Ramadan is the holy month of the Muslims as per the Islamic calendar. It is believed that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed during this month. Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk for one month. With Dubai being a part of the Islamic country of UAE, the city along with the neighbouring Emirates also celebrates Ramadan.
Lot of changes happen during this time of the year. Duration of schools and offices are shortened, tourist attractions are either closed or open late, and it is forbidden to eat or drink in public (even for non-Muslims). In fact, the whole city has a subdued air, and not many tourists venture into Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE during this time. However, Dubai during Ramadan has a different magic, one you must not miss if you want to know the real Dubai, underneath all the glitz and glamour you see. If you are interested in visiting Dubai during Ramadan, here are the best things to do in Dubai during Ramadan.
Go on a Historical and Cultural Tour
It would be interesting to know that the UAE is a relatively new country. In fact, Dubai was nothing much than sand dunes 4-5 decades ago. This Ramadan, visit the cultural and landmarks of the city to know more about the history of the place. The Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood is the best place to start your tour. Home to the Dubai Museum, the Bastakiya Quarter and the Dubai Creek, the place has an old world charm which you would not see anywhere else in the city. You can also visit the SMCCU or Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where you would get to be part of special tours and events and learn more about Emirati history, culture and food.
Visit the Jumeirah Mosque
What would be a better time to visit a mosque in Dubai than during Ramadan? The only mosque in Dubai that is open to non-Muslims is the Jumeirah Mosque. You can join one of the guided tours arranged by SMCCU if you want to know about local customs and traditions. You can ask questions and know more about Islamic religion during the tour. However, even if you are not interested in the religious or spiritual part of the mosque, do visit it for its brilliant architecture. Made entirely of stone, the Jumeirah mosque is an epitome of modern Islamic architecture. Only thing to remember is to check the timings of the mosque. As it is Ramadan, opening and tour timings would be different than the regular ones. Also, make sure to dress modestly while visiting the mosque.
Experience Suhoor and Iftar Meal
It is true that Muslims avoid food and water during the entire day during Ramadan. However, they have a meal before sunrise and after sunset as well. The meal before sunrise is known as suhoor and the one after is called iftar. Although even non-Muslims are not allowed to eat in public during Ramadan, you should make it a point to experience Suhoor as well as Iftar meal when you are in the city. You would find several tents around the city that offer both these meals. Apart from this, several hotels and restaurants have suhoor and iftar meals for Muslims as well as those interested. Wherever you go, you would get to enjoy lavish, spectacular Emirati meals and the hospitality of the Emiratis.
Enjoy a Day at the Theme Park
If you are visiting Dubai with your kids during Ramadan, they may not be too happy with just visiting mosques and museums. However, you need not fret as Dubai is home to some of the best theme parks in the world. Adventure parks like Legoland, Bollywood Parks, Motiongate, etc. and water parks like Legoland, Aquaventure and Wild Wadi are some of the most popular amongst locals and tourists. Keep an eye on deals and discounts as most of these theme parks have some special offers during Ramadan. However, the best part about visit these parks during Ramadan is that they are relatively less crowded. So, no more waiting in queues for too long and enjoying the pools and slides without bumping into too many people.
Stroll along the Night Markets
While the entire city is subdued during the day, the night time is a different story. Right from the firing of the Ramadan cannon ball at the time of sunset, the city gets a festive air. It is the right time to step out from your homes or hotel rooms and check out the brilliant night markets of the city. At these markets, you would find everything from food to clothes, accessories and home decor. Even if you do not want to buy anything, roam around the streets to enjoy the ambience of the city. Also, do not forget to visit the famous malls of the city during the day. Malls are less crowded during Ramadan and you would also get to enjoy some interesting deals, discounts and offers during this time.
Apart from the above mentioned things to do in Dubai during Ramadan, you can visit the Burj Khalifa, go on a desert safari (no belly dancing and Tanoura dancing or shisha smoking during Ramadan), visit the art center of Alserkal Avenue, indulge in water sports at the beaches or have fun at the sports events held around the city. In fact, there are lots of things to do in the city during Ramadan. So, book your tickets and get ready to celebrate a memorable Ramadan in Dubai this year.