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

Jul 19, 2021

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If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives next year, prepare for some added costs. Beginning 1 January, 2022, just in time for the country to celebrate its 50th year of tourism, travellers will have to pay a fee to leave the archipelago by air after a new departure tax was approved.

On 11 July, 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 travellers 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.

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

  • Economy: $12 (Maldivians) or $30 (foreign travellers)
  • 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 travellers 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 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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