Maldives (/ˈmɔːldiːvs/, US: /ˈmɔːldaɪvz/; Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, romanized: Dhivehi Raajje), officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) from the Asian continent’s mainland. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south (across the Equator). Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population, with around 515,696 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and the most populated city, traditionally called the “King’s Island” where the ancient royal dynasties ruled for its central location.
Malé (/ˈmɑːleɪ/, locally [ˈmɑːlɛ]; Dhivehi: މާލެ) is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With a population of 215,879 and an area of 8.30 square kilometres (3.20 sq mi), it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city is geographically located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). Administratively, the city consists of a central island, an airport island, and four other islands governed by the Malé City Council.