the best facilities as well as services to serve the demands of its guests. The resort’s pick-up counters, airport lounges, speedboat and seaplane transfers are gathered here. So, what’s hot at Velana International Airport (Male Maldives Airport), things to do and what to know and what’s interesting here, let’s explore!

Maldives Atolls under the wings.

Male Airport guide: Overview of Male Maldives Airport (Velana International Airport)

Location: Airport Main Rd, 22000, Maldives
Phone: +960 332-3506
Code: MLE
Elevation: 2 m
Serves: Malé, Maldives
Hub for: Maldivian; Trans Maldivian Airways
Owner: Government of Maldives
Website: https://www.maleairport.com/

Maldives Airport Map

Although Velana Airport (Male Maldives Airport) has two runways (originally, it has only one runway, the new runway was opened in September, 2018) but the Velana International Airport owns three terminals – the International Terminal, the Domestic Terminal and the waterdome Seaplane Terminal to carrying guests to the resorts by seaplane. The International Terminal and Domestic Terminal are located at the same location where you will land at the airport while the Seaplane Terminal is located at another location with 10 minutes drive away.

New runway opened in Sep, 2018 which can serves larger aircrafts compare to old runway.

Airport Map

Graphic of Maldives Airport Map (part I)
Graphic of Maldives Airport Map (part II)
Graphic of Maldives Airport Map (part III)

International Terminal Ground Floor Map

Graphic of International Terminal Ground Floor Map (part I)
Graphic of International Terminal Ground Floor Map (part II)

International Terminal First Floor Map

Graphic of International Terminal First Floor Map

While regular tourists can reach the Maldives islands by ferry or water taxi at the pier which is located just outside Male Airport, many guests of the upscale resorts will travel to their destination by speedboat or seaplane. Each resort has its own check-in counter at the arrival hall and guests will be greeted by the resort’s representatives, guiding and taking care at highest level. Usually these counters are just small kiosks but if you stay in upscale resorts like Anantara Dhigu & Veli, they have their own luxury lounge for guests to resting before taking speedboat or seaplane to get to the resort.

Maldives Airport Terminal
Soneva lounge

Male Airport guide: Types of means of transportation to and from the Velana Airport

Velana Airport is located on Hulhule Island and only 5 minutes drive from Male capital. Most tourists come here will not drive and often take a taxi to get to the island capital of Male which is connected to the airport by the Sinamalé Bridge. In addition, the people on the island still keep the habit of traveling by public ferry. Some types of means of transportation from Velana International Airport to the capital of Male and other islands:

Outside Male Airport.
Sinamalé Bridge connecting Male capital and its airport.

Public ferry

The ferry is a small motorboat, operating 24 hours a day and 6 days a week between the airport and the capital. The ticket price is about $1 / one-way and every 10 – 15 minutes with a trip during the day and every 30 minutes with a trip at night. Friday is a Muslim holiday, ferry runs every 10 minutes with a trip from 6am to midnight.

Taxi

It only takes 10 minutes to take a taxi to the capital and the price is about $2.5 / way.

Speedboat

There are various types of speedboat from small to large, docking just the outside of the arrival hall. Speedboat will transporting passengers from the airport to other islands in the areas in the north and south of Male Atoll. Price depends on near or distance. Resorts often will have their own speedboat to pick up their guests, prices range from $100 – $400 / round-trip.

Seaplane

Seaplane usually operating only during daytime, connecting the capital and other islands, resorts with long distance. Seaplane usually will be booked at the time you make a resort reservation, the price ranging from $300 – $1.000 / round-trip.

Seaplane Terminal
Maldives seen from the Seaplane
Maldives seen from the Seaplane

Read more: The fullest Maldives travel guide for a great trip on a budget for the first-timers.

Velana Airport guide: What and where to eat at Male Maldives Airport?

There are not many options for eating at Velana Airport but it is enough for the number of tourists arriving here. Most eateries and restaurants are closed at night. After you done the immigration procedures and get out of the arrival hall, there are quite a few fast food stalls and cafes waiting ahead. Some of the famous brands here are Burger King, Dairy Queen, The Pizza Company, Thai Express and the Coffee Club.

The Pizza Company
Thai Express

These stores selling food for international tourists, so you can rest assured there will be no Indian taste in its food. Food are usually pizza, burger, salad and fried rice. If you take another domestic flight, you will continue to flyingn to another domestic airport, similar to flying with seaplane. At the domestic airport usually has a small café and at the seaplane airport there is an ice cream shop. If you want to buy alcoholic drink you will have to access a duty-free zone, because in the Maldives, drinking alcohol in public areas is prohibited.

Shopping at Velana International Airport

Velana Airport has a duty-free zone but it’s quite small, very few tourists come to Maldives for shopping. The stores in this zone selling mainly cosmetics, perfumes and souvenirs. They sell souvenirs pictures about this island nation but the prices are quite high.

Dhovemi shop

Male Airport guide: What to do at Male Maldives Airport?

If you have a flight back to Singapore but check-out the resort early and still have much time. So, what’s fun at Velana International Airport? You can send your luggage at the airport and take a ferry or taxi to the capital Male to play which takes only 5-10 minutes of traveling. Some information you need to know:

male capital maldives
Panoramic view of Male capital seen from the artificial island of Hulhumale.
  • There is a checked-baggage service counter at the airport which is close to the Terminal Help Desk area. Prices range from $6 to $12 depending on the size of the baggage.
  • Male capital is quite small with an area of only 6.8km2 and a population of over 100,000 people. There are a number of places to visit here such as mosque, fish market and national museum. The central area also has many cafes, restaurants, especially the public ferry wharf area as soon as you set foot in after moving from the airport. But note that the food here still bring Muslim flavor not like the food at the airport. The Male capital doesn’t have a beach.
  • Another place beyond the capital Male you can consider to visiting is the new artificial residential Hulhumalé Island and another island called Villingili (Addu Atoll). There are many small hotels on these islands, especially on Hulhule Island which is only a few minutes by car from the airport. These islands possesses quite nice beaches.
Grand Friday Mosque is one of Male's famous attractions.
Grand Friday Mosque is one of Male’s famous attractions.
Male capital
Male capital

Read more: 10 best things to do in Maldives & Top things to do in Maldives.

Velana International Airport Lounge: The types of resorts’s lounges at Velana Airport

Maldives is the country of the resorts, a paradise of high-end resorts and most visitors traveling to the Maldives to stay at its luxury resorts. So, most of the resorts have their own lounges at the Male Maldives Airport for their guests. Let’s refer to some lounges at the airport terminals before you arriving in the Maldives:

International Terminal: At the arrival hall, you can see the Plaza Premium Lounge that serving business class guests. Before checking in for flight to leaving the Maldives, you can enter the Wellness Lounge to resting (with an extra charge) or the Leeli Lounge (exclusively for business travelers and first class guests). There are also a number of upscale lounges of other resorts such as Four Seasons, Anantara and Jumeirah.

Wellness Lounge

Domestic Terminal: This terminal specializes in serving guests moving from Male to the inland islands of the Maldives. There is a lounge called Moonimaa just outside of the entrance to the terminal, guests can use the free WiFi, shower and resting. It also have a spa zone for guests to experience and of course you have to pay for its service.

Velana International Airport lounge
Moonimaa Lounge at Velana Airport

Seaplane Terminal: Here, there are mainly private lounges for guests of resorts where they will take seaplane. This terminal is located about 10 minutes by car from the airport. After guests arriving in the Maldives, the resort staff waits for and check-in to take seaplane flight, then guests will be taken to these lounges. The lounges here are extremely luxurious, spacious and fully equipped. For more details, you can refer to my real experiences at these lounges of resorts such as Anantara Kihavah, Niyama and COMO Maalifushi.

The luxurious lounge of Anantara Kihavah and Niyama resorts

Read more: Where to stay in Maldives? — 8 best budget & best affordable Maldives resorts you should stay.

Male Airport guide: SIM Card and WiFi at Velana International Airport

At the airport, you will be accessed free WiFi for 25 minutes. If you want to access longer, you will need to buy a SIM Card here. The SIM card counters are located just outside the arrival hall of the airport, with about 3 counters. SIM card price ranges from $10 – $15 including 4G, depending on the number of days of use that you want to buy. In addition, if you go to restaurants and lounges, you also access free WiFi. You can buy a SIM card in advance here.

Regarding the electrical outlet to charge the devices, you can use it at public areas, with 230V power. The power plug in the Maldives is a 3-pin type, standard G of England or Singapore.

Male Maldives Airport tips: Some useful information and tips before going to Male airport

In addition to the above information, you can note some things below to ensure your trip to Maldives paradise is the most complete:

  • The airport does not operate 24/24 but most services and restaurants are only open from 6am to midnight.
  • Male Maldives Airport is quite small, but it still have enough services with Tourist Information Counter, post office, a pharmacy and even a clinic.
  • It also has both ATMs and money exchange booths, but if you only stay at the resort, bring USD is enough. At the resorts, they accept popular currencies such as USD, Euro and credit cards.
  • Due to being a Muslim country, it prohibit all kinds of alcohol and pork, so you absolutely cannot bring these when entering the Maldives. Also pay attention to dress discreetly when arriving at the airport and public areas.
Money exchange bank at Male Airport.

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Maldives you can refer to

Rihiveli by Castaway Hotels & Escapes,best affordable maldives resorts,best budget hotels in maldives,best budget resorts in maldives (1)
Windsurfing

Are you looking for more Maldives travel guide and top things to do in Maldives: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Maldives travel blog — The fullest Maldives travel guide for a great trip on a budget for the first-timers.

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