If you are looking to travel to the Middle East, Dubai is one place definitely not to be missed. The jewel in the Middle East’s crown, Dubai is a cultural hotspot, comprised of ultra-modern skyscrapers and urban living juxtaposed against the bustling, vibrant markets and souks that are dotted throughout the city.
Over the years, Dubai has grown into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, especially when it comes to luxury and the high-end lifestyle. Boasting world-famous sights and attractions such as the Burj Khalifa, Palm Islands and the World Islands, it isn’t hard to see why Dubai is such a major tourist magnet.
It is commonly said that Dubai only experiences two seasons – hot and hotter. This means that the most popular time for tourists to visit is during the winter months, usually November to March. The temperatures during this period tend to be balmy, though much lower than the sizzling highs commonly recorded during the height of summer. However, winter is also an incredibly popular time for holidaymakers to visit the city, meaning that beaches and resorts often end up being overcrowded.
Avoid Peak Season
For this reason, it may well be worth investigating alternative times of the year to visit Dubai, in order to avoid the worst of the crowds and make the most of the authentic experience offered by the city outside of peak tourist season.
If you choose to avoid winter for the crowds and summer for the temperature, you are then left with either the spring or autumn months. This means that you could well end up booking your trip during the religious month of Ramadan. A visit to Dubai during Ramadan will be vastly different to a visit to Dubai at any other time of year, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid the country during Ramadan entirely.
The exact dates of Ramadan vary year to year, according to the lunar calendar. In 2017, the month falls between May 26th and June 24th, so be sure to keep these dates in mind if you are looking to plan a trip to Dubai this year.
During Ramadan, Muslims take part in increased levels of worship and reflection, as well as completing a fast during daylight hours. However, this means that there are also plenty of cultural festivals and events for tourists to enjoy.
If you are planning a trip to Dubai during Ramadan, there are several important things that you should bear in mind.
The first of these is that eating and drinking in public is strictly forbidden during daylight hours. Most restaurants and cafes will close during the day, although supermarkets tend to stay open. You will, however, be able to consume food and water in private areas, away from other people. It is also worth mentioning that the ban applies to things like cigarettes and chewing gum as well as regular food and drink, so make sure you are fully clued up.
Similarly, some attractions may have reduced opening hours during Ramadan. As a general rule, clubs will close (remember, drinking alcohol in public is strictly forbidden in Dubai, especially during Ramadan) and other attractions and entertainment venues like cinemas may have reduced opening hours.
During Ramadan, when the sun sets is when the city comes to life. After sunset, Muslims attend evening prayer before gathering with family to break the day’s fast. Restaurants and street food vendors come alive, offering a variety of delicious cuisine to locals and tourists alike.
Battling the Hunger Epidemic
However, although Dubai is the home of luxury and opulence, it is worth noting that this isn’t the case in all areas of the Middle East. Hunger is a massive problem in poorer Middle Eastern countries, especially for orphans, and a lack of resources can leave many people struggling to survive. Charitable food projects are the perfect way to send much-needed help and assistance to families and orphans across the region, ensuring that they can experience just a little taste of the wealth of food available in Dubai.
With so many opportunities to explore the city and experience a totally unique culture, travelling to Dubai during Ramadan is a chance not to be missed.