The holy month of Ramadan has an alluring, spiritual charm to it. Followers of Islam all around the world fast during the month of Ramadan, breaking bread only pre- and post-dawn.
While many people prefer to observe fasts and wait for the festival Eid at their own home, some look the month of Ramadan as the perfect time for travelling. Indeed, ringing in the holy month of Ramadan in foreign throes, where you share a bond with strangers through your faith can be spiritually mesmerizing.
There are many places around the world which can serve as the perfect Ramadan destination. Here’s our pick of the best places to visit during Ramadan 2017.
United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – one of the world’s largest mosques – is just one of the many reasons why travelers throng to United Arab Emirates. An eclectic mix of rich cultural heritage and modern luxury, visiting UAE during Ramadan 2017 can be a truly enriching experience.
UAE is a halal-friendly country, and there are scores of option for suhoor and iftaar. Of particular interest among tourists is the plethora of cuisines available during the evenings at Dubai. While the city remains one of the visited places in the world, during Ramadan, it drapes a spiritual color that can only be experienced first-hand.
Well, to be honest, Malaysia is all-year-round tourist destination. However, what makes visiting Malaysia unique during Ramadan is the country’s tectonic shift from a façade or modernism to spirituality.
Malaysia is known to tourists as a glitzy country, permeated by concrete blocks and sky-high buildings. A visit during Ramadan serves as a reminder that the despite all the overt modernity, people in this country are strongly connected to their faith.
Restaurants across Malaysia are well-prepared to serve the needs of the fasting visitors. The special food markets are a real treat, as you get to taste myriad cuisines at one single place at quite affordable prices. On offer are traditional Malaysian delicacies and desserts that you can savor in an ambience that’s perfect for Ramadan travel. You can easily get a Malaysia visa online in Dubai, and you can rest assured about a seamless travel experience.
Don’t let the June heat dissuade you from visiting Morocco. One of the offbeat places to visit during Ramadan, Morocco dons a spiritually infectious garb during the holy month.
The best thing to do when visiting Morocco during Ramadan is to join the congregation at a mosque after the iftaar. The sight of hundreds of people praying together in unison will leave you spiritually enriched.
If you are from Middle East, you may be in for a pleasant surprise as far as post-dawn food is concerned. Many cities in Morocco light up in the evenings, and a host of sumptuous Moroccan cuisines are on offer. The food in Morocco will sure make your Ramadan a special and memorable one. Makouda and Moroccan lamb tagine are must-haves!
Casablanca remains the top draw for tourists, with the Old Medina witnessing heavy footfalls during Ramadan.
Turkey – a country with the distinction of being in two continents. Its vicinity to Asia and Europe has had a lasting impact on its culture and architecture. Visiting the country during the holy month of Ramadan is recommended, as the country is soaked in religious fervor.
Turkey has many mosques that are revered by followers of Islam. The Blue Mosque in Istanbul always finds a special mention owing to its impressive architecture and aesthetics. If you are travelling to Istanbul this month, we highly recommend joining the prayers at the Blue Mosque. You can also spend some quality time with your friends and family by visiting a halal resort in coastal Turkey.
There is no dearth of good cuisine in Turkey, and you can choose from a wide range – from gourmet restaurants to street food. Kavurma and Durum are among the top foods to try in Turkey.
Travelling to Egypt during Ramadan can be an enriching experience, considering the country is considered the cradle of civilization. Cairo remains the preferred tourist destination during Ramadan, owing to its world-famous historical sites.
Cairo is a Halal-friendly city, and during the month of Ramadan, you will find a number of eateries that open during the fast breaking time. Being in Cairo will give you the advantage of visiting historical monuments during the day, and join fellow believers to offer prayers during evenings.
If you are travelling with family and want to visit the seaside, you will be glad to know that many resorts make special arrangements for their patrons during Ramadan.
Food recommendations include tahini, hummus, and kosheri.
An immersive experience awaits visitors to Brunei during Ramadan, as observers across the country reflect on their faith. Visitors to Brunei will be pleasantly surprised by decked up bazaars and massive congregations.
Hotels and restaurants in the country usually follow the Ramadan schedule, and you will find a host of Halal food options during times of breaking the fast. The chatter in the ambience post-dawn is truly infectious. Bandar Seri BegawanBandar Seri Begawan, the largest city of Brunei, becomes center stage to food stalls and decorated markets.
India is a country with huge diversity – it is also the country with the second highest Muslim population across the globe. India’s capital New Delhi witnesses a congregation of thousands at the famous Jama Masjid. The bylanes of Delhi wear a decorative look in the evenings as food stalls serve sumptuous cuisines to people breaking their fast.
In southern India, Hyderabad becomes the epicenter of spirituality and religious fervor during Ramadan. The city is known for its famous biryani and a multitude of varieties is on offer during the evenings.
Visiting India during Ramadan can truly be a life-altering experience, as one gets a first-hand account of unity in diversity.
This is our pick of top 7 places to visit during Ramadan 2017. Whatever is your pick, remember the message behind this holy month – reflection and compassion. Also, while travelling is a transformative experience, care should be exercised to respect the religious sentiments of others if you are not fasting or observing any rituals.