The government has introduced
stringent new regulations on the conduct of symbolic marriage ceremonies in the
The new regulations, drawn up by the Ministry of Tourism, have been approved by President Nasheed and were published in the government gazette on Thursday.
The regulations include a Rf. 1 million (US$78,000) fine for resorts that fail to uphold the new rules.
The new regulations stipulate that symbolic marriage ceremonies for tourists visiting the Maldives must be conducted under the supervision of a resort’s senior management.
The ceremonies must be clearly and fully explained to tourists and conducted in a language chosen by the tourists.
If the tourist chooses to hold their ceremony in a language that is unknown to them, the resort must provide the tourist with a translation of the ceremony in a language they understand.
The new regulations state that the official celebrant or any participant shall not “engage in any activity disrespectful or degrading to any religion, Maldivian culture or custom.”
The rules go on to state that: “the attendees to the symbolic marriage ceremony shall not engage in any disrespectful activity either actively or verbally while the proceedings are ongoing.”
The regulations also state that if the tourist agrees to an audio or video recording of their ceremony, resort management must keep a copy of the recording for one year and provide that copy to the Ministry of Tourism, if requested to do so.
“Tourists frequently say the Maldives’ warm hospitality is the main reason they keep coming back to the country,” said Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair.
Zuhair added that the new regulations mean “tourists who wish to conduct a symbolic wedding in the Maldives should have peace of mind that their ceremonies are conducted to the highest professional standards.”
The new regulations can be download here: http://www.presidencymaldives.gov.mv/4/?ref=1,5,5634
Advisor on International Media & Communications
The President's Office
Republic of Maldives