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Restrictions during a Dubai holiday in Ramadhan

Hotels know that Ramadhan is quiet for tourism, and so they go out of their way to make the experience during Ramadhan extra special!

January 11th, 2019
We are always being asked by our clients about visiting the Middle East during the muslim holy month of Ramadhan. Most believe that Dubai has the same restrictions on guests at hotels that Saudi Arabia has. This couldn't be further from the truth. Dubai depends on its tourism revenues and has adapted the law to ensure that the impact on tourists during a holiday in Dubai is limited.


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A 2019 Dubai holiday in Ramadhan is Cheap- Should I go

You will have probably already realised that holidays to Dubai during Ramadhan are very cheap. In 2019, Ramadhan is from 5th May - 6th June which coincides with the overlaps the May half term holidays in the UK. Dubai holidays in the summer months are always very popular because of the cheaper hotel rates on offer as a result of the scorching weather. Ramadhan combined with the summer means hotels will be reducing rates to rock bottom to drive business in. These bargain Dubai holiday deals obviously make holidays to Dubai in Ramadhan appealing, but as the saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, then in probably is. So is the cheapest holiday deal to Dubai you will see in the annual calendar worth it? The obvious dilemma is that if hotels have to drive down prices to attract tourists in Ramadhan, then clearly it is not a great time to visit. Or is it?

Why are Ramadhan holidays in Dubai the least popular time of year to visit

The simple answer is that during Ramadhan it is illegal to eat and drink in public during the daylight hours. As a result most food and drink outlets are closed in the day, and this is a material consideration if the purpose of your visit was to be out and about all day and away from your hotel. In Ramadhan, religiosity tends to become more prevalent, and behaviours and attitudes, which might normally be tolerated at other times of the year, tend to become an issue in Ramadhan. Skimpy clothing, public displays of affection and inappropriate language tend to be policed more heavily during Ramadhan and as such many western tourists prefer not to take their holiday when so many of the freedoms they are used to are restricted.

Ramadhan on the Beach in Dubai


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You might assume that because your Dubai holiday deal is so cheap, levels of service and quality will be compromised. This however couldn’t be further from the truth. Hotels of course understand that tourists on holiday in Dubai do not have to fast and they also understand that Ramadhan is their quietest season. Hotels want to change the perception of Ramadhan enabling them to attract more guests to choose a holiday in Dubai during Ramadhan in future years.

As a result, hotels will go out of their way to make sure your holiday at their resort is an extremely memorable experience. These hotels in Dubai will go the extra mile in terms of service and quality to compensate for the fact that there are certain restrictions in place on guests during the day. Many would argue that quality and service standards at hotels in Dubai during Ramadhan are the best you will ever experience.

It wont feel like the rest of the country is fasting whilst you are at the hotel


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Of course, most of the restrictions that effect the public in Dubai during Ramadhan will not effect tourists staying at hotels whilst on holiday in Dubai. Hotels will have certain restrictions on the where food can be consumed within the hotel, but restaurants will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as normal. The pool bar may not be open, but you will be able to consume soft drinks and water at the pool and on the beach- so there is absolutely no risk if dehydration. The restrictions that will impact on tourists in the hotel are that Alcohol supply during Ramadhan is restricted. Some hotels will not serve alcoholic beverages at all during Ramadhan and others will have a limited number of outlets serving alcohol. Whilst in Dubai, alcoholic beverages are now permitted in the day, other resorts in the UAE only permit the consumption of Alcohol in the evenings.

Unique Experiences on a Ramadhan Dubai Holiday

There are some tourists who prefer being on holiday in Dubai during Ramadhan to any other time of the year. One of the reasons for this is that the usually sedate Arab and Islamic culture of the region comes alive during Ramadhan. The evenings beginning with the breaking of the fast (Iftar), and most hotels set up huge Ramadhan tents for the evening feast.


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Muslims and non-Muslims alike are welcome, and indeed, as is the culture of the religion, Muslims are encouraged to invite non Muslims to share in the breaking of the fast festivities. After Iftar, a unique buzz overtakes Dubai as the streets, malls, and restaurants come alive. Evenings are spent relaxing with Shisha pipes, teas and sweet dishes as everyone makes the most of the hours of darkness before dawn when the fasting commences again. The experiences that Ramadhan offer to tourists during their Dubai holiday are not replicated at any other time of the year, and it will not therefore come as surprise that some people will book their Dubai holiday during Ramadhan year after year.

Should I book a Dubai holiday during Ramadhan 2019

If you want to be able to eat and drink on streets and in the malls during the day, then a holiday to Dubai during Ramadhan is probably not for you. Likewise, if you were hoping to spend your time shopping, visiting sites or going on excursions such as the desert safari, a holiday to Dubai outside of Ramadhan would be advisable. If however you are planning on spending most of your time at your resort, by the pool and on the beach, then a holiday to Dubai during Ramadhan will not really impact on your enjoyment. Of course, if you want to experience true Arabian hospitality and culture, then Ramadhan is probably the best time of year for your holiday in Dubai. Just make sure you have been on diet before you leave, as you will almost certainly put on weight after a weeks stay at any hotel in Dubai during the Ramadhan festivities.



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