Visiting Oman throughout Ramadan – what to anticipate


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Ramadan Mubarak! Or Pleased Ramadan! It is a particular time to immerse yourselves in a Muslim nation like Oman. However non-Muslims want to perform a little research if their travels cross over with the Holy Month. You will need to respect native traditions and legal guidelines when visiting Oman throughout Ramadan.

Having travelled and lived in Oman throughout Ramadan we all know that expectations and legal guidelines aren’t normal throughout the Islamic world. On this put up I’m sharing some particular recommendation about visiting Oman in the course of the Holy Month so you already know what to anticipate as a vacationer.

*This put up incorporates affiliate hyperlinks*

What’s Ramadan?

Night time view of Muttrah Corniche, Muscat. Lights sparkle on the harbour

Ramadan is the ninth month within the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered one of many holiest months of the yr.

It’s a time for Muslims to deal with the 5 Pillars of Islam:

religion in a single God
and pilgrimage to Mecca.

The BBC has a lot of details about Ramadan and there’s some nice sources for kids on Twinkl.

You can too discover loads of youngsters’s story books about Ramadan* on Amazon.

Is it OK to go to Oman throughout Ramadan?

Children stood at the top of a sand dune during sunset over Wahiba Sands in Oman

Sure. However it’s essential have a take into consideration how a lot it’d influence the form of vacation or journey expertise you’d prefer to have, particularly in case you are visiting Oman with youngsters.

Even non-Muslims we’re anticipated to decorate very conservatively and never eat or drink in public throughout sunlight hours.

So that you wish to expertise Oman’s luxurious accommodations* and are completely happy to discover briefly bursts that don’t necessitate consuming out in the course of the day then visiting Oman throughout Ramadan won’t be too dissimilar to every other time.

Nevertheless, if you wish to go on all day excursions to Oman’s wadis, set off on a highway journey round Oman or get pleasure from a meal whereas looking the souqs of Mutrah and Nizwa it is perhaps price reserving to come back at one other time.

However please learn on to seek out out extra about Ramadan in Oman earlier than you make your determination.

When is Ramadan in Oman?

The dates of the Holy Month of Ramadan change yearly as a result of the Muslim calendar is inline with the cycles of the moon.

Discover out when Ramadan is this yr.

If you happen to go to Oman simply earlier than Ramadan you’ll discover a way of anticipation.

The outlets are busier as everybody buys of their household’s favorite meals, prepares their properties to obtain friends and picks out new outfits.

You’ll additionally see flags, lanterns and fairy lights adorning outlets and malls. It’s an enormous industrial occasion in addition to a spiritual one.

What’s Ramadan like in Oman?

Oman is the primary Muslim nation now we have lived in so we have been excited to expertise Ramadan for the primary time.

Throughout the day all over the place is so much quieter as individuals attempt to preserve their power after a meal earlier than daybreak.

Within the afternoon the roads turn out to be busier as individuals reap the benefits of shorter and staggered working hours to allow them to return house to interrupt their quick with Iftar – a feast because the solar units.

If you happen to exit simply earlier than sundown you’ll spot the place individuals are gathering to interrupt their quick.

The roads round the place we dwell in Muscat have been lined with vehicles that had introduced households dressed of their most interesting outfits and platters of meals to share with the kin and mates they have been visiting.

Households additionally collect in parks and on the seashore if the climate permits.

Though Ramadan is a month lengthy it flew by for us. In 2023 the Holy Month coincided with the Easter college holidays so we spent just a few weeks overseas and skilled Ramadan throughout a tour of Egypt.

What’s open in Oman throughout Ramadan?

Three high sandstone arches with a view of mountains beyond

Most vacationer points of interest and malls are open throughout Ramadan, even the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. The one distinction is a few outlets might have decreased hours, and cafes and eating places will probably be closed till after darkish.

Impartial and family-run outlets will probably be closed in the course of the day and open within the evenings. The exception is Friday when some might stay closed.

Are you able to eat and drink in public throughout Ramadan in Oman?

Not between daybreak and nightfall. In accordance with article 277 of the Omani Penal Code, anybody over the age of 15 discovered consuming or consuming in a public place throughout sunlight hours could possibly be jailed for between 10 days and three months.

This is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims together with vacationers visiting Oman throughout Ramadan. So your sightseeing will probably be affected in the event you plan to be out throughout meal occasions or in scorching climate.

Eating places and cafes will probably be closed besides in worldwide accommodations.

Below 15s, anybody who’s sick, aged or pregnant is exempt from fasting. Ladies who’re menstruating are additionally exempt. However you gained’t see these individuals consuming or consuming in public.

My greatest recommendation for consuming and consuming whereas sightseeing is to be very discrete. Transfer someplace completely out of view, even for a sip of water. If you’re reserving excursions with tour corporations communicate to them about meals and water beforehand.

If you’re seen consuming and consuming the perfect case state of affairs is that you’ll trigger offence, which nobody desires to do when travelling to get pleasure from a unique tradition. The worst case state of affairs is you would be fined or put in jail, which might additionally put an enormous dampener in your journey.

Are eating places closed in Oman throughout Ramadan?

Sure. Generally, eating places and cafes are closed throughout sunlight hours in Oman. A number of worldwide chains, like Starbucks, open for takeaways solely. However they’ve a restricted menu and it’s essential devour your meals and drinks in non-public (again at your lodge).

Resort eating places are the one locations that serve meals in the course of the day. They might have screened off areas to separate friends who’re and who aren’t fasting.

At Iftar time every day, when individuals break their quick, eating places reopen.

Ramadan iftar Eid. Muslim family has dinner at home. Table with traditional food. Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

What about food and drinks on the airport?

We travelled from Oman to Egypt throughout Ramadan so came upon what Ramadan meant for food and drinks in Muscat Worldwide Airport.

As soon as you’re by means of safety the meals retailers and responsibility free outlets in Muscat’s Departures space are open as regular.

Does Oman Air serve meals and alcohol throughout Ramadan?

Oman Air plane wing against background of blue sky and the Oman coastline

Sure. We took return flights from Muscat to Cairo with with Oman Air throughout Ramadan.

The flight crew continued to serve meals and drinks, together with alcohol on request. We have been even supplied a meal after taking off from Cairo previous 1am. Throughout sunlight hours passengers are requested if they’re fasting earlier than being supplied something.

If you’re flying with an airline primarily based within the Center East it’s a good suggestion to test their insurance policies on food and drinks throughout Ramadan.

What must you put on throughout Ramadan in Oman?

In Muscat, you would a minimum of cowl your knees and shoulders and never put on tight clothes throughout Ramadan.

I’ve gone past this since transferring to Oman and commonly put on lengthy sleeves, lengthy clothes or trousers. So carrying conservative garments throughout Ramadan doesn’t really feel too totally different to the norm.

In areas away from the capital, the place there’s a stronger sense of Omani custom, extra conservative clothes is anticipated. Come ready with lengthy sleeves and ankle size skirts or trousers.

We additionally dressed our youngsters in lengthy leggings and lengthy sleeved tops when going out throughout Ramadan.

Head coverings aren’t needed for girls until you go to a mosque.

Our family stood in a marble courtyard inside the Grand Mosque in Muscat. Behind us in the tallest minaretSultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

The place to e book an Iftar

One thing we didn’t have time for throughout our first Ramadan was to go to an Iftar in Oman.

Inns and eating places lay on large buffets the place anybody can e book a desk. Iftars on the Crown Plaza Muscat* in Qurum and Olivos on the Radisson Blu Resort* at Al Khuwair and Taybat on the Grand Millennium in Muscat* are all suggest venues.

Can you purchase alcohol in Oman throughout Ramadan?

Alcohol just isn’t usually available for purchase in Oman’s outlets or supermarkets at any time. A license is required to go to particular off licenses and these are solely obtainable to residents.

Throughout Ramadan these off licenses are closed.

It’s nonetheless attainable to purchase alcohol on the airport as you arrive in Muscat or Salalah.

When you step outdoors the airport it’s only attainable to purchase alcohol in worldwide accommodations and a few might restrict gross sales throughout Ramadan. Verify along with your lodge.

Ultimate ideas on visiting Oman throughout Ramadan

Ramadan shouldn’t cease you travelling to Oman but it surely’s essential to remember when it’s occurring as it’ll influence your journey.

This isn’t the case in each Muslim nation world wide. We had a unique expertise when visiting Egypt with our youngsters to what we noticed day-to-day in Oman. Even throughout the Arabian Peninsular Ramadan performs out in a different way for guests.

We have now mates who took a visit to Dubai throughout Ramadan and stated they hardly seen. Solely Muslims dressed conservatively and other people have been consuming and consuming in public locations.

One thing actually useful that I purchased earlier than we moved to Oman was the Lonely Planet Oman UAE & Arabian Peninsular* information e book. In addition to details about issues to do in Oman there’s a great deal of nice tips on customs and traditions.

Learn extra about visiting Oman with youngsters in my complete journey information for households.

Have you ever visited a Muslim nation throughout Ramadan? What was your expertise? If you happen to’re visiting Oman throughout Ramadan or every other time then I’d be completely happy to reply your questions. Remark beneath or drop me an e-mail.

Disclosure: this put up incorporates affiliate hyperlinks marked with *. If you happen to click on on considered one of these hyperlinks and make a purchase order I imply earn some fee. This doesn’t have an effect on the worth you pay.

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