Disappointing travel destination Male, Maldives | For half a century the tourist industry on the Maldives was building a reputation as a destination close to paradise. And it’s true if you remain in your resort. Just don’t visit the capital Male. Approx. 133,000 people live in Male. But the city only has 5.8 sqkm of space to offer. It is #11 in the list of places with the highest density of people per sqkm in the world. Since there is no surrounding countryside, all infrastructure has to be located in Male itself. Water is provided from desalinated ground water. The waterworks pumps up brackish water from 60 m deep wells and desalinates that. Sewage is pumped unprocessed into the ocean. Solid waste is transported to nearby islands, where it fills in lagoons. The airport was built in this way. Electricity is produced by using diesel generators.
Why does an ugly place like Male actually exist in the first place? Blame the Portuguese. They founded Male as a trading post in the 16th century.