Following an incident yesterday in which a group of tourists arrived in Male’ and went swimming in the Artificial Beach wearing bikinis, Male’ City Council has decided to put up sign boards informing tourists that it is prohibited to swim in the area wearing bikinis.
Male’ City Council member Mohamed Shujau today told Minivan News that the decision to put up sign boards was to prevent such incidents from occurring.
‘’It will happen when large groups of tourists come to Male’,’’ Shujau said. ‘’We do not want to punish the tourists so we will try to put up sign boards as a method of prevention.’’
Shujau said the Male’ City Council was in an agreement with tour operator and agents responsible for bringing tourists to Male’ that they will inform tourists that wearing bikinis while in Male’ is not allowed.
He said the council was yesterday informed “by many people” about the incident, and requested the council look into the matter.
Secretary General of the Maldives Association of Yacht Agents (MAYA) told Minivan News that the council had informed the association about the tourists swimming in the Artificial Beach wearing improper clothing.
‘’We always inform tourists that it is not allowed to wear bikinis in Male’ under Maldivian regulations,’’ Mohamed Ali said. ‘’We informed the tourists that came yesterday that the only place in Male’ that is for swimming is the Artificial Beach, and informed them that Maldivians also swim there.’’
Mohamed Ali said the association also informed tourists that anything they wear had to cover up to their knees, and that it was inappropriate to wear bikinis.
He said Male’ City Council has asked MAYA to assist the council in putting up the sign boards, and said MAYA had agreed to help.
A large group of tourists arrived yesterday from a cruise liner carrying more than 3000 tourists, he added.
In February last year the Adhaalath Party complained that tourists had been wearing improper clothing and consuming alcohol on Hulhumale’ beach in public, and that the area was becoming “a place where Maldivian families cannot visit.”
Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed today told Minivan News that the issue was not related to the Islamic Ministry and that Islamic Ministry “has nothing to say about it.”
He said that the Islamic Ministry had not received any complaints regarding the issue.