Ramadan in Dubai
Visiting Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan holds its own unique excitement and challenges. Here are some tips for travellers brought to you from Elena Price, one of the team of writers at Rezidor who have developed some impressive hotels in the United Arab Emirates including five hotels in Dubai:
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and an important holy time in Dubai. Ramadan usually falls within the period of October and November, but as it is based on the lunar cycles it is different each year – for example it is during August in 2011.
It is traditional that all Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during this time, except for between sunset and sunrise. As a result, all eating and drinking in public during the daylight hours of in the month of Ramadan is forbidden. All cafes and restaurants will be closed until about 6pm. After the day of fasting, the sun goes down and the entire family will gather together for a meal of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. This fast-breaking meal is known as Iftar.
Ramadan is a time for reflecting and worshipping God, and Muslims also perform a recitation of the entire Qur’an throughout the course of the month. There is also a tradition of giving to the poor and needy and praying for others. The streets will be decorated with handmade paper lanterns and beautiful lights.
If you will be visiting Dubai during Ramadan, here are some helpful tips:
- If you need to eat between sunrise and sunset, you should consume your meals inside your hotel room. Eating in public will be considered an offense and can get you in trouble. This also can apply to drinking, smoking and chewing gum.
- Be aware that the timings of the bus schedules will differ during Ramadan.
- If you need to use a bank, a shop, or other services, be aware that their business hours will be shortened during the day.
- When the sun goes down, the streets can be very busy with people heading home to their families for the evening meal, so it is a good idea to avoid transport at around this time.
- The three-day festival of Eid at the end of Ramadan, when people visit their relatives to break their fast, is also a very busy time to travel.
- Many of the cinemas in Dubai will not be showing any films during the daytime in the Ramadan period, and also other live entertainment will be postponed until after sunset.
- Keep in mind that alcohol is forbidden to Muslims, and it will only be available in a few locations, such as the hotel restaurants and bars.
Many tourists avoid the Ramadan period, because they do not want to be limited on when they can eat and drink. However, visiting Ramadan during this holy fast is an interesting chance to learn a bit more about the Muslim culture and experience traditions that are different than your own. It is up to you whether or not you would like to visit Dubai during Ramadan, but if you do choose to, remember these helpful travel tips.
More about where to stay and what to do in Dubai
Radisson Hotels in Dubai
For an unforgetable holiday, stay at aone of the stunning Radisson Blu Hotels in one of the city’s top locations – along the Arabian Gulf, in the heart of Dubai Marina, in Media City , right on the most bustling street of the city Sheikh Zayed Road at the Royal Hotel Dubai or overlooking Deira Creek!
Known as a shopper’s paradise, cosmopolitan Dubai is home to futuristic architecture, fabulous restaurants and world-class beaches.
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