Ramadan explained for expats and tourists in Dubai

Fasting, Suhoor, Iftar… you may have heard these terms before, but what is Ramadan really about?

Ramadan marks the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon.  During this month, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. To fast means that nothing can pass their lips including eating, drinking (including water), or even smoking. Muslims also try to abstain from impure thoughts and bad habits during this holy time. In this way, Muslims practice spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one's relationship with God, increased charity, generosity, and worship. Doing so offers a way to open their hearts and connect with gratitude. 


Observances begin the morning after the crescent moon is visibly sighted, marking the beginning of the new month. The first pre-dawn meal of the day during Ramadan is called “suhoor.” Each day’s fast is traditionally broken at sunset with a meal known as “iftar.” Often, a drink of water and dates are eaten to break the fast. Iftars are usually a lavish buffet meal comprised of many delicious dishes and often celebrated with family and friends coming together to break their fast as a community.

Travelling to Dubai during Ramadan? It’s a great time to visit! Not only are visitors welcome to join in on the lavish iftar buffets and celebrations that are going on in the evenings, but there is also a lot to see and do to soak up the culture of Dubai during the day.

This Ramadan, join us on our authentically crafted Heritage Safari and celebrate with us by breaking the fast, to indulge in regional flavours added to our Heritage menu for iftar. At dinner, our Emirati host will share a few stories and teach you a little more about this special month. 


If you’re looking for a little more exclusivity and privacy, our Platinum Desert Safari has got you covered! Break your fast in the privacy of your own private tent, set under the stars amidst a serene desert oasis. Enjoy aromatic shisha, a fire performance, and a special stargazing session with a talk about moon sightings.