Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from dawn to sunset. For non-Muslims, as a respect for the people who fast, eating, drinking or smoking in public should be avoided. If you’re planning to go to Dubai on Ramadan, no worries, with proper etiquette you can still enjoy this fast-paced city.
Dubai is a tourist destination, and is one of the cities that I love to go to again and again. I have experienced Ramadan in Dubai several times already (I studied high school here), and I’ve come up with a list for non-Muslims on how they can appreciate their vacation in Dubai, at the same time be able to respect the observers of this holy month.
Iftar (breaking the fast)
Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. There are plenty of restaurants that offer Iftar meals and specials. It’s a great way to learn the culture as well as taste the rich cuisine of Middle East.
The malls are open from 10am to 1am, some malls close at 12am. You can enjoy the non-crowded malls even on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays). Some restaurants are closed until Iftar, but the food courts are guaranteed to be open so it’s no big deal.
Most of the tourist attractions are open during the day and you will not have to wait in long queues. It’s easier to get tickets for landmarks like Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and fun places like Wild Wadi Waterpark.
During Ramadan, malls offer massive discounts. It’s the best time to shop till you drop, plus there are no long queues. Win-win!
Going to the beach
Yes, you can still go to the beach as long as you observe the fasting hours during day time. Good news, the Dubai Municipality recently opened night swimming at the beach and it’s one of the best places to break the fast. It is completely safe to go night swimming, particularly at Kite Beach. There are solar powered lights and many qualified lifeguards, so you’d be able to enjoy the waves until midnight.
- Drinking, eating or smoking in public should be avoided.
- During Ramadan refrain from wearing flashy clothes. Bikinis are allowed to be worn on the beach, although after swimming or sun bathing, it is advised to wear conservative clothes.
- Ramadan is the holiest time for Muslims to reflect, we should all respect each others beliefs and practices.
P.S. Spread the love!
P.P.S. I put watermarks on my photos now because of unfortunate forgeries. All photos are mine, and taken and edited with vscocam. 🙂