I’ve been to U.A.E. many times but this time it was my first visit during Ramadan. Many people told me it’s not worth going there – you are not allowed to drink and eat in public areas during the day, you get served alcohol only after 9pm, bars are closed, no loud music, etc. I wasn’t expecting that I will like UAE and Dubai during Ramadan so much.
Here are my top 6 reasons:
1. Less queuing for the tourist attractions
No traffic during the day, less people, no queuing for the attractions. Dubai is a very touristic emirate, thousands of tourists queue everyday but not a lot of tourists come during Ramadan. So now you can spend your vacation and really manage to relax.
2. The best in the year shopping DISCOUNTS %%%
Every brand offers 30-70% discount on clothes, shoes, electronics, jewelry, food, etc. It’s like Christmas but it’s 1 month long. There are bigger discounts during Ramadan than during the famous Dubai Shopping Festival held in February.
3. The lowest hotel rates
The hotel prices fall to the lowest rate. You can save up to 70% off the regular price. You can enjoy the summer in a luxurious 5-star beach hotel for as low as 500 aed (120 eur) whereas in the peak season the price per night can reach 2500 aed (490 eur). Happy Ramadan!
4. Delicious iftars
Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Dates are usually the first food to break the fast. Hotels and restaurants offer various iftar dinners. I always go for Arabic food. My personal favorite is: tabouli salad, a dish with eggplant (could be like a salad or moussaka), ouzi lamb and for dessert – umm ali or kunafa.
5. Wonderful time to visit and observe the local culture
The cities become really alive after the last prayer. Families and friends gather to have dinner together, smoke traditional shisha pipes and listen to traditional music such as the famous oud players. What I observed is that Ramadan stands for charity: charity is very important in Islam, and even more during Ramadan.
6. Bustling nightlife
Humorously I say that during Ramadan life starts after the sunset. The night turns into a day. Friends and families meet up and socialize until the very morning when the first prayer is due. The streets are busy, the shops are open until 4am, people are happy and relaxed.
I really enjoyed the spirit of Ramadan – the holy month!
And don’t forget Eid Al-Fitr, which is a three day festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Families exchange gifts, there are special public events arranged and yet more eating of delicious Arabic cuisine.
Ramadan Kareem, friends!