When travelling to the United Arab Emirates during the holy month of Ramadan, whether you choose to explore Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman or any of the other wonderful UAE destinations, you may notice that there is a slight shift, especially if you have travelled to one of these beautiful destinations in any other month of the year previously.
Whether that be the adjusted opening and closing times of venues, the seemingly quieter malls, streets and attractions, and in some cases, the separation of areas of food and drink, you are right in thinking that of course, the way that people live, work and socialise in these areas changes during this time, and that will have an impact on your holiday.
You are mistaken, though, if you think this is a bad thing. We’re sure that you agree that one of the most exciting aspects of travelling to new countries and exploring new cultures is to experience a different way of life, and for this reason, Ramadan and travelling be an enlightening and educational experience.
A Brief Overview of Ramadan
If you’re unfamiliar with Ramadan, it is ultimately the most important month of the year for those of Muslim faith. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is a month-long fast, in Muslims fast during daylight in the ninth month of the lunar calendar.
The reasonings behind this holy month are simple: abstinence is intended to teach patience, acceptance, belief, gratitude, and self-awareness.
Things You Should Know When Travelling During Ramadan In The UAE
Due to the nature of Ramadan, it’s likely that the staff at your particular hotel or resort, the attraction you’re visiting, or the stores you visit are fasting. And depending on the time of day, they may have been fasting for up to sixteen hours, so you should always be respectful of this.
Whilst it is their choice to fast, in the midday heat, a lack of food and water can be particularly challenging, so make sure to be respectful during your travels and Ramadan holidays in Dubai, for example.
If you’re unsure what the correct etiquette is in this situation, here are some tips to navigating Ramadan and travelling:
• Don’t eat or drink in public
Whilst most people won’t mind, it is generally thought of as considerate to be mindful of others, and keeping your eating and drinking habits slightly more discreet during this time.
• Ensure to dress modestly
Again, whilst this is generally up to your discretion, it is most respectful to dress modestly to respect this holy month. Ramadan is a time for reflection and consideration, so it’s best to cover your shoulders and legs if you can.
The laws around clothing are a lot stricter during this time, so it’s best to follow these guidelines to avoid offending anyone that is observing Ramadan.
• Keep your public displays of affection to a minimum
Similarly, to remain respectful, it is considered polite to keep your PDA to a minimum in the United Arab Emirates. This is particularly important during the month of Ramadan, so ensure to follow these rules to not offend anyone in public areas.
What To Do In The UAE During Ramadan
Now you know how to remain respectful during your time in the UAE during Ramadan, it’s time to start planning your itinerary for your trip!
There are plenty of exciting, educational and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be had during Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates.
We’ve listed some of our must-dos below, but the number of experiences are pretty endless.
In summary, visiting the United Arab Emirates during the holy month of Ramadan shouldn’t be avoided, but encouraged. As long as you are respectful during your visit, there is no problem with visiting these Emirates and supporting people during this time. We guarantee you will come back feeling enriched, educated and inspired.
If you’d like to discuss travelling to the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan, get in touch with us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are ready and waiting to help you plan your next trip!