34 years: Target achieved with 99% Maldivians

People queued at a Dhiraagu phone booth.

34 years ago, Maldives had been woefully behind in telecommunications. The advancement of the sector challenged by the scattered composition of the islands, and lack of infrastructure and resources.

However, a strong telecommunications sector had been crucial to the development of Maldives. And on October 1, 1988, Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun was established – with the goal of connecting the entire Maldives.

The project transformed Maldives.

The company is now an important partner to everyone who lives in Maldives. Dhiraagu has provided mobile coverage with the latest technologies to all residential islands in Maldives. The company also introduced fiber internet services and cable TV services to the islands.

With Maldives set to mark 50 years of tourism this year, Dhiraagu had played a key role in lifting the industry to new heights. In addition to providing tourists with reliable communications services, Dhiraagu’s commitment to introducing the latest technologies had facilitated investment of top global brands in Maldives.

Dhiraagu workers dig roads to install cables. (Photo/Dhiraagu)


Telecommunications is one of the fastest developing sectors in the world. Dhiraagu’s embrace of the latest technologies to provide services to its customers is evident from the company’s history.

Dhiraagu linked the entire Maldives with a telephone network just 10 years after it was established. The company also introduced dial-up internet service during the period. Back then, it was the days of telephone booths and landlines.

Dhiraagu never looked back. The company celebrated nine years to the introduction of GSM mobile service in 1999 with nation-wide coverage.

10 years later, in 2018, when Dhiraagu celebrated its 30th anniversary, it provided 4G coverage to all islands. Dhiraagu introduced 5G the next year – the first company to accomplish the feat in the entire South East Asian region.


According to Dhiraagu’s Brand and Marketing Director Ibrahim Mirushan Hassan, the trust customers have in the company is one of the biggest reasons why it is able to hold its footing in the top of the world.

“We have reached this point because of the support and trust of customers. We are working to provide the services they want,” he said.

Another reason for Dhiraagu’s success is the company’s hardworking employees. 99 percent of the company’s employees are Maldivians. Something Mirushan said the company accomplished to due policies it had since the very beginning.

“When Dhiraagu was founded, telecom was a new sector to Maldives. Therefore, it was made a great priority to train people in the field the first 10-15 years,” he said.

Mirushan said a large chunk of the company’s budget went to creating and building people in the field. He said that the company continues to train and specialize Maldivians in the field.


With the support of a capable team, Dhiraagu has high hopes for the future. One of the most important projects the company is undertaking is the project to connect Maldives to SMW6 submarine cable system.

Dhiraagu announces its partnership with the SMW6 consortium on February 21, 2022. (Photo/Dhiraagu)

SMW6 is a 19,200-kilometer-long submarine cable system with a minimum transmission speed of 100Tbps, using the latest undersea cable technology. It will provide direct access to key Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and Data Centers (DCs) from South East Asia to Europe.

“This is a significant investment that will bring immense benefits to the nation, our customers and shareholders. The SMW6 cable system will provide us direct connectivity to multiple key locations across the world, which will help reduce latency, improve quality and reduce costs of Dhiraagu’s internet services,” said Dhiraagu’s CEO and Managing Director Ismail Rasheed, at the launch of the company’s partnership with the SMW6 consortium.

Such projects show Dhiraagu remains true to the spirit of development it had started with 34 years ago. The company is run under the leadership of a Maldivian, with the hard work of Maldivians, and for the Maldivian people. It’s the network that the largest number of people use in Maldives.