Black Market Dollar Rate Drops to MVR 16

The price of dollars on the foreign exchange black market has dropped yet again to MVR 16.

While the dollar rate was previously around MVR 19.25 at the close of last year, it unexpectedly dropped to around MVR 18.50 in early January. Since then, the rate fell to between MVR 18.00 and MVR 18.25, and in the last few days has steadily dropped down to below MVR 17.

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Although the fixed exchange rate for dollars is MVR 15.42, due to shortages in the traditional market, much of buying and selling dollars in Maldives is done on the black market.

The steady decrease in the black market dollar rate can likely be attributed to the increase in tourist arrivals during the peak holiday season. After a significant blow to the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on travel, tourism has picked up in the Maldives, bringing with it an influx of foreign exchange.

Now, according to the latest statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, an average of 3,206 tourists arrive in the Maldives daily. As of 1st March 2021, the country has welcomed a total of 192,378 tourists so far this year.

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