The Edition


Before and After: Male' City

A short, nostalgic photo series on how 'the island cities' of Maldives have changed over the last few decades.

Shaina Abdulla
19 August 2018, MVT 07:23
Aerial view of Kaafu Atoll Mal'e City - PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA
Shaina Abdulla
19 August 2018, MVT 07:23

As with all places, the Maldives has changed. significantly over the last few decades, especially during the first years of the new millennia. For those who remember, it has been quite the change, from unpaved roads, the beaches of 'Marine Drive', a far greener landscape overall to massive buildings taking over the skyline, and everything else in between.

Join us as we take a nostalgic photo-journey through the evolution of 'Fura Male' to 'Male' City'.

Hukuru Miskiyy Munnaaru (Friday Mosque Minaret)

Hukuru Miskiyy Munnaaru (Friday Mosque Minaret) in the 1990's - PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

The large coral stone Munnaaru or minaret, a tower in front of the mosque was built in 1675 to represent the beginning of round minarets in the country and form an interesting variation with the pre-Islamic past of the country.

The minaret was originally binded by iron chains and copper belts in 1914 AD.

Hukuru Miskiyy Munnaaru (Friday Mosque Minaret) in 2018 - PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

Hukuru Miskiyy (Friday Mosque)

Hukuru Miskiyy (Friday Mosque) in the 1970's - PHOTO: VONADHONA RAAJJE

Hukuru Miskiyy was built in 1656. The mosque is built entirely with coral stones, intricately carved with Arabic calligraphy and ornamental patterns, which depict 11th century Islamic architecture and local lacquer work .

There are also a number of ancient tombstone set in memory of past sultans, heroes and nobles in the mosque compound. Some historical facts about the structure of the Mosque can also be seen inscribed in Arabic on the walls.

Hukuru Miskiyy (Friday Mosque) in 2018 - PHOTO: SOURCE UNKNOWN

People's Majlis (Parliament)


The first ever Majlis in the Maldives was formed after a council was set up by Sultan Muhammad Shamsuddeen III to draft the constitution of the Maldives on 9 March 1931.

The council completed and implemented the constitution on 22 December 1932, in turn being the basis for the formation of the People's Majlis.


Bandaara Koshi (MNDF Headquarters)

MNDF Headquarters Bandaara Koshi, known as Bandaara Ge then, in 1979 - PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

Bandaara Koshi is the headquarters of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF). As such, it has stood witness to quite a few monumental moments in the history of Maldives. For instance, it is where former President Nasheed spent the last moments of his Presidency at 5:00 am on 7 February 2012.

Bandaara Koshi is also where the soldiers and officers of Maldives National Defense Force, and Maldives Police Service, swear to “gladly give our lives in defense of the independence, peace and unity of our nation”, and renew their vows every year. This year, the ceremony was attended by incumbent President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

MNDF Headquarters Bandaara Koshi in 2018 - PHOTO: SOURCE UNKNOWN

Medhu Ziyaaraiy

Medhu Ziyaaraiy in 1958 - PHOTO: SOURCE UNKNOWN

One of the most historical interest in Male’ is the Medhu Ziyaaraiy, wherein lies the tomb of the saint Sheikh Abul Barakath Yusuf, who converted Maldives to Islam in 1153 AD.

The tomb inside the enclosure, however, is not open for public viewing.

Medhu Ziyaaraiy in 2018 - PHOTO: SOURCE UNKNOWN

National Museum

National Museum in the early 2000's - PHOTO: SOURCES UNKNOWN

The National Museum in Male’ contains objects of interest from Maldives’ long history. One section of the Museum is devoted to artifacts from Maldives’ pre-Islamic past. Some of the objects, many of them of Buddhist origin, displayed date back from 4th to the 10th century AD.

Established on the National Day of the Maldives, the first national museum of the country was opened on November 11, 1952, by the Prime Minister at the time, Mohamed Amin Didi. However, the building was later abolished by President Mohamed Nasheed and re-opened on Maldives' Independence Day, July 26, 2010 at the site of the Maldivian Royal Palace compound dating back to the 17th century.

National Museum in 2018 - PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

Editors Note: For our follow-up to this series, readers are welcome to email any pictures, along with any information that may have been collected (including photo credits) for a chance to share in the nostalgia on our Feature page.

Please send your photographs and details to