Visiting Oman throughout Ramadan – what to anticipate

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Ramadan Mubarak! Or Completely happy 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. 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 customary throughout the Islamic world. On this put up I’m sharing some particular recommendation about visiting Oman throughout the Holy Month so you realize 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 yr.

It’s a time for Muslims to deal with 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 sources for kids on Twinkl.

You may as well 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 sort of vacation or journey expertise you’d prefer to have, particularly in case you are visiting Oman with children.

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 motels* and are completely happy to discover briefly bursts that don’t necessitate consuming out throughout the day then visiting Oman throughout Ramadan won’t be too dissimilar to another time.

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

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

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 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 a giant industrial occasion in addition to a non secular one.

What’s Ramadan like in Oman?

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

Throughout the day in every single place is loads quieter as folks attempt to preserve their vitality after a meal earlier than daybreak.

Within the afternoon the roads turn into busier as folks reap the benefits of shorter and staggered working hours to allow them to return dwelling 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 persons are gathering to interrupt their quick. 

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

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

Regardless 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 a number of weeks in a foreign 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 points of interest and malls are open throughout Ramadan, even the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. The one distinction is a few retailers could have lowered hours, and cafes and eating places will probably be closed till after darkish.

Impartial and family-run retailers will probably be closed throughout the day and open within the evenings. The exception is Friday when some could stay closed.

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

Not between daybreak and nightfall. In keeping with article 277 of the Omani Penal Code, anybody over the age of 15 discovered consuming or ingesting in a public place throughout sunlight hours may very well 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 sizzling climate.

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

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

My finest recommendation for consuming and ingesting 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 firms communicate to them about meals and water beforehand.

If you’re seen consuming and ingesting the very best case situation is that you’ll trigger offence, which nobody desires to do when travelling to take pleasure in a unique tradition. The worst case situation is you might 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. Typically, 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 eat your meals and drinks in personal (again at your resort).

Lodge eating places are the one locations that serve meals throughout the day. They might have screened off areas to separate friends who’re and who usually are not fasting.

At Iftar time every day, when folks 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 foods and drinks on the airport?

We travelled from Oman to Egypt throughout Ramadan so discovered what Ramadan meant for foods and drinks in Muscat Worldwide Airport.

As soon as you might be by means of safety the meals shops and responsibility free retailers 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 provided a meal after taking off from Cairo previous 1am. Throughout sunlight hours passengers are requested if they’re fasting earlier than being provided something.

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

What must you put on throughout Ramadan in Oman?

In Muscat, you might not 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 clothes 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 kids 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 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.

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

Can you purchase alcohol in Oman throughout Ramadan?

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

Throughout Ramadan these off licenses are closed.

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

When you step outdoors the airport it’s only potential to purchase alcohol in worldwide motels and a few could restrict gross sales throughout Ramadan. Test together with your resort. 

Remaining ideas on visiting Oman throughout Ramadan

Ramadan shouldn’t cease you travelling to Oman however it’s essential to bear in mind when it’s taking place as it would influence your journey.

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

We’ve mates who took a visit to Dubai throughout Ramadan and stated they hardly observed. Solely Muslims dressed conservatively and folks have been consuming and ingesting 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 recommendations on customs and traditions.

Learn extra about visiting Oman with children 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 another time then I’d be completely happy to reply your questions. Remark beneath or drop me an e mail.

Disclosure: this put up accommodates 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 value you pay.

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