Atolls of The Maldives - Atolls of The Maldives: Physical Description - Ari Atoll

Ari Atoll is the second westernmost atoll of the Maldives, only after Maamakunudhoo Atoll. It is oblong in shape, 89 km in length by only 31 km in breadth. It contains some 50 islands, generally small, which lie mainly along its eastern fringe. Its features are intermediate between Maalhosmadulhu and North Malé atolls. Except for a small barrier reef in its southern end, it is shaped by a succession of large, separate oval reefs, like the large atolls in the North, with a clear rim of large faru to the east. In the interior the general soundings are 30 to 40 fathoms (55 to 73 m), with mud and sand. In places its lagoon contains small reef-patches, but it is generally dotted with many large coral reefs, some of which remain submerged even at low tide.

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Ari Atoll

Ari Atoll (also called Alif or Alufu Atoll) is one of natural atolls of the Maldives. It is one of the biggest atolls and is located in the west of the archipelago. The almost rectangular alignment spreads the islands over an area of about 89x30 kilometres. It has been divided in two sections for administrative purposes, Northern Ari Atoll and Southern Ari Atoll consisting of 105 islands. Ari Atoll is part of the zone designated for tourist development in the Maldives. It is roughly a 30 minute seaplane flight away from the Capital Malé.

There are more than 20 islands in the Atoll designated for tourist resorts. Each island resort is self-contained with accommodation and recreational facilities such as tennis court. Scuba diving is the most popular tourist activity in the Maldives. The diving in Ari Atoll is extensive and is often defined by location within the atoll, either North or South.

The main tourist resorts were Ari Beach, Halaveli, Maayyafushi, Twin Islands Resort, Dhoni Mighilli and Twin Island Resort.

Administrative Divisions of the Maldives
Mathi-Uthuru (Upper North)
  • Haa Alif
  • Haa Dhaalu
  • Shaviyani
Uthuru (North)
  • Noonu
  • Raa
  • Baa
  • Lhaviyani
Medhu-Uthuru (North Central)
  • Kaafu
  • Alif Alif
  • Alif Dhaal
  • Vaavu
Medhu (Central)
  • Meemu
  • Faafu
  • Dhaalu
Mathi-Dhekunu (Upper South)
  • Thaa
  • Laamu
Medhu-Dhekunu (South Central)
  • Gaafu Alif
  • Gaafu Dhaalu
Dhekunu (South)
  • Gnaviyani
  • Addu

Coordinates: 3°51′51″N 72°50′02″E / 3.86425°N 72.8339°E / 3.86425; 72.8339

Maamingili (Alif Dhaal Atoll)
... Maamigili is the largest and most populous of the islands which border the South Ari MPA ... on this island, and in many ways it feels more like Male or an atoll capital island than the traditional quiet village that is seen nearby ... This was done to construct the first airport in Ari atoll, with a plan to link into the network of larger capacity terrestrial landing planes, which are ...
Alif Alif Atoll
... Northern Ari Atoll or Alifu Alifu Atoll is an administrative division of the Maldives ... on March 1, 1984 combining northern section of Ari Atoll, the small Rasdhukuramathi Atoll, and the isolated island of Thoddoo ... Many of the islands in this atoll have been inhabited since ancient times and have arqueological remains from the Maldivian Buddhist period ...