Shopping is the favorite activity for the locals especially in the evenings, when it is cooler. The Majeedhee Magu, which is the main road on the island, has along its sides various shops selling goods from the smallest commodities to virtually everything you could think of. The shops are well stocked with garments, perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, watches or electronics, to name just a few. Many find it a pleasant experience to join the throngs of shoppers on the main shopping streets in the evenings. All shops are open until 11.00 in the night, except for prayer times, when they are closed for 15 minutes.
Canned fish produced at the canning plant in Felivaru, Lhaviyani Atoll is available in a number of shops in Male’. Tuna used for canning are caught by the traditional pole and line method, as are all fish caught in the Maldives, and therefore are ‘dolphin friendly’. Vacuum packed smoked fish and chipped dried fish are also available in many super markets around Male’. These genuine Maldivian products would make excellent gifts for a friend. Or just take some home and try them out yourself.
The Local Market, just a block away from the Male’ Fish Market on the northern waterfront, is divided into small stalls. Here the pace is slower and the atmosphere peaceful, compared to the hectic activity in the rest of this neighborhood. Each stall is filled with a variety of local produce mainly from the atolls. Here you will find different kinds of local vegetables, fruits and yams, packets of sweetmeat, nuts and breadfruit chips, bottles of home made sweets and pickles and bunches of bananas hanging on coir ropes from ceiling beams. Another building just next door sells smoked and dried fish
It is not difficult to find your way around Male’, especially if you carry a map with you. After all it is only two square kilometers. The main street Majeedhee Magu, runs right across the island from east to west. Chaandhanee Magu on the other hand runs from north to south. Most souvenir shops line the northern end of Chaandanee Magu, earlier known as the Singapore Bazaar for its many imports from Singapore. Guides and vendors speaking in English and other foreign languages patiently wait to serve the visitors. These shops are stocked with an ample supply of gifts and souvenir items. Best buys include the ‘thudu kuna’ the Maldivian mat woven with local natural fibers. Attractive too are the wooden miniature ‘dhonis’. When shopping for souvenirs, do keep in mind that export of products made of turtle shell, black coral, pearl oyster shell and red coral is prohibited.