According to some old texts Meedhoo is 2,500 years old. The island is also the very first to embrace to Islam. Despite of its small population and distant from the capital city Male', Meedhoo remained an influential part in Maldivian affairs. With a rich history and having a number of great scholars Meedhoo can be known as the university town of Maldives.
Addu probably has the largest population in serving tourism industry since its inception in the Maldives.
Biosphere Reserved Places
The Addu Atoll Biosphere reserve is located north of the Chagos Archipelago and is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. Consisting of about thirty small islands, the biosphere reserve is appromixately 13000 hectares. Addul Atoll is considered a city with a population of 10,000 people. The majority of this biosphere reserve is marine ecosystems with highly diverse reef ecosystems. There are 30 islands with about 17 of them uninhabitated. Addu Atoll is divided by four channels Gan Kandu, Viligilikandu, Maakanda and Kodakanda and the island are formed by the peripheral reef.
Biosphere reserves, the state granted protected status to four eco-rich sites in Addu, including 'Kudakandu' area in Addu's lagoon, 'Maakilhi' and 'Fehele kilhi' in Hithadhoo, 'Maafishi Kilhi' (Keyvakaa Gon’do) in Hulhudhoo and 'Mathi kilhi' at the intersection of Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo.
ADDU MEEDHOO- ADDU CITY
With its rich history of the British naval base during the World War II, Addu City Meedhoo offers visitors an abundance of activities in the City. The pristine natural environment unique to only Addu varies from bird watching to observing sunsets at the Southern most point in the Maldives. Addu Meedhoo has the perfect balance of increasing urban life and the unique natural environments and offers a variety of locations for guesthouse development.
Addu City is the second largest atoll in the country. Gan International Airport, initially a military base developed by the Royal Navy is a fully functioning international airport today. Regular flights operate between GIA and Male’ and other domestic airports. Three main islands are connected by paved modern roads and public ferries, private boats for hire are available to travel to other islands nearby . Addu City also offers a wide range of small shops and supermarkets operated by the local community.
The people of Addu City have always played a large role in the development of the Maldivian tourist industry, thus benefiting the local community with a wide range of skills, human resources and experience in the hospitality sector.
Unlike other atolls of Maldives, Addu Atoll or Addu City possesses a natural anchorage within the atoll basin, as the atoll is land-locked with large islands surrounding the atoll. This results in a natural harbor that is very calm and safe for sea vessels at all times, and is not affected by seasonal changes. The atoll possesses four channels, which lead into the inside.In the north are the Kuda Kandu and Maa Kandu in the south,the Gan Kandu and the broad Villingili Kandu is to the southeast.
There are unique features in the islands of Addu Atoll.The islands are protected from the storms and high waves of the Indian Ocean by barrier reefs. Coconut palms, the national tree, are able to grow almost everywhere on the Islands. There are small lakes, wetlands, and marshy taro fields in the islands that are unique. Also, White tern known as the "dhondheeni" by Adduans gives the Atoll a uniqueness as it is found only in Addu Atoll in Maldives.
Addu Atoll also possesses particularly rich whale and dolphin fauna. A great diversity of species has been found there. Addu Atoll is the only area in the Maldives that was not affected by the 1998 global coral bleaching. The south of the Maldives was spared from the “too warm” major ocean currents (El Niño); the bright and healthy corals start at the top of giris and thilas (about 1 meter [3 ft] under the surface) and slope down with the reef to a depth of 30 meters (98 ft) or more.