Tips on Flying Drone in the Maldives

Some useful tips droning in the Maldives

Some useful tips for droning in the Maldives

In this short article, I would like to share some practical tips about drone photography in the Maldives. The gorgeous seascape and immense beauty of the oceanic location make drone photography and videography a compelling endeavour. Droning opens up angles of view not available to eye level photography. With a well-made drone, you are like an eagle in skies, taking in the bird’s eyes view of the paradise.

Question: Is drone flying permitted at all the Maldives resorts?

No, the first thing all drone pilots must do is to verify with the resort management you are visiting as most resorts limit drone usage or if they do allow, it’s within restricted zones. You are also not allowed to fly near the airport/seaplane base. And of course, the FAA international stipulated flight limit at 120m applies here. Some areas at resorts may have signal jamming near seaplanes activities zone for added safety. So check thoroughly to avoid any mishap. Likewise, resorts usually restrict drone flights over the water villas for guests privacy as many have outdoor shower facilities.

The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, Shaviyani Atoll. North Malè Atoll.

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives

Question: What are some of the challenges you may encounter when shooting in the Maldives?

WIND! You would ideally need a calm day with <5 mph winds to operate a drone without any problems. However, the wind in the Maldives is generally strong most of the time. When it gets too windy, keep your drone, relax, enjoy the moment and fly when the conditions allow.

Drone aerial view offers a new perspective. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different framing for the best result. With a drone you have a flight time of about 20-30 mins (which can be reduced in windy condition), so concentrate and explore unique angles before shifting to the next location. But one vital point to take note – higher altitude does not guarantee a better picture.

The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, Shaviyani Atoll. North Malè Atoll.

Question: What to look out for in Drone Photography?

It depends on what story you want to convey. Landscape? unique architecture? wildlife? You decide based on the location and scenery at the location.

In the picture above, the 200m long swimming pool is the longest swimming pool in the Maldives. Only a drone (other than a helicopter or aeroplane) is able to achieve this angle for a more realistic representation of the scale, though I unable to fully capture the entire length of the pool given the height restriction and lens angle coverage.

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives

For an aerial view of the water villa, the drone is indispensable. Drones certainly expand the horizon in photography as we know it.

Question: Which drone are you using and why?

I am using the DJI Mavic Pro as it is compact and well-made with fantastic features. Its durable construction and design allow it to handle a fair degree of strong wind too. It helped that this drone is reasonably priced for its performance-t0-price ratio.

Question: Does the Rule of Thirds applies to drone photography?

The Coralarium by Jason deCaires Taylor. The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, Shaviyani Atoll. North Malè Atoll.

Certainly Yes! whether capturing landscapes, buildings or taking self-portraits with your drone, choose the right focal point and use the rule of thirds to improve balance and composition in the photo.


For visitors to the Maldives thinking to expand their range of imaging possibilities, droning is the best option. Do practice and ensure you have a competent level of flying skill and be conversant with the drone functions as the condition can be challenging and any mishaps will likely see your precious drone falling into a watery grave. The airport customs do not prohibit drones but you have to take note that batteries have to be hand-carried and not checked-in. For more details on Maldives drone laws, check it here.

Thanks for coming along the pixels journey. For other Maldives resorts experiences, do check out my other travelogues here  or have a look at Jetabout Holidays special promo package for Maldives vacation here.

P.S – All pictures used in this blogs are all rights reserved and copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and Jetabout Holidays


  1. Kostis says:

    Hello, I will be travelling to Maldives through the airports of Doha and Colombo to Male. Do I have to expect any issue at the security checks while Iwill have my Spark in my hand luggage? Of course the batteries will be kept separately in the bag .

    Thanks a lot

    1. Jensen says:

      Hi there, I don’t expect any issue from the customs, as long your batteries are hand carried. Security checks are subjective…so far I have not encounter a single issue at all the countries I travelled to (last I traveled 12 times over a year) excepted once at Sydney airport, where the security guy asked what in my drone bag which I said” A DJI mavic drone”. I crossed the check point within a few seconds thereafter. Have fun 🙂

  2. Rafa says:

    Hi, is it true that I need to obtain approval from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and a permit from the MCAA, or just ask my resort ( I won’t fly it anywhere else), it is just for recreational flight and following all the common rules, of course.
    Thank you!!!

    1. Jensen says:

      hi , Generally, drone use is allowed in the Maldives, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. … Do not fly your drone near military installations, power plants, or any other area that could cause concern among local authorities. U might like check out :

  3. alex says:

    I suppose flying a Tello is impossible given the strong winds correct? TIA

    1. Jensen says:

      The Tello is more of fun drone, I believe I think it should be ok on a windless day. With the 100m transmission range and 13min flight time, it will probably do only limited tricks.

  4. Jeff says:

    What were the rules for flying a drone at the grand park kodhipparu? I am going to that resort mid December and would really like to bring my drone. Thanks in advance if you can share any info.

    1. Jensen says:

      Hi Jeff, generally, drone flying are not allowed at Maldives resorts. But as long as you contact the resort management to seek their permission and direction, it should be ok within their dos and don’ts.. I would suggest you email the resort mgt and seek their attention on what you will like to do… The winds are pretty strong, by the way… Have a great trip 🙂

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