Paradise Lost From Bad To Ugly: Maldives Now ONLY Wants To Ban Jewish Israelis

S. Regis Maldives, March 2017 ©DansDeals
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Update: While this bill has cross-party support to become law, Maldives Attorney General Ahmed Usham announced that the country is struggling with how to ban Israelis or dual citizens who hold an Israeli passport while avoiding a ban on the country’s 2.1 million Israeli Arabs.

Perhaps they can just be honest and say that the ban is only on Jews who hold Israeli citizenship?

But sure, go ahead and keep calling Israel an apartheid state, while the Maldives will only grant citizenship to Muslims.

In the meantime, the US may move to ban aid to the Maldives.

Originally posted on 6/2:

The government of the Maldives announced today that they will ban Israelis from entering the country.

About 11,000 Israelis visited the country last year, making up 0.6% of tourists. But that doesn’t take into account the Jews who traveled there from around the world that will now choose to spend their tourist dollars elsewhere.

Of course, by targeting Israelis and not citizens of any other country, the Maldives may find themselves off the bucket list of non-Israelis as well.


To be fair, many Muslim countries don’t allow visitors to enter with an Israeli passport. Those include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.

The workaround for that has been to have dual citizenship and use a foreign passport to enter.

Until the Abraham Accords, Israelis also couldn’t enter the UAE, Bahrain, or Sudan.

However, the Maldives never had restrictions on Israelis until now. Singling out Israel while fighting a war it didn’t initiate and ignoring the wrongdoings of every other country, makes this inexcusable.

While the Maldives originally had various belief systems, Arab traders converted the entire archipelago to Islam starting in 1153. Today, the Maldives is 100% Muslim as citizenship has required adherence to Islam since 2008. Government and judiciary members must be Sunni Muslims as of the latest version of the country’s constitution, which also states that no law contrary to Islam can be applied.

Apparently, Apartheid against non-Muslims is fair game, but Israel is accused of Apartheid despite having millions of Arab citizens who even serve in the Knesset. Ironically, they too will now be banned from visiting the Maldives.

While Maldivian islands populated by locals have strict Islamic laws, the country’s famous resorts with overwater bungalows are located on uninhabited islands that allow for western norms.

During Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza, about 30 Israeli surfers in the Maldives were evacuated from locally populated Thulusdhoo island after one of them tore up a placard equating the Nazi Swastika to the Israeli flag. The Maldives said at the time that Israelis were welcome to visit, but were evacuated for their own safety. At the time, the Maldives banned imports from Israel and raised funds for Gaza.

The Maldives are located off the Indian coast, but they have been shifting their alliances away from India and towards China. President Mohamed Muizzu was elected last year on an anti-India platform and earlier this year, the India-Maldives relationship was further strained by Maldivian officials comments on Indian Prime Minister Modi’s post promoting tourism to Lakshadweep. That led to calls for Indians to boycott travel to the Maldives.

I’ve been to the Maldives twice, and yes, it is paradise. But today’s move makes a return visit anytime soon seem wrong. There are other options for overwater bungalows after all. Personally, I have canceled an upcoming trip to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives that I had planned for my 40th birthday later this year. Pity that I just transferred points from AMEX to Hilton last week to book that.

Bora Bora has several options with them, including points hotels like the Conrad, Intercontinental, S. Regis, Westin, and more.

Or if you want something closer to home, Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals South Shore Jamaica, and Sandals S. Lucia have overwater bungalows. You may be able to negotiate food from local Chabad Houses to be included in the all-inclusive rate as well or you can always contact a local Chabad for information on purchasing meals from them.


Will US based hotel chains with properties in the Maldives, like Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, or Marriott, speak up about this issue?

Will you cancel your trip or take the Maldives off your bucket list after today’s move?

HT: Kobe Bryant, via DDF

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131 Comments On "Paradise Lost From Bad To Ugly: Maldives Now ONLY Wants To Ban Jewish Israelis"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Definitely off the bucket list

Chani Vogel

just want to say that there are gorgeous overwater bungalows, and an entire experience to be had in Panama, (actually in San Blas, but you come from Panama to San blas)


Which resort in panama do you recommend for a similar level of luxury?


Bocas del Toro, the other side of Panama has unbelievable over the water bungalow’s


And there is Chabad right there with a dairy and fleishig restaurants

Chani Vogel

41 kosher restaurants in Panama!
and at least three chabad places that I know of


There are 4. Chabad of Playa Venao; Chabad of Bocas del Toro; an Israeli Chabad in Panama City (for the tourists); and a Panamanian Chabad (for the residents) in Panama City. The rabbi and rebbetzin in Playa Venao speak Hebrew, Spanish and English; no idea if the other Chabad houses speak all 3 languages – check with each of them if you don’t already speak all 3 languages.

R. Fish

which hotel chain is it?

Charles R

Maldives can gey in drerd


Uder in yam arein

Joel Elliot

Will not be going to the Maldives anymore. It’s been real

Marriot, Hilton and Hyatt should do the same as well and pull out from the Maldives – especially before it goes underwater in 20 years or less…


“Will US based hotel chains with properties in the Maldives, like Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, or Marriott, speak up about this issue?”
Definitely not. They care about the money and not the Israeli’s. Especially Hyatt which is owned by the Pritzker’s who are supporting the college campus protests.


where is your info about Pritzker’s supporting college protests, coming from


I posted about it earlier, The was a Politico article about susan and nick pritzker who fund the Tides foundation which support all kinds of horrible orgs like Adalah, IfNotNow, and JVP. all of which are organizers of various campus protests.

Liam K. Nuj

I don’t even have a bucket list.
But if I did:
1) Putting Maldives into my bucket list
2) Taking Maldives out of my bucket list




Just curious, how does this work for the 2 million Israeli Arabs? I assume many of not most only have Israeli passports?


They can’t afford the Maldives anyway


Yup sad truth tbh


That’s a racist myth.

miriam kairey

true. I was in Herzelia at the Ritz Carlton and most of the shoppers in the mall were Arabs buying tons of stuff, and enjoying the beach too.

Still curious

Some are government officials, doctors, lawyers, CEOs.


Some are actually billionaires…. Think Abbas, Haniye, Sinwar, Staye, Yousef, etc.


You’re on Dan’s deals trying to get something for free or something for nothing. The irony in your comment is amazing.


You’ve obviously never been to northern Israel. Arabs there have plenty of money.


Once a Palestinian with a Teudat Zehut and permanent residency obtains Israeli citizenship, if they had Jordanian citizenship they have to give up their Jordanian passport and are banned from Jordan for 5 years. Because Jordan was the gateway to the rest of the Arab world for these Palestinians, many did not want to do that because they wouldn’t be able to visit friends or family or go on hajj anywhere in the Arab world. All that changed due to the Abraham Accords, when airlines started direct flights to Dubai. But this really only affects the 300,000 Palestinians of East Jerusalem who are permanent residents (not citizens) of Israel. The other 2.1 million Arabs living in Israel are Israeli citizens and likely more than 90% of them only have an Israeli passport and no other. And from first-hand knowledge, Arab-Israelis tend to take fancier vacations than Israeli-Jews, so the Maldives’ tourism industry will likely be hurt more by a ban on all Israelis. For example, in the Sinai before October 7th, Israeli Jews flocked to the desert Bedouin-style tents on the beaches for $20 a night whereas Israeli-Arabs flocked to the Movenpick in Taba or the resorts of Sharm Al-Sheikh for $150 a night. I’ve never met a Jewish-Israeli who drove from Eilat to Sharm Al-Sheikh but I know many Arab-Israelis who do the drive all the time.


Disgraceful and shameful

David Gold

I canceled my trip. I was going to go with family.
We had airfare and hotels booked. Lucky I have a free cancelation. Don’t mess with the mishpocha!

Dr Moose

Not sure how much money they make of us. Using points for flights and hotels and not buying any of the food there.


They make nice money just off of the transfer fees. Plus many people do spa treatment and water activities.


points are money


Travel agent here. Not booking for any of my clients


Off the list!

Fiji also has overwater bungalows. Highly recommend.


I canceled a Maldives vacation this past winter for personal reasons and was going to reschedule for next year but now I definitely will not be doing so and will seek alternate destinations.

How can you book Sandals on points? Otherwise, they seem to quite pricey.

Phil DDF

I never understood the desire to travel all the way to the Maldives from the US when there are closer Westernized options that seem just as nice. Going to a country that has strict shariah law sounds scary!!


You’re just hurting yourself if u drop it


From the Lubavitcher Rebbi, regarding using German products. The lesson from this letter may be relevant here.

Greeting and Blessing:
I am in receipt of your letter of November 14th, in which you ask my opinion “as to whether it is a weakness or impropriety” to avoid the purchase of goods made in Germany. You add that you ask this question as a Jew, in the light of Jewish law and Custom.

Surely this is more a matter of feeling rather than a question of Jewish law and custom. Consequently, as in all matters of sentiment, it is difficult to express an opinion that would have universal application. At any rate, it certainly cannot be categorized as a “weakness.” On the contrary, a decision of this kind bespeaks strength of will, all the more so since it entails some inconvenience.

alex dormont
Public Service

Thank you ! Keep it up !


Thank you!! Way to do it!


Some true information for a change

Public Service

It needs to be fixed again


Bill Ackman was the wrong person to showcase to make your point stronger. I can’t take anything else you said seriously. Big bird has more credibility.


Off my bucket list and won’t come back on even if they change their mind. We Will spend our money in Israel instead!


That’s funny, because Bill Ackman commenting on it is what made me take it seriously.


He happens to be a close friend of a close relative, and I’ve found him to be a nice and engaging guy over the years. But I don’t see eye to eye with him on everything. [Especially not now as he seems inclined to support the election of a conman convicted of 34 felony counts by a jury vetted by the lawyers of that “I am loaded” conman in chief.]. He moans about BDS and yet he’s all into BDS nowadays — including with this “Maldives off” hit.

I have never been much of a fan of the Maldives — even back in the day when we had a family friend (and former and later part-time housemate) as the Ambassador to Male — but if this “boycott, divest, sanction” move against the Maldives makes it cheaper for me to visit, then I am looking for good bargains. I disagree with the political dynamics in many a place, but keeping all those places off my travel lists would leave me poorer off. And so I will continue to travel to be able to see for myself how things go even in the many places where the politics on the ground aren’t my choice.


Credibility for what? These are all opinions and feelings.


Not to detail this whole thing, but there is so much madness inside of Ackman. Just one of dozens of data points:


I too felt this way. So good for Ackman to drop Maldives but let’s ignore that Ackman plans to support Trump in 2024? (Let’s interpret Ackman in this light: policies/personality be damned…wealth preservation is most important….protect my tax rate at all costs even if it means backing an authoritarian. All good.)


I never understood the allure of this islamist hole.


Not very “Islamist” on the Maldives’ resorts popular with the champs-drinking string bikini-wearers who visit the expensive resorts in the country but don’t necessarily know Male from Mali.


I try to avoid travel to Muslim countries anyway


Off my list


Huh? I thought Israel was paradise…

Ari David

No need for Israelis to ever go anywhere, since they already live in the promised land. Stay put and enjoy the entitlement.


I never knew the Maldives was a totally Muslim country run on Shariah law. If I did, it probably would never have been on my bucket list.


Can you get Hilton to reverse the transfer?


Maldives has long supported Terrorism, it is a shame that we still choose to visit there.


If anyone is broken up over not being to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a night for the ability to walk out of your bungalow into the water, feel free to contact me. You can rent my house and pool for the same amount, save on airfare, and have plenty of shuls and kosher food options right nearby.


Your email please


I haven’t been to the Caribbean OWB but hard to imagine it’s the same as being in the middle of the Indian Ocean like in the Maldives. But oh well, I found Seychelles to be much nicer anyway.


B’Ezrat HaShem, a cyclone will come in from the Indian Ocean & totally devistate it entirely.


The vast majority of the citizens of the Maldives are in line to become refugees as a result of climate change. The water levels don’t have to rise all that much for a lot of the “habitable” space in the country to become entirely uninhabitable. Will be interesting to see who takes them in then. It’s not like Israel is lined up or well positioned to come to their rescue with having open borders for Maldivian refugees en masse.


This is a despicable comment that lacks any sense of human decency.


these people are enthusiastically supporting the homicidal rapists of hamas, so not overly worried on their behalf


I recommend

Walk 10 meters from your basic but comfortable Sunrise Beach bungalow into a truly outstanding reef with more species than you can count. You might even hear some Christian church music sung in the native language. Most visitors to Barefoot Manta are young because it’s quite affordable. Marine science student groups visit from Australia. There’s no air conditioning. It’s a trip back in time.


If I was a Russian allied country, and refused entry to US citizens does that make me an antisemite?
They are Arabs, they stick up for other Arabs period.
It’s not like they banned all jews, they banned Israelis.
I don’t justify them CHV”S, but does this convey antisemitism?
I’m not convinced.


Nah they don’t care about other Muslims, at this moment hundreds of thousands of Afghani Muslims are being kicked out of Pakistan, Uigyhurs are in concentration camps the list goes on but somehow “all eyes on gaza” it’s all eyes on “jews” in case you didn’t know.


That’s the old “is anti Israel anti Jewish” question. To some, it’s not one and the same. To most, it is. Most people that hate Jews, blame their hating Jews on Israel, as if they “only” hate Israelis. But why should they even hate Israeilis?! We’re talking about citizens. U can hate the government but not the citizens. So essentially, hating Israelis (citizens) is the same as hating Jews. Imho.


Yes this is what I agree with and have arguments about this with friends who try to justify their anti Israel stance. If you hate the government (which they claim) than why hate all of Israeli or Israelis? Israels government doesn’t say wipe off Palestine from the map (like many say about Israel) but we say we’re going to eradicate or destroy HAMAS. This whole novecento is entirely anti Israel/jews regardless of what they try to make it. In fact, if you were visibly Jewish would you feel comfortable going to ANY Muslim country right now? World has gone mad


Sorry for mistype in my previous reply. Make of it what you will. AYC!


They are not Arabs. They are far more related genetically and culturally to the populations of the Indian Subcontinent than to Arabs. In some regards Jewish Indians have more in common with the Arabs than the people of the Maldives have with Arabs.


Why would anyone have wanted to vacation next to Russian oligarchs in their yachts, before this? The major attraction of this playground for Putin’s pals is that there aren’t many other places where they are welcome. I never understood the attraction to over-water bungalows, anyway. Except maybe to save plumbing costs if the toilets flush directly into the sea.


That is indeed a good point. But a lot of countries seem interested in open doors to rich crooks who face travel restrictions in other places which they may have otherwise visited. But since the Maldives is more or less a front for India and Modi is buddies with Putin, it’s sort of interesting how the de facto protectorate of India has decided to be fine with Putin but no longer fine with Netanyahu. But then again Putin and Netanyahu have had a split of sort since October 7th, and Russia still matters more for India than Israel.


The Indian ocean is lovely. We enjoyed Seychelles which has more to offer on so many levels than Maldives anyway.


The Seychelles is a destination more to my liking than the Maldives. Better value for money.


Hi Dan, I understand you likely won’t be visiting but will you continue to post deals related to Maldives when they arise? Thanks for everything you do with this site!


@dansdeals I hope you’re done promoting them!


Well written.


Check out Lakshadweep in India, 100x better than Maldives trash.

R. Fish

For Sandals S. Lucia which hotel chains are there? I have Marriot points.


There are over-water bungalows at Playa del Carmen, if anyone wants to vacation in a country with a Jewish president.


She’s President-elect and a leftist. She is yet to be inaugurated as President of the United States of Mexico/United Mexican States.

Rebetzin Sheinbaum

I am told her mother isn’t Jewish so while the name sounds Jewish, she isn’t actually Jewish.


She gets to decide for herself her own religious or cultural identities regardless of how some other people want to disregard it or even dispute it.


That’s a liberal response. Some facts include: She doesn’t observe Shabbos, she doesn’t observe kosher laws (she eats pig products and meat+ milk together), she is married to a non-Jew. So, your are indeed correct. Let people decide, but have the facts available


About not always if ever doing what it takes to “observe kosher laws (she eats pig products and meat+ milk together)”, then doesn’t she fit in with the majority of Jewish Americans (even with Americans writ large to cover the Jewish communities across the Americas)? Muslims in the country and across the hemisphere seem to be more exclusive about pig product consumption than most Hillel students and the parents.


I guess you are used to this culture where people think they can identify as they wish. It doesn’t work that way in my book. You can decide you are Jewish, alien, black, midget, a tree, a senior citizen all you want. But don’t expect others around you to treat you any differently than what you really are. There is nothing to disregard or dispute. Kind of like the old “facts don’t care about your feelings.”


No, she doesn’t.

CLE Rocks

Best way to use points for Sandals resorts?


Who cares


OWB in Jamicia is nothing special. I have not stayed in any but know others that have. It is not worth the money.


Nothing special and not worth the money are two different things.

Online reviews of Sandals South Coast, look incredible.

Was thinking of going for a review, really not a good resort/room?


I spoke to soon. Never been to that side of the Island. Been all over the north side Negril>Port Antonio. Please go and report back.


Thanks for reporting back!

Will post if I go 🙂


I’d be willing to go to review it too if DansDeals wants to expense it 😉


I actually visited Sandals South Coast this past April. It’s a pretty resort, really well-manicured. Long and bumpy drive from the airport (one passenger actually got carsick). The beaches have a bit of sea grass, but nothing too bad. While I did not stay at an OWB, I don’t think there’s a reef or enough fish to warrant the premium.


Had a trip to Maldives scheduled for my birthday coming up in July. Will be cancelling it today. Went a few years ago for the first time and it was an incredible trip. The OWBs are awesome and the snorkeling there is not to be believed.


@Dan You booked WA with points???? you couldnt do with FNC???


We just canceled an upcoming family reunion with seven couples coming from different parts of the world. There are plenty of other great options to choose from. Maldives is now permanently off of our bucket list.


For what it’s worth:
Leading airline: Maldives to permit Israelis entry
Leading airline cancels instruction to bar Israelis from boarding flights to Maldives, indicates that ban on entry may be canceled.
Israel National News


I would never go to the Maldives anymore. Or, for that matter, South Africa or any country singling out Israelis and Jews.


Cancelled upcoming honeymoon water bungalow stay with Hilton.

We must stand united against antisemitism.

For those comparing this to a post-WWII plan to not buy German products – that is a ridiculous comparison. Maldives is actively hating on the Jewish people. Germany underwent a significant de-Nazification program that impacted all parts of society.

Together we will stand tall, stand proud, and be victorious.


Is it appropriate to call this Paradise even for a joke?


They may start allowing jews to come if they wear a yellow star.


Just vacation in Israel. Better yet, move there. You already keep kosher, why not go all the way?


Of all places in which Jews reside, Israel happens to be the least-safest place on Earth. It also happens to be in middle of a war and always either brags or complains about how it is existentially threatened. That would be why. Not to mention that Israel is attempting to draft Bnei Torah into its army, and much more.


עיני השם אלוקיך בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה.
Israel is the safest place on earth!

(As per the army issue, while it is definitely important that bochurim should be learning and not forced to serve the army and that brings protection from Hashem,
i feel it’s wrong to campaign that the Chareidi community in general is different and they are exempt just for being chareidi..)

Joel Elliot

Cancelled our trip! Bora Bora it is!


There are plenty of more attractive things I won’t do, items I won’t buy, and places I won’t visit, because of their sordid histories. Maldives is just one more. I’ve got one life to live and I sure aint gonna waste it on the losers and anti-semites.
Funny how these dopes never learn. Every single country that’s persecuted the Jews has gone downhill. Every single one. Yet, these midgets keep on trying.
I look forward to the day that Maldives suffer the same fate. I’ll do everything I can to help them fail.

BP, Chevron

I think it’s time for a nice oil spill. Gonna knock them out for a century


This sounds a lot like the Spanish expulsion of 1492.
I wonder if they’ll follow up with an inquisition.

Over a Bottle

Apparently the KBH has own plans for the Maldives. According to World Bank, due to rising oceanic water levels by 2050 as much as 80% of all the islands will be underwater and all of them gone by 2110. At that point remaining Maldivildes will be….
who gives a flying Fouga Magister?



Black Hatter

There is a question begging to be asked here! How in the world do they know if you are Jewish??


User name checks out.


Time to hit up the Seychelles

Stephanie Woods

There are overwater bungalows in Moorea as well. I know the old Intercontinental on Moorea that was taken over has them, and I was in one-it was lovely! I imagine Tahiti has some as well. I am sure there are some in Indonesia, too.


Never would have called a Muslim country ‘paradise’. But thanks for the reminder that Islam spread by ‘settler colonialism’!

Joe Biden

Waiting for SA to take them to the ICJ for being apartheid.


This definitely makes the choice between Maldives and Bora Bora an easy one!!! They need our business more than we we need them!! There is no shortage of beautiful locations to vacation in the world!!!


Indian citizens are boycotting Maldives too.

miriam kairey

was there 2.5 years ago. It was beautiful, but I won’t go to countries that won’t accept Israelis.