Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll

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Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll

Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, or Southern Huvadhu Atoll as it is traditionally called, is an administrative district of the Maldives formed from the islands in the south-western section of Huvadhu Atoll. It was created on 8 February, 1962 when the larger Huvadhu Atoll was divided into two districts. Gaafu Dhaalu corresponds to the South-western section of the natural atoll, south of the line extending between the channels of Footukandu and Vaarulu Kandu. The island capital of the region is Thinadhoo, which was formerly known as Havaru Thinadhoo. Earlier in the 20th century, Thinadhoo was the capital of all the 292 islands that make up Huvadhoo Atoll.
The relatively simple names such as Gaafu Dhaalu and Laamu Atoll are actually code letters taken from the Dhivehi Alphabet and assigned to the divisions. They are rarely used by locals to refer to the atolls of the Maldives, but have become popular in recent years among tourists and foreigners who find them easier to pronounce than the traditional names.
There are 153 islands in the administrative district, of which 10 are inhabited. Independent travellers to Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll require special permission to leave the tourist zone and visit the inhabited islands.

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