Flustered about travelling to Dubai during the holy season of Ramadan?
Well, donÔÇÖt be! ItÔÇÖs a great opportunity for you to get a first-hand authentic look into how beautifully Ramadan is observed in a destination where Islam is the official religion.
IsnÔÇÖt gaining authentic socio-cultural experiences, one of our primary travel motivations?
So what better place to experience the same, other than Dubai, the most progressive emirate! However here are a few pointers youÔÇÖll have to keep in mind, so that you do not hurt or interfere with the religious sentiments of Ramadan.
Muslims fast rigorously
The Muslims fast from sunlight to sunset. They completely forego food, drink and other distractions during this period and yet continue with their usual day-to-day activities. Though Islam is the state religion, people from other faiths are not required to fast or observe religious rites. They are just requested not to do things that will disturb the harmony of intense prayer, charity and fast, which Muslims observe.
Fewer crowds, great deals
This is a great time for those who travel on a budget. YouÔÇÖll find there are Ramadan discounts and deals being doled out from every side. Most shops and restaurants open up after sunset till early hours in the morning. The Muslims stay indoors during the day praying and fasting. So, with lesser crowds, tickets to landmarks and fun theme parks will be easier to get without much waiting time.
Refrain from eating in public
ItÔÇÖs advised to avoid eating or drinking in public places, because it could cause inconvenience to the fasting Islamic brethren around. Remember they do not even drink water till dusk. However if you are hungry or parched, check for designated spots to eat and drink. Super markets and few restaurants will be open during the day. So getting food will not be a problem at all.
Enjoy Suhoor and Iftar
The Suhoor and Iftar are the most delicious nutritional pre-dawn & post-dusk meal respectively. The menu usually begins with water, dates, milk or juice, Harira (soup of lamb, lentils and chickpeas), Malfoof(stuffed cabbage), Lamb ouzi(lamb with spiced rice and nuts), Sayadia fish ( onion rice and white fish) and ends with desserts such as Luqaimat (fried pastry covered with dates syrup), just to name a few. They welcome their friends and family home to have this sumptuous meal together. There are several restaurants that have an elaborate Iftar buffet. Ensure you donÔÇÖt miss out on these delicacies!
Visit mosques nearby
DonÔÇÖt forget to visit or atleast pass by nearby mosques during the sunset prayer. YouÔÇÖll be able to observe that every ear and soul in the area would be attuned to one channel, the Adhan (call to prayer). It would be so touching and inspiring to see the flood of faithful worshipping together.
Get ready for late-evening shopping
The shops in Dubai begin bustling with activity once the fast breaks at dusk. Malls and other shopping venues open up for tourists during the late evenings. The Ramadan night market at the Dubai World Trade Centre is one such great place to go on a shopping spree.
Remember to carry a prepaid travel card to shop hassle free, pay for restaurants, accommodation and sight-seeing.