The Maldives is a tropical archipelago of 1,192 coral islands projecting from 26 giant atolls in the Indian Ocean. Two hundred of the islands are inhabited and a further eighty have been developed into tourist resorts. The local culture reflects a mixture of South Indian, Sinhalese and Arab influences. The Maldives is the flattest country in the world – its highest point is just 2.4 metres above sea level. Maldives islands are as flat as this spirit level

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