Visiting Dubai in Ramadan is the most exciting decision. Amongst the tall buildings, the desert sands, the diamonds, jewels, and grandeur, there is a culture of the Arabs to uncover. I wanted to spend iftaar with the Emirati locals, smoke shisha and play games late into the evening until Suhoor. Visiting Dubai in Ramadan is truly eye-opening!
Dubai can seem daunting at first-the sun, the desert, the super-highways. Many people think of Dubai as a rich country. And I'm one of them. When I think of Dubai, I think of crystal sky-scrapers, City of Gold with its stunning white beaches, mammoth marble shopping malls and sweet wafts of delicious Arabic and Emirati cuisine seeping through the air; with wisps of fruity smoke hovering around you from the puffs of shisha – in short, the most opulent place on Earth.
So naturally, my fascination with all things-lavish drew me in – but I wanted more. I wanted to discover the culture. This is why visiting Dubai in Ramadan is probably the best time, if you want to discover how the Arabs spend the holy month of Ramadan in Dubai. And I've discovered that Dubai is actually a thrilling place to visit for a holiday during Ramadan, if you, like me, really want to get in touch with the culture of the people who live there.
Eye-opening adventure awaits you in Dubai during Ramadan
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Muslim calendar; a month where Muslims fast for approximately 30 days and give as much as they can to charity. Fasting occurs from sunrise till sunset and Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual relations.
This may make some people feel a holiday during this month will be boring because they can't eat anything in daylight hours or dance when they want to or visit festivals and concerts, in an Islamic country during a religious month but, in Dubai, it really is the total opposite!
For one, if you want to eat or drink, you'll not be shunned for doing so. You can visit restaurants, bars and casinos if this is what you'd like to do. You can wear your bikini on the beach – just be sure to be covered in the malls and the public streets out of respect for the culture. If you fancy a cheeky drink, you'll find hotels and bars that serve cold beverages throughout the day.
I'm really looking forward to the overnight safaris in Dubai, the dune bashing, falconry displays, camel rides, the rich evening barbecues, hearty breakfasts, and even spending a night in a sleeping bag under the stars in the Dubai desert.
Plus, there's something in the air in the month of Ramadan in Dubai – The locals are warm and welcoming, the food is tastier, the parties at sunrise and sunset are magical, all the attractions are less crowded and the hotels are offer the most affordable deals! What's not to love?
The liberal attitudes in Ramadan for holiday dwellers in Dubai
The opportunity to visit Dubai in Ramadan is one that I totally had to snap up.
Although, as a foreigner, you're not expected to fast, you'll get a taste of the joy that the locals feel. Joining in on the "Iftaar," the name given to the meal with which Muslims break their fast every evening, are a celebratory occasion. The city rushes into chitter chatter, colours, lights and aromatic wafts, post sunset.
Feasting at all-you-can-eat buffets and visiting the grandiftar tents is a must as these are highlights of the month in Dubai - to sample the finest Emirati dishes, smoke the flavourful shisha and play board games with the locals and other tourists; a paradise for food lovers and ideal time to interact with inhabitants.
As we all know Dubai is very liberal and therefore, even though Dubai is a Muslim state, you can still enjoy a tipple or two at the venue attached to hotels or to a private clubs.
Another reason why I can't wait to visit Dubai in Ramadan is the enchanting night markets. The city really comes alive at night and the night markets stay open later than usual, where you can buy spices, fabrics, jewellery, ouds and street foods. Many of these markets will only open and set up during Ramadan and not any other time of the year.
This year, the Ramadan market will take place at Za'abeel Hall 4 and 5, in the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is to be held from 23rd of June – 2nd July 2016. This is the most famous and exotic market during Ramadan in Dubai, and here you will be able to buy things that you wouldn't normally be able to at other times of the year, such as freshly picked dates, elaborate and crystal encrusted eid dresses, fascinating fruits and scented incenses.
So I'm going to visit Dubai in Ramadan, which will be a very unique experience that many do not get to see – the combination of the glamour entwined with their culture. It's going to be the most perfect time to visit Dubai for me, because not only will I be able to explore the sights in smaller crowds, enjoy the delights of Arab cuisine and go star gazing – but I'll also be able to uncover the true spirit and soul of the people who live there. I'm so excited!