Sleeping in Airports

Malé Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Malé Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

I felt safe and wasn’t hassled by any of the numerous security/airport staff around. Well lit. Clean bathrooms. – Christopher

MLE Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Malé Velana International Airport.

What to Expect

Malé Airport (code: MLE) is divided into three small terminals: International, Domestic, and Seaplanes. A new terminal is currently in the planning stages. Facilities include a few eateries and shops, though none are open 24 hours, and free showers in the departures area. WiFi is not available, but there are free internet kiosks in a few locations. For added comfort while you wait, economy class passengers can pay to enter two airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for location and access information.

Male Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of a guest traveller / September 2019)

Sleeping in Malé Airport

Based on reviews, this airport seems to be open 24 hours. Due to uncomfortable seating, overnight campers often wind up on the floor – bring a blanket or sleeping bag. Temperatures can range wildly and airport staff and cleaners may make noise, so dress in layers and bring earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. For uninterrupted sleep, nearby hotels offer shuttle service. See our Airport Hotels section below for locations or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. We will start updating all of our guides in October 2021.  To help us with this massive update, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Malé Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Malé Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Hulhule Island Hotel – (8 minute walk or 1 minute drive from the airport) – Located on the airport island, adjacent to the airport terminal. A free shuttle bus runs every 15 mins until 4:00PM, first come first served, you may also call the hotel to arrange a pick-up (+960 333 0888). The hotel also offers a variety of day rate packages, for example, $53 USD gets you access to the hotel (NO room) including the swimming pool, shower rooms, a massage (10 min) and free boat and airport transfers. » Check Rates
  • Crystal Beach Inn – (10 minutes from the airport) Free airport transfers are available upon request. » Check Rates
  • Hotel UI Inn – (10 minutes from the airport) Airport pick-up service is available upon request, $7.50 USD each way. Alternatively the hotels suggests the Airport Metro Bus ($1 per person), get off at first stop in Hulhumale, the hotel is within walking distance. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a hotels near Malé Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Wellness Lounge – Location: International Arrival Terminal, Arrivals Hall, Landside. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  Moonimaa Lounge – Location: Domestic Terminal, Landside. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available for 25 minutes after checking in at Malé Airport. Connect to the “Airport wifi” network using a confirmation code sent via text. Note: A local SIM or roaming SIM card is needed to receive the SMS code.

If you do not have a local or roaming SIM card, don’t worry, since one can be bought in the concourse area. Additionally, there are internet kiosks are available, free of charge, near the Duty Free Area and departure gates 1, 2 and 3.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Location: near the arrival exit gates at the arrival plaza area.

Baby Care Facilities -Feed and care for your baby in the comfort and privacy of the Mother Care Room. Locations: Concourse Area • Pier Bridge • Domestic Terminal.

Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available free of charge.

Currency Exchange – Two locations: Duty Free Area, opposite Dome Cafe • Arrivals area, left of the terminal exit door.

Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. At the time of this update, we are unable to confirm the availability of any 24-hour dining options.

Information Desk – If you have any questions, visit one of the information desks for assistance. Locations: International Zone, inside departure terminal • International Zone, landside, outside terminal • Domestic Zone. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Luggage storage is available for a small fee. Location: Baggage Storage Service office, in front of the Terminal Help desk. Rates: One small piece for $6.00USD or one odd/oversized piece for $12.00USD. Rates apply for 24 hours or part thereof.

Luggage Wrapping –  Available landside in the Check-in area for $8 USD/small bag, $10 USD/normal bag and $20USD/oversized.

Medical Services – Urgent and emergency medical care is available at the First Aid Post. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Mobile Charging – A review (Sept 2019) mentioned charging outlets available both Landside (near check-in desks) and Airside (right after security). If you know of additional locations, click here to update this airport guide.

Pharmacy – Location: Outside of the First Aid Post, or near the Bank of Maldives ATM. Hours: Open according to daily flight schedule.

Postal Services – Drop off your last minute postcards or packages at the airport’s Post Office. Location: Departure Hall entrance. Hours: 6:00AM – 1:00AM or until the last flight of the day.

Prayer Room – Location: Departure Terminal, 1st Floor. There are two air-conditioned mosques located 5-10 minutes walking distance from the terminal.

Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Shopping – Spices, confections, liquor, tobacco, perfumes, and more are available for purchase from the airport’s shops. Duty-free shopping is available.

Showers – Free showers are available in the Departures area, opposite Mariyaadu snack counter. There are also showers in the Wellness lounge and Moonimaa Lounge. [ see Airport Lounges above ].

Smoking – There is a smoking lounge located on the 1st floor of the departure pier, near the duty free.

Airport Hours

While it appears that this airport closes for a few hours at night, as of this update, we were unable to confirm airport hours of operation.  If you know the airport hours, click here to update this airport guide.


Malé airport is served by the following airlines: AeroflotAir IndiaAir FranceAir AsiaBangkok Airways • Beijing Capital • Cathay PacificChina Eastern AirlinesChina Southern Airlines • Condor • EmiratesEtihad Airways • Flyme • GoAirIndiGoKorean Air • Lanmei Airlines • Maldivian • Oman AirQatar AirwaysSaudiScootSilkAirSingapore AirlinesSpiceJetSriLankan AirlinesSwiss • Thai AirAsia • Turkish Airlines.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

As the airport is located on its own island, passengers can only travel to and from the airport via aircraft or water vessel. Dhonis, or local ferry boats, transport passengers between the airport and the capital city of Malé within 10 minutes. Speedboats and hotel resort safari vessels are also available, and can travel between the airport and Malé in 3 minutes. Passengers can also travel by seaplane via Trans Maldivian Airways or Maldivian Air Taxi. Domestic flights, via Maldivian or Fly Me, are available between the airport and the other eight airports, both international and domestic, that belong to Maldives.

Last updated: 2021-10-20

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.