Dharavandhoo, one of the 13 local Maldivian islands located in the Baa atoll. The Baa atoll, known also as the Southern Maalhosmadulu atoll, is made up of 12 local fisher islands, other than Dharavandhoo, 75 uninhabited islands and 10 resort islands.
There are about 11 000 inhabitants living permanently in this atoll, which is located about 105 km from Male, the Maldivian capital. To cover the distance from Male to the region there are various possibilities, such as speed boats, sea planes, ferries and domestic flights.
Some of the most famous local islands in our area are Thulhaadhoo, well-known for its craftsmanship of pottery, Eydhafushi, which is the atoll’s capital and renowned for its weaving of the feyli, the tipical black and white Maldivian pareo and of course Dharavandhoo, which is the biggest of all the islands. There is even space enough for a domestic airport and various beaches, reserved exclusively for tourist use. Dharavandhoo measures a length of 1.33km and a width of 0.48km and bases its own economy mainly on tourism and fishing.
Since the 17th of October in 2012 the local airport connects the island to Male with flight durations no longer than 30 minutes. Other than the airport the island offers also a hospital, primary and secondary schools, two soccer pitches and two mosques. All locals speak, other than Dhivehi, the national language, fluently English, most of them also a 3rd or a 4th language.
Dharavandhoo is being administered by 5 people, forming a Counsel, which has been elected exclusively by the inhabitants of the island itself. In 2011 the Baa atoll has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its famous coral reefs which are the biggest groupings in the Indian Ocean. The famous Hanifaru Bay, located only 20 minutes by dhoni from Dharavandhoo, is a protected marine area. Hanifaru is a naturally emerged bay, populated by whale sharks, grey reef sharks and manta rays. This very special bay is thought of one of the few places where whale sharks come to, in order to encounter each other and to mate. The incredible biodiversity inside this bay has developed due to enormous amounts of plankton accumulating from May to November.