MALDIVES ATOLL INFORMATION
For administrative purposes, Ari Atoll is divided into North Ari Atoll, which includes Rasdhoo Atoll and the tiny atoll of Thoddoo, and South Ari Atoll. The capital of North Ari Atoll is Rasdhoo and South Ari Atoll is Mahibadhoo. There are a total of 70 islands in Ari Atoll and many sand banks, some of which are becoming islands while others are being washed away.
Rasdhoo Atoll is 9 km in diameter while Ari is 96km long by 33km wide. There are a total of 18 inhabited islands in Ari Atoll with a total population of over 7500. There are a further 52 uninhabited islands of which 26 are resorts.
The principal occupation of Ari Atoll islanders used to be catching turtles, weaving sails, coral collecting and coral carving, however they are good fishermen and are traditionally renowned for their shark catching to produce oil for the timbers of dhoanis. Their shark catching traditions are still strong and often at odds with divers who wish to keep the sharks in the water. Coconut production of the atoll is also high. Many islanders now turn to the resorts for employment. Resort development escalated in the early 1990s and has now peaked. No more resort are expected to be constructed in the Atoll.