The Maldives economy has seen a great improvement and development during the past 25 years. The country’s different sectors have progressed while infrastructure, education, politics and foreign relations has also seen an improvement. Although many local businessmen, politicians and other individuals are being praised for their part in this progress, the contributions of foreigners to this country cannot be undermined.
1. Male’, the capital of Maldives, inhabited by over one third of the country’s total population, is seen as a concrete jungle. The country’s GDP increased by 7.3 percent from 1997 to 2012, mainly due to the contributions of the many foreigners visiting and working here.
2. Bangladeshi construction workers unloading materials from a lorry in Majeedhi Magu of Male’. Since the year 2000, construction industry has progressed significantly in Maldives while the majority of employees in the industry are Bangladeshi nationals.
3. Employees at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital cleaning the hospital gate and walls. Many Indian nationals are filling a range of posts at the hospital, as doctors and janitors, while the hospital is a grant aid from the Indian government.
4. Firboaz Yoosuf, 23, an Indian, has been working as a street vendor in Male’ for the past six months. While many foreigners are involved in this business, their tastes and delicacies are being accepted and adopted by the local Maldivians, including the Paan which has now been locally named as Molhu Bileiy Gandu.
5. A foreigner riding a bicycle loaded with waste on the Bodu Thakuru Faanu Magu in Male’. The local population of the country is not involved in low profile jobs such as carrying waste, and it is the foreigners that contribute to the economy by carrying out this key job.
6. A group of foreigners selling fruits and vegetables at the Male’ local market. Apart from working as vendors, foreigners are also involved in the primary industry of the country, sometimes working as fishermen and farmers.
7. Mohamed Aleem, 30, has been working at a sewing station in Male’ for the past six years. While the demand for such sewing stations among local women is great, the majority of male workers in this field are foreigners from neighboring countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
8. A foreign man at work near the Male’ waste area, collecting reusable items to sell at the Neelan Fihaara or second hand market. The second hand market is popular among the low income populations and expatriates living and working in the country.
9. Staff of Villa Gas loading gas cylinders onto a lorry. While Maldives has two main gas companies, Maldive Gas and Villa Gas, most of the workers employed in delivering gas cylinders are expatriates.
10. A tourist couple taking a walk near the Male’ sea wall at the Artificial Beach area. The Sea Wall, a grant aid from the Japanese government, helps in protecting the island just 1.5 meters above sea level, from the destructive waves of the ocean. Meanwhile, over a million tourists visited Maldives last year, contributing immensely to the country’s development and economy.