Local Diving Regulations

Standard diving practices in the Maldives are much the same with the exception that the Maldives government has taken some rather interesting additional measures to ensure that scuba diving enjoys a 5-star safety record in this diver's paradise.


  • Dives less than 24 hours before flying are prohibited.

Maldives Recreational Diving Guidelaines, Chapter 3, section 4, Paragraph 3

Nobody is permitted to engage in any scuba related activity for at least 24 hours before boarding an aircraft. This helps to prevent even the occasional occurrence of decompression problems related to flying and diving. Dive centers are actually obliged to take note of your departure date and flight number to make sure that you stay in keeping with this law.

  • The Maximum depth for all-recreational diving in the Maldives is 30 meters

Maldives Recreational Diving Regulation Chapter 2, section 3, Paragraph 1

This is the general maximum limit and only really affects divers who hold technical recreational diving qualifications or deep diver specialty qualifications and who specifically wish to engage in deeper dives. Just to be perfectly clear on this matter, the law does not also mean that suddenly everyone may dive to 30m. Let's not forget that for DSDs, PADI scuba divers and PADI junior divers under the age of 12 years, the 12m depth limit still applies.

  • Only no decompression diving is allowed in the Maldives.

Maldives Recreational Diving Regulation Chapter 2, section 4, Paragraph 1

Even though most dive computers these days will calculate a "deco" dive for you, the Maldives is simply the wrong place to try out that function on your shiny new dive computer. Here amongst the atolls decompression diving is strictly prohibited by law. This is the main reason why technical diving and technical diving training has never found a real foothold in these waters.


These are only some of the diving regulations that all divers must abide by when diving in the Maldives. For a full description of diving regulations and guidelines please download a copy of the Maldives Tourism Act from the Maldives Tourism website. (https://www.tourism.gov.mv/)



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