Malé (މާލ), pronounced Mah-lay, is the capital of Maldives. The city occupies the entire islet of Malé and is located at the southern rim of North Male Atoll.
The island is 1.7 km long and 1.0 km wide, but with over 100,000 people crammed onto it, Male is by some measures the world's densest city. The new island of Hulhumalé,in the Hululhe lagoon has been reclaimed to provide some much-needed extra space. Male is occasionally dismissed by travellers as a mere transit destination with "nothing to do", and it is indeed not a party place. However, it does have a distinctive character of its own, with narrow streets, colorful houses, graffiti and a strong communal feel, and it may be interesting to stop a little longer and soak in the atmosphere if you've got time on your hands. The neighboring islands Hulhumale (artificial) and Vilingili are served by frequent and very cheap public ferries, and provide much quieter get-aways from the capital city. To see the "real" Maldives (i.e. the ones familiar from postcards) one needs to get further away, of course.