Maldives central bank to sell dollars instantly to travellers

Service counters selling US Dollars to travellers in MMA. PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/MIHAARU

Service counters selling US Dollars to travellers in MMA. PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/MIHAARU

The Maldives central bank has arranged to sell US Dollars instantly to travellers upon inspection of their passports and airplane tickets.

Previously, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) only sold dollars to buyers at given times after 4:00 p.m.

However, MMA stated late Saturday that the bank will release dollars to travellers immediately after checking their passports and tickets from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Maldives government gave MMA the sole authority of selling US Dollars to travellers last month after banks faced dollar shortage with the start of the year end school holidays. To solve the crisis of long queues accumulating in front of banks to purchase dollars for airline tickets, MMA was authorised as sole US Dollar seller to travellers until the end of the school vacation.

MMA has sold around USD 13 million to travellers over the past month.

Plan for MMA to sell US Dollar to travellers

  • Sole US Dollar seller to travellers from November 20 to January 7
  • Sell dollars to passengers departing within the next week only per day
  • USD 500 per ticket
  • In a large group of travellers, on passenger can buy dollars for maximum five tickets
  • Passport and ticket checking from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Dollar sales begin at 4:000 p.m. (according to the time in the slips given to customers)
  • Passengers that turn in passports and tickets for checking before 6:00 p.m. will receive dollars that day itself

While MMA is the only institute selling dollars to travellers in capital Male, BML branches in atoll islands will continue to sell dollars. However, after the year end school vacation finishes next year, only airport departure terminals will sell dollars from January 8 onwards. This applies to all international airports of the Maldives.

MMA stated that BML is currently working to establish an easy and fast system to provide dollars to passengers at airports. The bank will disclose further information on the matter soon.

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