QUICK FACTS - OVERVIEW
Flag of Malta
||316 sq.kilometers (122 sq. miles)
||Maltese and English
|Currency (as from January 2008)
|GDP per Capita
Situated in the Central Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a small archipelago of five islands - Malta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, Comminotto (Maltese, Kemmunett), and Filfla. The latter two are uninhabited. The distance between Malta and the nearest point in Sicily is 93 km while the distance from the nearest point on the North African mainland ( Tunisia ) is 288 km. Gibraltar lies at 1,826 km to the west while Alexandria is 1,510 km to the east. The capital city of Malta is Valletta .
The climate is a typically Mediterranean one with hot, dry summers, warm autumns and short, cool winters with adequate rainfall. Temperatures are stable, the annual mean being 18°C and monthly averages ranging from 12°C to 31°C. Winds are strong and frequent, the most common being the cool northwesterly known locally as the majjistral, the dry northeasterly known as the grigal, and the hot, humid southeasterly known as the xlokk.
Malta 's position in the Mediterranean, midway between Europe and Africa , has made it a strategic prize. Here, in the 16th century, the Knights of St. John repelled 30,000 soldiers of Süleyman the Magnificent's Ottoman Empire . It withstood Axis bombs during World War II. In 1964, after almost 150 years as a British colony, the Maltese islands won independence. Tourism is the cornerstone of the nation's economy, and it joined the EU in 2004.
Industry: tourism, electronics, ship building and repair.
Agriculture: potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat; pork.
Exports: machinery and transport equipment, manufactures.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
Maltese culture, language and politics underwent radical changes under British rule, from 1800 to 1964. The addition of Malta to the British Empire was a voluntary request made by the Maltese people in an attempt to rid the Maltese islands of the French. Its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean made Malta an excellent station for British forces, whilst the opening of the Suez Canal further improved the importance of Malta as a supply station and naval base.
While British rule ended in 1964, its traces and influences on Maltese culture are still visible. Maltese versions of English words are often used in more formal language, while the more wealthy families often use English as the primary language used in the household and in some instances children are brought up without being taught Maltese.
In material form, many remnants of British rule remain, with the more simple examples being mail collection boxes and phone boxes having been left in their original placements.
This is a small excerpt taken from http://www.guidetomalta.net/culture.htm which gives more information and insight.
The route bus service in Malta comprises of 508 buses, all of which are privately owned, in most cases by the drivers themselves. There are, approximately 400,bus owners who have organised themselves into a collective, the Public Transport Association. The Association is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the service and for handling tickets sales.
Public transport is efficient and reasonably priced. The main bus terminus in Malta is in Valletta, just outside the City Gate. Malta buses are orange and show the route number on the front. Malta bus routes leave from and go to Valletta. A few do operate circular routes, but this is not the norm – an express bus service links the principal resorts with Sliema, Marsaxlokk, Mdina, the Three Cities and the main sandy beaches. All buses to Valletta pass through its suburb town, Floriana. In towns and villages, the bus terminus is generally found on or near the main square.
From here, buses go to practically every corner of the Island. The average length of a bus trip in Malta is 20 to 30 minutes: the longest trip takes 50 minutes. Gozo by public transport is easy: board a bus to Cirkewwa, go as a foot passenger on the ferry, and take a Gozo bus to the capital Victoria.
In Gozo, the bus terminus is in Main Gate Street, Victoria. Buses in Gozo are grey with a central red band and show the route number on the front. Unlike in Malta, Gozo buses operate along circular routes, leaving from and returning to Victoria without scheduled stops at termini. A regular service runs to and from Mgarr, route 25, and is timed to coincide with the ferry timetable.
For more details visit the Public Transport Authotity
More information :
Any foreigner holding a valid E.U. driving licence who is over the age of 18 may drive in Malta until the expiry date of that licence. Any foreigner holding a valid non-E.U. driving licence who is over the age of 18 can drive in Malta for a period of twelve months from his/her last arrival in Malta.
Exchange of EU driving licence
If you have been living,working or studying in Malta for more than 185 days (6 months) during the last 365 days and the foreign Driving Licence you hold is exchangeable with a Maltese one (issued in an EU member state), you can apply for an exchange of your Driving Licence. You will need to apply in person at the Driver Licensing Unit (Hall C) LTD, producing:
- A complete application form.
- One coloured passport-sized photograph;
- Your driving licence;
- Your passport and Identity Card;
- Maltese identity card (if available)
To be eligible to apply, you must be in possession of maltese Identity Card. You will also be asked to sign a declaration concering your period of stay in Malta .
More information :
Accommodation in the country:
In terms of the range of properties available to purchase in Malta they range from stunning villa properties complete with private pools. There are also a range of town properties from apartments and town. There are also a lot of commercial property prospects available to an investor in Malta as well from buying and leasing office space to buying into warehouses and retail properties.
Here are the best options to find a rental home or to buy a house or flat:
Real Estate Agencies: here are some of the leading agencies in Malta .
Classifieds in leading newspapers: here are some of the leading newspapers in Malta
Rules to rent or to buy a house or flat
Following Malta 's accession to the EU in May 2004, new rules have come into force concerning AIP permits.
- Non-EU citizens need to apply for an Application of Immovable Property (A.I.P). This is issued by the Ministry of Finance and is applied for by your Notary or Solicitor and is granted in approximately three calendar months
- The value of the property purchased is adjusted per annum according to the immovable property price index established by the Director General of the National Statistic Office
- Documentary evidence proving that the funds for the purchase of property have originated from outside Malta . A bankers' receipt is sufficient evidence
- The property being purchased may only be used by the purchaser, his/her immediate family or friends
- Property with the facility of a communal/private swimming pool will be granted a permit to rent
- Non EU citizens may own only one property in Malta or Gozo at any given time unless the properties are situated in a “Special designated area” Presently these areas include, Portomaso, Tigne Point, Cottonera Waterfront and Chambray in Gozo
- EU citizens, even if not resident in Malta , can buy any property without the need of any permit, provided that:
- the property is intended to be their primary residence - primary residence means that the property is intended to be the principal place of residence whether in Malta or abroad; or
- the property is required for the carrying out of a business activity or the supply of services;
- EU citizens can buy both a primary residence and a business property.
- EU citizens who have been resident in Malta for at least five years can also buy a secondary or further residence without the need of an AIP permit
In practice therefore EU citizens can buy property freely if they are going to live primarily in Malta , carry on a business here or have already lived here for five years. Other situations will still require an AIP permit.
There are certain areas in Malta , usually the more costly and upmarket developments, where no AIP is necessary and there are no restrictions on the number of properties that can be purchased.
See also - Residency in Malta
AIDS, GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS IN THE SOCIAL FIELD
Government website - www.gov.mt
Local Councils - http://mjha.gov.mt/mjha_lc/default.htm
Company which aids foreigners who are interested in coming to Malta - www.legal-malta.com/immigration/
Malta Red Cross Society - www.redcross.org.mt
Jesuit Refugee Service - www.jrsmalta.org
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
|A.F.M. Helicopter Rescue
||(+356) 21 244 371 / 21 824 212 / 21 824 214
|A.F.M. Patrol Boat Rescue
||(+356) 21 238 797 / 21 225 040
|Airport - Flight Enquiries
||(+356) 21 249 600 / 21 697 800
|Ambulance Garage, G'Mangia
||(+356) 21 224 303
||(+356) 21 521 333 / 21 483 905
|Child & Adult Abuse Support Line
||179 8007 2377
|Consumer Competition Division
Enemalta - Electricity Division
|(+356) 21 220 462 / 21 221 907
Enemalta - Faults
|(+356) 21 651 174
|Enemalta - Gas Division
||(+356) 21 651 174 / 21 651 731
|Government Information Service
|Meteorological Office (Weather Forecast)
||(+356) 21 284 308 / 21 284 332
||(+356) 21 221 111
|Price Verification Unit
|Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity (MFSS)
||Call Centre : 159
Living and working in Malta