Apprehensive about visiting Dubai during Ramadan? Let us assure you that there’s nothing to be bothered about. If anything, a holiday during Ramadan in Dubai will be a culturally enriching experience. And don’t even get us started about the food that you’ll get to eat!
Unlike otherwise, life in Dubai may not be in its usual fast lane but that’s nothing to be sad about. And to give you a glimpse of the ‘other side’ of Dubai, we have compiled a handy go-to tourist guide that you should go through before planning a holiday in Dubai during Ramadan.
To understand the scenario, it is only necessary to understand the significance of the festival of Ramadan for the Muslims and the people of Dubai. Here’s a brief introduction about the festival.
Ramadan: A brief introduction about the Muslim Festival
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is observed by the Muslims worldwide as Ramadan, also known as Ramzan or Ramadhan. It is observed as a month of fasting prior to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. As per the belief, God has asked the Muslims to fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers. Muslims spend the month in reflection and prayer. They focus on their actions over the past year and cleanse themselves for Eid-ul-Fitr.
- Ramadan dates 2017: 27th May to 24th June
- Ramadan dates 2018: 16th May to 14th June
- Ramadan dates 2019: 6th May to 3rd June
A Ramadan calendar is released annually that lists the timings for suhoor and iftar. Suhoor is the Islamic term for the pre-dawn meal that the Muslims have before fasting. Iftar is the term for the meal that they have after the sunset.
Reasons why visiting Dubai during Ramadan is a great idea
1. You’ll get to learn a lot about the religion and the culture by visiting the grand mosques.
Visiting the mosques at the time of Ramadan in Dubai is a great way to understand the religious significance of the festival in general & for the people of the country. Imam Hussein Mosque, Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque, and the eco-friendly Khalifa Al Tajer Mosque are some of the must-visit sacred places. But the grand Jumeirah Mosque is the most famous one where the tour guides will explain the significance of this time of the year for the Muslims.
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2. You get to feast in Dubai the Iftar way.
Iftar is an occasion that is celebrated across Dubai during Ramadan. Most of the hotels in Dubai offer all-you-can-eat feasts during Ramadan, serving the finest traditional Arabic and Emirati dishes. These include slow-cooked lamb, rice, and even dates.
There are also some beachside hotels that put often put up Ramadan tents in Dubai. The Atlantis and The Jumeriah Beach Hotel are known for erecting such Iftar tents where people gather to eat, smoke shisha (a kind of hookah), and even play board games.
Al Bustan Rotana, Anantara Dubai the Palm Resort & Spa, The Palm, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Four Points by Sheraton, and Sheikh Zayed Road are some otherplaces where you can head to for an iftar treat during Ramadan in Dubai.
3. Dubai is much less crowded vis-à-vis other days.
While Dubai holds a reputation for its fast-paced life, everything shifts into a slow mode. The working hours become shorter and the otherwise frenzied shopping malls & streets go quieter.
Advantage? Tourists will no longer have to wait in long queues for visiting the various tourist attractions in Dubai. Moreover, it will be easier to avail tickets for iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world – or fun places like the Wild Wadi Waterpark.
4. Lesser number of tourists = Discounted rates of hotels and flights
Who’d mind some extra discounts? I know, I wouldn’t!
If you have been planning to take a budget trip to Dubai, this is your time. With both the airlines and the hotels providing amazing Ramadan offers in Dubai, you can be sure to save a lot on your trip.
Note: Some of the hotels in prime locations offer iftar and suhoor meals complimentary with their Dubai Ramadan special packages. Don’t miss out on those!
5. The night markets of Dubai are extra-radiant during the month of Ramadan.
While the streets maybe quiet during the daytime in the month of Ramadan, the nights aren’t that dull. The city is illuminated; not just by the street lamps or the lights of the skyscrapers but also by the night markets during Ramadan in Dubai. Of these night markets, the Ramadan Night Market at Za’abeel Hall World Trade Centre Dubai is the most famous one.
Note: Visit the night market during the last 10 days of Ramadan for some amazing Eid shopping.
Here’s what not to miss during Ramadan in Dubai
1. Photography tour with Gulf Photo Plus
The Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), a photography centre at the very heart of the Middle East’s community, provides photography education. To do so, it organises tours, exhibitions, events, and even courses.
2. RWAQ Ramadan at The Walk JBR
The last few years have seen an annual month-long event at The Walk JBR. This event highlights the different aspects of Ramadan and offers unique experiences to those who take his tour. These include fusion delicacies, retail, and art exhibitions inspired by Arabian culture.
Where: Murjan and Sadaf areas along The Walk at JBR
When: During Ramadan; may extend to a week after it
Timings: 7 pm to 2 am (during Ramadan) | 2 pm to 2 am (on & after Eid)
3. Ramadan football tournament in Dubai Sports City
Good news for the Football enthusiasts visiting Dubai during Ramadan! Dubai Sports City organises a 7-a-side annual football tournament at the Football Academy’s fully air-conditioned FIFA-approved indoor stadium.
4. Iftar feast
It’s so amazing that we had to mention it again!
Though most hotels provide all-you-can-eat Iftar buffets during Ramadan, it is the experience of the Iftar feasts at the Ramadan tents in Dubai that must not be missed. Locals and tourists come together in these tents to feast, smoke shisha (hookah), and play board games. What’s more? All these tents are lined up along the beaches, meaning splendid views of the sea.
Must Read: 20 Exotic Dishes From Dubai Cuisine
5. Ramadan night market
Shop till you drop, aye? Any trip to Dubai is incomplete without a retail therapy. And with Ramadan comes the amazing Ramadan Night Market at Za’abeel Hall World Trade Centre Dubai. The market has over 400 outlets for shopping. There are also interactive workshops, kid’s special area, henna counters, and more!
Precautions: Here’s What You Should Take Care Of During Ramadan In Dubai
- Dining, smoking, drinking, and even chewing gums in public places are prohibited during the day hours (sunrise to sunset).
- Dress codes get a little more conservative during the Holy Month.
- Bars open, but only once the sun goes down. And they are way quieter.
- You wouldn’t find belly dance performances either. But the nightlife in Dubai is much more than booze and belly dancing.
- Summers in Dubai are extremely hot. So, pack wisely.
So, put aside all your apprehensions and trust us when we say that a holiday during Ramadan in Dubai is going to be a splendid experience for you. All you need to do is just pack your bags and book a trip now!
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