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

Jul 18, 2021

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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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The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives
(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.

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

  • 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.

Seaplane flying over the Maldives
(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).

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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 photo courtesy of Radisson Blu Maldives.

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