Maldives has 26 Natural Atolls which have been divided
into 20 administrative atolls. The northern most atoll
is Thiladhunmathi and the southern most is Addu. The
smallest atoll is Fua Mulaku with only one island (the
largest island in the Maldives). The biggest atoll in
the Maldives and the whole world is Huvadhu which is
just south of the one and a half degree channel.
Malé, population 81600 (2004), is the capital
of the Republic of Maldives. The city is located on
Malé Island in the Malé Atoll. A seaplane
base and a ship anchorage are located on the island.
Malé is the center of trade in coconuts, coir,
palm mats, copra, and cowry shells. Malé International
Airport is on adjacent Hulule Island.
Huvadhu Atoll Uthuru (Gaafu-Alif)
Huvadhu or Huvadhoo- the largest atoll in the Maldives
and in the whole world. Now divided into two administrative
areas, Gaaf Alif in the north, and southern Gaaf Dhaal.
On its reef rim are many inhabited islands including
Thinadhoo, Gaddhoo, and Vaadhoo.
Fua Mulaku (Ñaviyani)
Fua Mulaku or Gnaviyani Atoll is the smallest atoll
in the Maldives, situated in the Equatorial channel
between Huvadhu and Addu. It is made up on only one
island, also called Fua Mulaku. The is the largest island
in the Maldives and one of the most fertile. The dialect
of Dhivehi language spoken in Fua Mulaku is referred
to as Mulaku and more closely resenbles the Addu than
the Malé dialect.
Addu or Seenu Atoll is the southern most atoll of the
Republic of Maldives. Only 6 of the islands in the Atoll
are inhabited and they are Meedhoo, Hithadhoo, Maradhoo,
Feydhoo, Gan and Hulhudhoo with the total population
just over 18,000. Along with Huvadhu Atoll and Fua Mulaku,
Addu is separated from the other Maldivian atolls by
the one and half degree channel.