Male’ would certainly count as one of the smallest
capitals in the world in terms of its physical size.
A third of the country’s population, about 75,000 live
in Male’. Different from any other island in the country,
Male’ is a city of high-rise buildings and paved roads.
While the government offices are located in one area,
the main streets are lined with shops and offices. In
the old bazaar area which still houses the country’s
hub of wholesale and retail trade, the lanes are so
narrow that a single vehicle would find it difficult
to navigate through, especially with its throngs of
There are no
beaches on Male’; instead seawalls surround all its
sides. However, a newly landscaped artificial beach
area and adjoining breakwater stretching all the way
round to the harbour in the southwest of the island
provide a pleasant jogging route, especially popular
in the evenings when it is cooler. Male’
is still relatively green and pleasant. The streets
in the residential areas are shaded with trees, at places
forming an arch overhead.