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The ancient Maldivian Kings promoted Buddhism, and the first Maldive writings and artistic achievements, in the form of highly developed sculpture and architecture, are from that period.
Nearly all archaeological remains in the Maldives are from Buddhist stupas and monasteries, and all artifacts found to date display characteristic Buddhist iconography.
It is also a member of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non Aligned Movement.
The World Bank classifies the Maldives as having an upper middle income economy.
The Maldivian language, the first Maldive scripts, the architecture, the ruling institutions, the customs and manners of the Maldivians originated at the time when the Maldives were a Buddhist kingdom.
Buddhism probably spread to the Maldives in the 3rd century BC at the time of Emperor Ashoka's expansion, and became the dominant religion of the people of the Maldives until the 12th century AD.
So that in that language the word signifies "four islands," while we, corrupting the name, call it Maldiva." The first Maldivians did not leave any archaeological artifacts.Following the Islamic concept that before Islam there was the time of Jahiliya (ignorance), in the history books used by Maldivians the introduction of Islam at the end of the 12th century is considered the cornerstone of the country's history.Compared to the other areas of South Asia, the conversion of the Maldives to Islam happened relatively late.The importance of the Arabs as traders in the Indian Ocean by the 12th century may partly explain why the last Buddhist king of Maldives Dhovemi converted to Islam in the year 1153 (or 1193), adopting the Muslim title of Sultan Muhammad al Adil, and initiating a series of six Islamic dynasties that lasted until 1932 when the sultanate became elective.The formal title of the Sultan up to 1965 was, Sultan of Land and Sea, Lord of the twelve-thousand islands and Sultan of the Maldives which came with the style Highness.