Monday, January 21, 2013

By Pushpitha Wijesinghe 
The Ramadan Festival which is one of the most important spiritual observances in the Muslim calendar and is celebrated with the same reverence it was centuries ago, even in today's cosmopolitan city of Dubai. The month of Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and during this period Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to sunset. During this period they offer prayers to Allah and hope that the practice will bring them closer to Islamic values of modesty and spirituality.

The final day of the month of Ramadan, is one which is celebrated with a lot of pomp and pageantry in Dubai. Eid-ul-Fitr as it is known in Arabic is translated as the festival which breaks the fast, and is notable for its grand feasts. In addition to this in Dubai, tents known as Ramadan tents are constructed where devotees gather to break the fast on each day of Ramadan at communal Iftar feasts.

The Islamic principal of brotherhood is well demonstrated at these feasts as not only Muslims but even tourists belonging to any other nationality or religion are also warmly welcomed in to partake in the Iftar feast. Traditional Arabic cuisine is served at these gathering while the ceremonial Shisha pipe holds centre stage.

During the Ramadan period and particularly on Eid-ul-Fitr a number of special events are organized all over Dubai, such as the "Ramadan in Dubai" shopping promotion which showcases some of the city's most sought after shopping malls and boutiques. Despite the spirituality associated with the religious festival, Dubai is still the same bustling metropolis during the festival. However travelers should be mindful of the religious observances and behave accordingly.

Although food is not eaten during the fasting hours in Dubai, a hotel guest will not experience any change in the timing of meals like at a Dubai hotel such as Raffles Dubai, UAE. Many a hotel in Dubai actually makes a special effort to promote traditional Arabic cuisine and most establishments have various promotions on offer for international tourists during this period.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.


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