Scuba Diving in the Maldives – Rules and Limits

14 May 2021

The Maldives is world-renowned as a top scuba diving destination with incredible marine life and uncrowded dive sites it’s not surprising that divers flock here. There are colourful reef fish, manta rays, sharks and turtles, all showcased amidst stunning reef formations. Despite the Maldives being a remote location it enjoys an impressive safety record, thanks to the limits and rules set by the government for recreational diving, and to the high importance placed upon diver safety by the professional dive operators.

Rules and Limits for Recreational Diving in the Maldives

  • The maximum depth for all-recreational diving in the Maldives is 30 meters – this applies to any diver with a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification or equivalent, even those with deep diving or technical diving certifications.
  • Divers with entry-level certifications such as the PADI Open Water Diver are limited to 20 meters or less, depending on the depth stated by their training agency.
  • All dives must be No-Decompression dives.
  • No diving within 12 hours of flying.
  • No solo diving – it’s better with a buddy anyway!
  • A safety stop must be made for at least 3 minutes at 5 meters. Divers must commence their safety stop with a tank pressure not less than 50 bars.
  • Divers must be equipped with: mask, snorkel, fins, regulator with submersible pressure gauge and Alternative Air Source or redundant air supply, buoyancy compensator device (BCD) vest with oral and low-pressure Inflator, time and depth measuring device and an emergency signalling device comprising inflatable surface balloon and whistle.
  • The use of dive computers are highly recommended for all divers.
  • Look but don’t touch – divers must take care not to damage the reef or marine life and should exercise good buoyancy control at all times.
  • Take nothing from the sea – this includes corals and shells.
  • Dives must be planned and managed using a dive computer or tables.
  • Valid certification card and logbook must be shown upon registration.
  • Medical declaration stating a person is fit to dive is needed at registration.
  • Orientation dive is required for all divers.

*Please mote, the above regulations may be updated at any time and are beyond the control of individual dive centers.