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Travelers will soon have to pay a new departure tax to leave the Maldives

July 18, 2021
3 min read
Radisson Blu Maldives overwater villas
Travelers will soon have to pay a new departure tax to leave the Maldives
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If you're planning a trip to the Maldives next year, prepare for some added costs. Beginning January 1, 2022, just in time for the country to celebrate its 50th year of tourism, travelers will have to pay a fee to leave the archipelago by air after a new departure tax was approved.

On July 11, the country's president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, signed off on an amendment to the nation's Airport Taxes and Fees Act. Currently, that act charges a $25 airport service charge for airline customers departing the Maldives. The new departure tax, which must be paid in U.S. dollars, will replace that next year.

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(Photo courtesy of The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives)

Although everyone (including locals) departing from any of the country's airports must pay the tax, residents will pay less than travelers who are just visiting. People booked in economy seats will also pay less than those in business and first classes, as well as those booked on private charter flights.

Related: Using points and miles to book business class flights and an overwater villa in the Maldives

According to Maldivian news outlet raajje, here's what each person can expect to pay in departure taxes from January 1, 2022, on:

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  • Economy: $12 (Maldivians) or $30 (foreign travelers)
  • Business: $60 (everyone)
  • First: $90 (everyone)
  • Charters: $120 (everyone)

The tax will be waived for diplomats and children younger than 2.

(Photo by Sven Hansche/Shutterstock.com)

Additionally, all passengers flying internationally from Velana International Airport (MLE), the Maldives' main airport, will be subject to an airport development fee of $25 (this is different from the airport service charge mentioned above). That means most travelers can expect to pay anywhere from $12 (if they're locals flying economy from an airport other than MLE) to $145 (if they're flying from MLE on charters).

Related: 10 incredible overwater bungalows you can book with points

The terms of the amendment require that passengers pay the money in USD -- which are easy to obtain in the Maldives if you haven't brought any with you -- to their airline. The airline will hand the money over to the airport, which is then responsible for paying the taxes to the government.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of the Radisson Blu Maldives)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023