Maldives has officially passed the 50 year mark since it’s name was changed to Maldives. 50 years ago, on the 21st of January 1969, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, issued a declaration regarding the name change from Maldive Islands to ‘Republic of Maldives’.
Previously, the country was called Mahaldheeb and hence, Arabs referred to the country as Al-Mahaldheebiyya, which later changed to Al-Maldheef. In Hindi and Urdu, the country was referred to as Maldheef, while our English name was ‘Maldive Islands’, which was then changed to Maldives in order to shorten it and to avoid the confusion of the many different names we were being called.
From November 11, 1968 onwards, Maldives became a Republic and hence began to be referred to as the Republic of Maldives.