If your travel to Dubai is scheduled between 15th May to 14th June 2018, the holy month of Ramadan and you are not sure what you can expect from the glittering Emirati during this time, don’t worry. Below are some of the best ways you can turn your holidaying experience in the month of fasting into a culturally-enriching and entertaining experience.
Consuming Elaborate Iftar Feasts
The fasting population of Dubai breaks its day-long fast at the sunset, which is also the time when the city is at its most vibrant. Some of the finest Arabic and Emirati dishes are lined at hotels and restaurants and are consumed in a festive atmosphere in the company of friends and family. One of the best ways to secure a spot at the grand Iftar feast is by befriending a local who can also share interesting information about the festival and various associated rituals. If a five-star meal is on your mind, look no further than Al Bustan Rotana, Anantara Dubai the Palm Resort & Spa, Atlantis, The Palm, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City.
Visiting a Mosque
Dubai boasts a few very beautiful mosques that are well-worth visiting, no matter the time of the year. During Ramadan, however, the spirituality and the faith of people are more palpable than ever. You can visit one of the famous mosques in the city including Grand Mosque, Jumeirah Mosque, Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to learn more about Islam and the festival of Ramadan.
Indulging in the Retail Therapy
Dubai is a haven for shopaholics and the festive atmosphere around Ramadan only alleviates the shopping experience for visitors. Add to it the fact that there are great discounts up for grabs in all major stores across the city, including those in the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates; Ramadan becomes a much-awaited shopping period in Dubai. One can also visit the traditional souks in search for great buys.
Visiting Major Attractions, Crowds-Free
Though quite a few attractions close for Ramadan and there are major changes in the timetables of those that remain open, a little planning can help you cover most places on your checklist without any inconvenience. Check online for operating time and days of the attractions before you visit. You are sure to encounter fewer crowds than you would on a regular day. Some of the major attractions that you can cover include the Burj Khalifa, Wild Wadi Waterpark as well as Dubai Parks and Resorts.
Ramadan Do’s and Don’ts in a Jiffy
- Don’t eat, drink or smoke in public places between sunrise and sunset as the action is strictly prohibited during Ramadan
- Do respect the sentiments of locals and dress modestly during this time – shoulders and knees covered for women whereas at least knee-length shorts and trousers for men
- Don’t forget to pack light summer clothing as it can get quite hot during Ramadan
- Do accept invitations to Iftar feasts to show compassion and refuse politely if you can’t attend for some reason
- Don’t criticise any rituals, customs or traditions as apart from being considered impolite, you might get in trouble with the local law as well