Visiting Oman throughout Ramadan – what to anticipate

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Ramadan Mubarak! Or Joyful 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 submit I’m sharing some particular recommendation about visiting Oman throughout the Holy Month so you realize what to anticipate as a vacationer.

*This submit 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 thought to be one of many holiest months of the 12 months.

It’s a time for Muslims to give attention to the 5 Pillars of Islam:

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

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

You can too 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 that you must have a take into consideration how a lot it’d influence the form of vacation or journey expertise you’d prefer 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 daylight. 

So that you need to expertise Oman’s luxurious resorts* and are completely happy to discover in brief bursts that don’t necessitate consuming out throughout the day then 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 get pleasure from a meal whereas looking the souqs of Mutrah and Nizwa it could be price reserving to return 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 12 months.

For those who 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 properties to obtain company and picks out new outfits.

You’ll additionally see flags, lanterns and fairy lights adorning retailers and malls. It’s an enormous business 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 in all places is so much quieter as folks attempt to preserve their power after a meal earlier than daybreak.

Within the afternoon the roads turn into busier as folks make the most of shorter and staggered working hours to allow them to return house to interrupt their quick with Iftar – a feast because the solar units.

For those who 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 automobiles that had introduced households dressed of their most interesting outfits and platters of meals to share with the kin and buddies 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 a number of 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 shall be closed till after darkish.

Unbiased and family-run retailers shall 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 line with article 277 of the Omani Penal Code, anybody over the age of 15 discovered consuming or ingesting in a public place throughout daylight 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 shall be affected if you happen to plan to be out throughout meal instances or in sizzling climate.

Eating places and cafes shall be closed besides in worldwide resorts.

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

If you’re seen consuming and ingesting the very best case state of affairs is that you’ll trigger offence, which nobody desires to do when travelling to get pleasure from a distinct 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. On the whole, eating places and cafes are closed throughout daylight in Oman. Just a few worldwide chains, like Starbucks, open for takeaways solely. However they’ve a restricted menu and that you must devour your meals and drinks in personal (again at your lodge).

Lodge eating places are the one locations that serve meals throughout the day. They could have screened off areas to separate company who’re and who aren’t 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 food and drinks on the airport?

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

As soon as you might be via safety the meals retailers and obligation 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 supplied a meal after taking off from Cairo previous 1am. Throughout daylight 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 at the very least cowl your knees and shoulders and never put on tight clothes throughout Ramadan.

I’ve gone past this since transferring to Oman and recurrently put on lengthy sleeves, lengthy attire or trousers. So sporting 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 kids 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 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 will not be typically that can be purchased in Oman’s retailers 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 potential to purchase alcohol on the airport as you arrive in Muscat or Salalah.

When you step exterior the airport it’s only potential to purchase alcohol in worldwide resorts and a few could restrict gross sales throughout Ramadan. Test along with your lodge. 

Ultimate ideas on visiting Oman throughout Ramadan

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

This isn’t the case in each Muslim nation around the globe. We had a distinct expertise when visiting Egypt with our children 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 buddies who took a visit to Dubai throughout Ramadan and mentioned they hardly seen. Solely Muslims dressed conservatively and other people have been consuming and ingesting 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.

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? For those who’re visiting Oman throughout Ramadan or some other time then I’d be completely happy to reply your questions. Remark under or drop me an e-mail.

Disclosure: this submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks marked with *. For those who 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 value you pay.

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