A Mediterranean archipelago blessed with warm weather and abundant sunshine, Malta has long been a favorite for holidaymakers and honeymooners. Malta boasts pristine beaches, quaint old towns, delicious Mediterranean cuisine and one of the most enviable climates in the world. But there is more to modern Malta than a luxurious getaway.
Malta has had a rich history, evidenced by the ancient buildings and temples dotted around the islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta was an important strategic location and it has been occupied by many diverse ethnic groups. The islands have been occupied by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Normans. The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem held sway for over 250 years but were later expelled by France in the late eighteenth century. In the 19th century, Malta became a British colony, and it officially declared independence in 1964 within the British Commonwealth. The culture of Malta reflects the various societies that have come to Malta through the centuries and there is a rich multicultural mix rooted in its society.
Malta joined the EU in 2004, and it became a member of the Schengen Area in 2007. It is the only Commonwealth country that is also a part of the Schengen Area, the European Union, and the Eurozone. Major sectors of the Maltese economy include tourism, electronics, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, gaming, information and communication technology, and financial services. Malta’s economy has remained vibrant, despite the Global Economic Crisis, and its recent positive growth rates look set to continue.