Geographically Maldives occupies a position in the Indian Ocean which for years has been crisscrossed by travelers from east to West and from West to East. It has been a cross roads of World trade for centuries. Our history has shed light on the fact since the very beginning of civilization; travelers and explorers have sailed to our shores and traveled across our land. Even the very ancient civilizations of China recorded their travelers voyages to and across our isles. Among the travelers who visited our country were the renowned Arab traveler and author Ibn Bathutha (1344) and French traveler and author Francois Pyrard de Lavalle (1602). In their writings we find that many commercial vessels sailed to our shores in search of local riches of the time, particularly cowry sea shells and coir rope.