The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has made public the sectors in which expatriates are prohibited from engaging in trade in the Maldives.

The Ministry issued a notice barring foreigners from 25 types of businesses. Namely;

  1. Retail (including Online)
  2. Wholesale (Building Materials exempted)
  3. Domestic Logistics
  4. Postal and Courier Services
  5. Food Services (operating Cafés, Restaurants and Bakeries)
  6. Equipment Rental (including Heavy Machinery for Construction)
  7. Employment and Recruitment Services
  8. Travel, Tour, Reservations and other related activities
  9. Landscaping
  10. Public Administration and National Defence related activities
  11. General Tuition and Quran classes
  12. General Clinics (operation)
  13. Repair of Computers, other Common Items and Household Appliances
  14. Programming and Broadcasting (Broadcast Communications)
  15. Legal Counsel
  16. Photography and Videography
  17. Picnic Islands (development and operation)
  18. Operating road vehicles (for commercial purposes)
  19. Souvenirs and Handicrafts (manufacture and sales)
  20. Rubber and Plastics (manufacture and sales)
  21. Tobacco Products (manufacture and sales)
  22. Wood Products ( (manufacture and sales; furnitures exempted)
  23. Mining and Quarrying
  24. Sand Mining
  25. Forestry

A significant number of expatriates are currently engaged in these areas of business while state agencies are currently working to identify and arrest illegal immigrants who are engaged in commerce in the Maldives.