Maldives capital extends closing time for cafes, gas stations

Maldives authorities have extended the closing time for cafes, restaurants and gas stations in the capital Male following the change in regulation for cargo transportation within the most densely populated city in the world.

The new regulation, brought about in a bid to ease the traffic congestion in Male, authorities have put a time limit on transporting cargo within the city with effect from Sunday.

Transport authority had initially planned to restrict transportation of cargo within the most densely populated city in the world from 10pm to 6am. However, following concerns raised by local businesses, the transport authority has now revised the time cap from 6pm to 6am giving businesses a 12 hour window to transport cargo.

Following the change to regulation, Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has now changed cargo clearance to after sunset.

According to an economic ministry announcement, the time limit on cargo transportation would come into effect from April 1, would include construction material, cargo supply to wholesalers and retailers.

The new regulation has however offered leeway to gas delivery with a brief window between 8.30am to 11am in addition to the 12 hour time limit.

Following the change, economic ministry has now extended the closing time for cafes and restaurants by one hour from 12am to 1am. Gas stations meanwhile would now be open until midnight.

Deputy economic minister Adam Thaufeeg during an interview on state television said the extended closing time was offered following the change in cargo transportation regulation.

Thaufeeg said retail and wholesale outlets in the capital would also be allowed to be open past 10pm for restocking and supplying purposes.

However, the outlets would not be allowed to be open for business, he added.

"Cafes and restaurants would have to close at midnight. But now they can remain open until 1am. Gas stations can also operate until midnight. Shops would have to close at 10pm. But they can also be open to replace stock without conducting any business," Thaufeeg explained.