Ukraine Tourists in the Maldives Offered Visa Extension
On 27 February 2022, Maldives Immigration announced a special visa to Ukraine tourists who intends to extend their stay in the Maldives amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Ukraine tourists can apply for the visa extension via IMUGA portal before the expiry of the visa.
Speaking live on RaajjeTv on 28 February, Minister of Tourism, Dr Abdullah Mausoom stated that Ukraine arrivals have stopped completely while bookings from Russia are being cancelled. “The pandemic was the latest crisis we faced. We were doing well on the road of recovery when the Russia-Ukraine conflict began. It includes two of the top source markets to the Maldives – Russia is this year’s number one and Ukraine is in the top ten. Hence, it will have a significant impact on the Maldives tourism industry.”
According to the Ministry of Tourism, there are currently 750 Ukrainian tourists in Maldives and 8,000 Russian tourists.
Minister Mausoom, speaking to Sun on 24 February, expressed that the losses can be accounted for when China reopens its borders and Chinese travellers return to Maldives. However, he added that it is unclear when the borders will reopen.
Further, about fifty Maldivian students were studying in Ukraine when the conflict broke out. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed fifteen Maldivian students have returned home after leaving Ukraine on 28 February. The government also extended financial assistance to Maldivian students that remain in Ukraine as well as to students in Belarus who wish to return home.
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels