Dhaalu Atoll was a latecomer to tourism, with its first resort opening in the late 1990s and just a handful operating today. With a population of around 5000 people spread over seven inhabited islands, it's a quiet corner of the country with excellent diving and snorkelling. The biggest island is the capital, Kudahuvadhoo, a busy fishing centre and home to the atoll's only airport.
In the north of the atoll are the so-called 'Jewellers’ Islands', Ribudhoo and Hulhudheli. Ribudhoo has long been known for its silversmiths and goldsmiths, who are believed to have learnt the craft from a royal jeweller banished here by a sultan centuries ago. Hulhudheli is traditionally a community of silversmiths whose many craftspeople still make jewellery, beads and carvings from mother-of-pearl. There are guesthouses on both islands attracting a small but growing stream of independent travellers.