This island country in the Mediterranean Sea has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Next to the main island of Malta, there are four smaller isles.
The Maltese are known for their warmth, hospitality and generosity to strangers. That was noted by St Paul the Apostle, who was shipwrecked off Malta.
The island’s bees have given Malta the nickname ‘Land of Honey’.
About half of Malta’s daily water needs are supplied by desalination plants, which turn sea water into water that’s fit to drink.
The Maltese farm on small terraces. Sea bass and bream are grown in floating sea cages, and bluefin tuna is fattened on fish farms for four to six months before export.
Malta attracts international film productions. Filmmakers often portray it as spanning modern times and ancient civilisations from Africa, Arabia, Greece and Rome.
Traditional music includes the Ghana, during which people argue a fine point in a sing-song voice, accompanied by a guitar.
The tiny Maltese terrier is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. It has been a royal canine companion for more than 28 centuries.
Football is the most popular sport, including five-a-side futsal. Water polo, rugby and motorsports are enjoyed t too.
Malta joined the Commonwealth in 1964.
It made its debut at the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Since then Malta has attended all Games, except three, enjoying medal success in Judo and Shooting. At the Delhi 2010Commonwealth Games Malta participated in Athletics, Lawn Bowls, Shooting, Squash and Wrestling.
Fun fact: The annual carnival is celebrated in various villages across Malta; however the main events take place in the capital – Valletta. The dancing displays include the Parata, a sword dance, and Il-Maltija, the Maltese national dance.
Sport fact: The Malta Olympic Committee employs local and overseas sports scientists and coaches to assist its athletes. In 1994, it set up the Sports and Human Performance Centre. In 2003, Malta hosted the Games for the Small States of Europe.