Ramadan in Dubai: The Right Time to Enjoy the World’s Most Luxurious City Visiting Dubai any time of the year will be a novel adventure, but travel …
Visiting Dubai any time of the year will be a novel adventure, but travel here during Ramadan Kareem and you’re sure to share in a diverse agenda of activities and events. You may expect that traveling here during Ramadan would be more expensive or busy, but it’s actually a great time of year to make the trip because you can take advantage of local deals and offers specific to the sacred month.
As you know, Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims as they honor the revelation of the Qur’an (the Islamic holy book), which was originally offered to the Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan. From sunrise to sunset during this 29-30 day period, Muslims are asked to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or any activity deemed excessive in nature. This sacrifice is intended to help Islam followers reflect and attain increased awareness of their spirituality to feel closer to God (Allah).
This year Ramadan begins on June 6 and concludes on July 5. Whether or not you are a devout Muslim, traveling to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during Ramadan will offer you a rare experience influenced by a unique assortment of religious and contemporary culture.
#1 High-End Hotels
While the street-life may be quieter during Ramadan, the high-end hotels offer alluring prices during this time. Travel to Dubai during the holy month and your wallet will surely thank you. If you don’t believe me, take it from the locals—even people who live in Dubai year-round take advantage of the great hotel rates during Ramadan. They often make plans for a ‘staycation’ to enjoy their own city from a tourist’s perspective. Many of the 600+ hotels offer special deals so you can save on lodging, meals, spa treatments, and even excursions. Here are a couple examples of hotels that offer the true Dubai experience.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is an amazing sight to see with its breathtaking exterior. It’s the third tallest hotel worldwide! It is designed in the shape of a giant sail towering up to 1,000 feet in the sky. The structure, located on its own island, radiates at night as a colorful light production traveling continuously up and down the massive building. This building epitomizes the modern structural flair common in Dubai.
The interior of Burj Al Arab is similarly extraordinary with double-floor suite accommodations. You can indulge in a variety of amenities including a private room check-in, a 1600+ crew of the most hospitable servers, a kid’s club with a unique design, and an exquisite spa and fitness center. One of the most unique services available is a Rolls Royce ride piloted by your own personal chauffeur. At Burj Al Arab, every detail is handled with luxurious style and exquisite service. You will feel like royalty when you arrive at what feels like a palace as you are greeted by staff that is solely focused on making sure you are taken care of. Whatever your wishes may be, Burj Al Arab will work 24/7 to ensure your experience is nothing short of amazing.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
A second option for luxurious accommodations at an affordable rate during Ramadan is the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Just a few steps away from the Liwa Desert, this retreat offers impeccable service, a captivating ambience, and most notably a wistful view of the desert. Qasr Al Sarab hosts an array of elegant rooms embellished with Middle Eastern draperies, jewel-embedded decorations, and fancy chandeliers. Through the balcony or terrace attachment, you can relish in the desert sights straight from your room. You will feel like royalty surrounded by elegance and grandeur.
This resort is a great option for families as they have enticing amenities for adults and children alike.
The kids will enjoy the bird and dog show, the camel ride, the free-form pool, and the kid’s club. Adults can schedule a relaxing massage or footbath at the Anantara Spa or sample a native hammam (steambath or sauna). When it’s time to eat, you can choose from several fine restaurants within the hotel. You will find original Middle Eastern cuisine and other international fare. You may opt for a more lavish dining experience or you can choose a lighter meal in casual dining areas and cooking stations.
If you want to enjoy the indigenous desert setting while also reaping the benefit of eminent luxury, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is a place to visit during Ramadan or any time of the year.
#2 Shopping During Ramadan
During Ramadan, shopping fanatics can discover an abundance of special promotions and offers. Supermarkets and other shopping arenas may close during the daytime to honor Ramadan, but often remain open for later business hours at night. People frequently rush to malls in the evening time similarly to how the Western culture hustles to late-night malls and stores right before the Christmas holiday. The excitement of the bustling crowd and the fantastic deals will be an experience to remember.
Ramadan Night Market
If you’re in Dubai from June 23 – July 2, you absolutely have to visit the Dubai World Trade Centre during the evening hours as it hosts an impressive Ramadan Night Market. It’s not just about shopping, it’s a full experience of fun, celebration, and yes, sales. Through this enlivening annual event, parents and their children can participate in a range of family-friendly activities including face painting, train rides, bouncy play events, climbing walls, and arts and crafts pursuits to name a few. The shopping opportunities are endless as merchandise from around the area is priced to sell. Perfume, clothing, jewelry, electronics, toys, and collectibles are just some of the many products for sale. Taking your family to the night market will allow you to experience authentic family fun while also finding your trip souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family back home.
Another shopping spot not to miss is the Dubai Mall—the 18th largest shopping mall in the world. With just over 600 stores in the complex when it opened in 2009, the mall has grown tremendously and now hosts over 1,200 retailers and includes every major merchandise brand known to man. On a path to becoming the most popular fashion facility in the world, the mall’s impressive design completes the complex’s infinite aisles of leading fashion styles. While the stores are the heart of the mall, the center also consists of sensational tourist attractions including the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, the Dubai Ice Rink, and the Dubai Fountain. The Dubai Mall, along with other shopping arenas in the area, usually operates under extended hours during Ramadan to accommodate the absence of daytime activity.
#3 Eating During Ramadan Kareem
During Ramadan, Muslim tradition forbids food and drink during daylight hours. The suhoor and iftar are the official names of the meals allowed before dawn and after dusk. The suhoor, eaten before sunrise, is an often-hearty meal that prepares Muslims for activity during the day, as throughout the day Islam followers are called to fast. They can’t eat or drink anything, this includes water. The iftar meal is eaten at night when the fasting concludes.
During the day, Dubai will be a lot quieter than usual and restaurants and cafes either close or may open without actually serving food. Some eateries, especially those located in hotels, might open an isolated area of their restaurant to serve small plates to non-Muslim persons.
Many restaurants and hotels in Dubai offer a multitude of iftar entrees for both tourists and locals during the holy month. Local restaurants offer specials based on iftar as that is the meal families and friends are most likely to enjoy together. These celebratory meals usually involve buffet-style eating presented at a set price. The range of eateries cooking iftar is extensive. There are restaurants catering to the very rich as well as diners serving more moderate, affordable entrees.
#4 Ramadan Tents
One of the best aspects of Ramadan is the ornately decorated tents. Ramadan tents are arranged all over Dubai during the holy month. Through these tents, Muslim families and friends gather together after their day of fasting. People assemble at these lavishly draped tents to eat dates and drink water or juice as they prepare for their iftar or suhoor meal, only consumed after dusk. These fancy tents pop up all over the city including hotels, the beach, and downtown. As families congregate in these tents, it is typical to spot groups participating in board games or smoking sheesha.
If you’re ready for an adventure that will show you the unseen and create stories for you to tell for years to come, consider visiting Dubai during Ramadan. One of the world’s most luxurious cities will welcome you during this holy month with offers and events that will allow you to maximize your experiences while keeping your budget in tact.
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