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Ramadan in the UAE


Ramadan in the UAE – to visit or not?

In the United Arab Emirates you will find an amazing mix of ancient customs and religious traditions, modern technology and developed tourist infrastructure. There are a lot of entertainments for tourists here. Is it so fun and comfortable during the Ramadan period here? After all, Arabs greatly honor their religious traditions and their status is reinforced by law.

Ramadan is the 9th month according to the Islamic lunar calendar, when Muslims from dawn to dusk do not eat, do not drink water, smoking and alcohol are forbidden. Intimacy is also forbidden during this period. Ramadan 2020 will be held from April 23 to May 23.

Muslims believe that in Ramadan the gates of paradise are open, the gates of hell are locked and the effect of all acts on earth is much stronger. At this time people must show joy, beware of sins, lies, unnecessary conversations, give alms and pray more. After the sunset, all Muslims arrange a family dinner - iftar, they can drink and eat until dawn. How they manage it? Indeed, when during the day the temperature reaches +40 +45 it is hard to live without a sip of water. Then at night, when food and water are allowed, does uncontrolled gluttony begin? There are no researches on this topic, but from year to year Muslims around the world observe Ramadan.

The UAE is a tourist country, but with its religion and strict rules. Of course, there are some pros and cons of holidays during Ramadan.



Many restaurants and cafes are closed during the day, but you can still eat and drink at the hotels. In the evening (after sunset), the cafes and restaurants are overwhelmed with hungry Muslims, you will have to wait a very long time for your order.

The rule of prohibition of eating and drinking during daylight hours applies to tourists in public places. Therefore, in front of Muslims, tourists are forbidden to take even a sip of water. Of course, it can be very uncomfortable for people not accustomed to such a hot climate, and thus tourists are forced to limit their movement around the city. The control of appearance becomes even stricter, especially in the conservative Sharjah emirate. In Ramadan a woman with a deep neckline can get a reprimand and even a fine.


A decrease in the flow of tourists leads to lower prices in hotels, discounts during this period are usually up to 20-30%. The reason is clear: foreigners are afraid of Ramadan restrictions and do not come to the UAE, while the Arabs stay with their families in their homes and do not travel around the country. However, most attractions and amusement parks are open and accessible to tourists. During this period, you can go on tours, relax on the beach, see the country's most popular sights without numerous crowds of tourists. The opening hours of some museums and parks may vary slightly.

Despite the fact that Arab cafes and restaurants are closed, non-Muslim cafes and food courts in shopping centers are open. The area for tourists is usually separated by a screen so as not to catch the eye of the Arabs walking at shopping centers while eating. What do the Arabs do in the malls during the day? Ramadan is a time for good deeds, therefore it is customary to give gifts to relatives and friends. Stores offer discounts and hot deals for souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, etc.

After the sunset, Muslims go for dinner - iftar. Iftar is organized everywhere - from simple cafes to chic restaurants with a huge variety of Oriental dishes. Benefactors also organize Iftars, where you can dine for free. Of course, the food here will not be so varied.

To go or not to go on vacation to the Emirates during Ramadan? It is your choice. If you need hot sun, sea, beach, then this is a good time for a budget holiday and a great opportunity to learn more about Ramadan.

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