Malta is a republic island in the Mediterranean and has been a member of the European Union since 2004. Having formed part of the British colony, Malta has strong ties with the United Kingdom and is a Member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea (south of Sicily), the Maltese archipelago consists of 3 main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The distance between Malta and the nearest point in Europe (Sicily) is 93km. The distance from the nearest point on the North African mainland (Tunisia) is 288km.
Malta is the largest island of the archipelago, from which the country takes its name. Valletta, the capital city, is the cultural, administrative and commercial centre of the archipelago, and has been awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2018.
The second largest island, Gozo is quite different from Malta, as it is less industrialised and remains a greener and more peaceful place.
Official Name: Republic of Malta
Capital city: Valletta
Location: Southern Europe
Time: 1+ GMT
Area: 316 km2
Population: 430,000 (est. 2015)
Official Languages: Maltese and English
Malta has a rich history spanning over 7 millenaries and has often played a crucial role due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea.
Over the years, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Spanish, the French, the Italians and the British have ruled the islands.
Maltese is of Semitic origin written in Latin script. Over the centuries and the various dominations, it has incorporated words derived from English, Italian and French.
For official purposes, both Maltese and English are recognised and given equal status and use in Government.
The main business language in the Maltese islands is English.
Malta’s climate is typical of the Mediterranean, with mild rainy winters and hot dry summers. The archipelago enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year, with a daily average of 6 hours’ sunshine in mid-winter, to more than 12 hours in summer.
The island’s small size facilitates everything on a daily basis from a day at work to relaxation at the beach. Archaeological sites, cultural monuments and other historical treasures attract people to discover the Maltese history. For those who enjoy nightlife activities, many bars, restaurants, cafes, discotheques and casinos offer a large range of choices.
Many sporting activities can be enjoyed including tennis, golf, sailing, windsurfing, horse riding and diving. During summer every locality celebrates its parish patron saint during the village feast.
The Maltese market has earned itself an envied reputation for being stable with excellent return on investment benefits.
Malta has an established reputation for being a friendly, English speaking, sunny nation.