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Visiting Oman throughout Ramadan – what to anticipate

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Visiting Oman throughout Ramadan – what to anticipate

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Ramadan Mubarak! Or Pleased Ramadan! This can be a particular time to immerse yourselves in a Muslim nation like Oman. However non-Muslims want to perform a little research if their travels coincide with the Holy Month. It is very important 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 recognize what to anticipate as a vacationer.

*This put up accommodates 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 12 months.

It’s a time for Muslims to concentrate on the 5 Pillars of Islam:

  • religion in a single God
  • prayer
  • almsgiving
  • fasting
  • and pilgrimage to Mecca.

The BBC has plenty of details about Ramadan and there’s some nice assets for kids on Twinkl.

You too can discover loads of kids’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 you’ll want to have a take into consideration how a lot it would influence the sort of vacation or journey expertise you’d wish to have, particularly if you’re visiting Oman with youngsters.

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

If you wish to expertise Oman’s luxurious lodges* and are glad to discover in brief bursts that don’t necessitate consuming out in the course of the day, visiting Oman throughout Ramadan won’t be too dissimilar to some other time.

Nevertheless, if you wish to go on all day excursions to Oman’s wadis, set off on a street journey round Oman or take pleasure in a meal whereas searching the souqs of Mutrah and Nizwa it could be price reserving to return at one other time.

However please learn on to search 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. It’s not unusual for Ramadan dates to vary barely world wide. In Oman it’s decided by the sighting of the crescent moon

Discover out when Ramadan is anticipated this 12 months.

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

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

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

What’s Ramadan like in Oman?

Oman is the primary Muslim nation we’ve lived in so we had been excited to expertise Ramadan for the primary time.

In the course of the day in every single place is quite a bit 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 benefit from shorter and staggered working hours to allow them to return residence 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 had been lined with automobiles that had introduced households dressed of their best outfits and platters of meals to share with the relations and mates they had been visiting.

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

Despite the fact that 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 in another country 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 sights and malls are open throughout Ramadan, even the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. The one distinction is a few retailers could have decreased hours, and cafes and eating places will probably be closed till after darkish.

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

The one factor which may curtail your sightseeing is your want for food and drinks.

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

Omani regulation says you can not eat or drink (even water) between daybreak and nightfall. In response to article 277 of the Omani Penal Code, anybody over the age of 15 discovered consuming or consuming in a public place throughout sunlight hours might 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 for those who plan to be out throughout meal occasions or in sizzling climate.

Eating places and cafes will probably be closed besides in worldwide lodges. Some chain eating places provide takeaways however these should be consumed after nightfall or in non-public.

Underneath 15s, anybody who’s ailing, aged or pregnant is exempt from fasting. Girls who’re menstruating are additionally exempt. However you received’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 converse to them about meals and water beforehand.

If you’re seen consuming and consuming the perfect case situation is that you’ll trigger offence, which nobody desires to do when travelling to take pleasure in a distinct tradition. The worst case situation is you could possibly 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. On the whole, eating places and cafes are closed throughout sunlight hours in Oman. A number of worldwide chains, like quick meals retailers, open for takeaways solely. However they’ve a restricted menu and you’ll want to devour your meals and drinks after nightfall or in non-public (again at your resort).

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

Eating places reopen at Iftar time every day, when individuals break their quick.

You might be unlikely to search out alcohol served at licensed eating places outdoors of worldwide resort chains.

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.

We discovered that after you might be by safety the meals retailers and responsibility free retailers in Muscat’s Departures space are open as regular.

The responsibility free store in departures and arrivals additionally continues to promote alcohol.

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 had 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 based mostly 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, it is best to no less than cowl your knees and shoulders and never put on tight clothes throughout Ramadan.

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

In areas away from the capital, the place there’s a stronger sense of Omani custom, extra conservative clothes is predicted. 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 crucial for girls except you go to a mosque.

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

Lodges 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 advocate venues.

Can you purchase alcohol in Oman throughout Ramadan?

Alcohol will not be usually that can be purchased in Oman’s retailers or supermarkets at any time. A private license is required to go to particular off licenses and these are solely out there 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 is just attainable to purchase alcohol in worldwide lodges and a few could restrict gross sales throughout Ramadan. Verify together with your resort. 

Ultimate ideas on visiting Oman throughout Ramadan

Ramadan shouldn’t cease you travelling to Oman nevertheless it’s vital to remember when it’s occurring as it can influence your journey.

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

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

One thing actually helpful 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.

Copy of the Lonely Planet's Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsular travel guide held by hand in front of palm tree and blue sky background

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 some other time then I’d be glad to reply your questions. Remark beneath or drop me an electronic mail.

Disclosure: this put up accommodates affiliate hyperlinks marked with *. If you happen to click on on certainly 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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