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The Maldives, known to the locals in their native language as Dhivehi Raajje, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 natural coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and west of Sri Lanka. None of the coral islands measures more than 1.8 metres above sea level.
Only 192 islands are inhabited by its 300,000 inhabitants. The rest of the islands remain virgin islands except for more than 100 islands that have been developed for the top end of the tourist market.
With its abundant sea life and sandy beaches, The Maldives is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise. Maldives was for the most part unknown to tourists until the early 1970s.
The economy revolves around tourism, and fisheries. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP. Over 90% of the state government income comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes.