Gulhi Island Maldives

Welcome to Gulhi – a true Maldives experience

Gulhi is an inhabited island located in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives. Malé atoll is the central province where Malé the capital of the country is located.  The atoll is also known as Kaafu Atoll.

Gulhi Island Maldives is just 30 minutes speedboat ride away from the main international airport, Velana International Airport (MLE,).

There are nine inhabited islands in the Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). Gulhi is the least populated island in terms of the residence population. According to the census of 2022 the island has a population of 814 local residents, of which 441 are male and 373 are female.

The size of the island is smaller (length 0.400 km [0.249 mi] and width 0.225 km [0.140mi] compared to the other two inhabited islands in the North Malé Atoll, namely Maafushi and Guraidhoo.

Maafushi is the largest island which also host the main Prison of the country.

The main economic activity in Gulhi island is fishing. There are around eight fishing vessels which specialises in yellow fin tuna fishery. Each of these vessels has crew of around 15-20 people. These vessels are family owned and mostly the skipper (captain) belongs to the family which owns the vessel.

These vessels when they sail for yellow fin tuna fishing, they tend to spend one to two weeks at sea. There are also smaller vessels which sails to fishing early morning and returning to island at dusk.

Gulhi island also has a dock (boat yard/port) which was managed and owned by the renowned engineer and entrepreneur Ahmed Adam (Hikori, Malé) for several decades. After expiration of the lease of the dock yard a management took over the facilities in mid 2016.

Many of the sea going vessels in the Maldives use dock facilities in Gulhi island because of its proximity to the capital island Malé.

Prior to 1984, Gulhi used host tourist in bed and breakfast (B and Bs) facilities, until President Gayoom’s government prohibited inhabited islands hosting tourists.

According to the guide books published in 1980s, Gulhi was very popular among tourists who holidayed and stayed in local islands. According to guest house owners during the peak seasons Gulhi hosts around 100-200 tourists in many of their homes during mid 80’s.

Since former president Mohamed Nasheed deregulated the tourism industry, several small guest houses and hotels started catering for the tourist market. Gulhi has few tourist accommodating guest houses.

Gulhi is a traditional Maldives fishing village. Because of its past as a tourist host island, Gulhi people are very welcoming. For tourists intending to see local Maldivian life Gulhi may be an  ideal island to stay and spend their holiday.

Location in Maldives

Coordinates: 03°59′20″N 73°30′32″ECoordinates: 03°59′20″N 73°30′32″E

Country Maldives

Administrative atoll:       Kaafu Atoll

Distance to Malé:          21.31 km (13.24 mi)


  • Length 0.400 km (0.249 mi)
  • Width 0.225 km (0.140 mi)


  • Total 814

Time zone:          MST (UTC+05:00)