If you are like me, a person who wants variety then this post is perfect for you. I have been trying to decide where I want to spend my last 10 nights of Ramadan. I mean don’t get me wrong. Who doesn’t like fasting for 18 hours? And before you say well, Norway fasts for 22 hours. I shall say, yes they do! The thing is I am OK with fasting. I just like to change the scenery. I don’t really mind our small mosque because we are thankful for having it. But, here are my top picks of where I am thinking of going for the last 10 nights. Just to change the scenery and enjoy a different Ramadan experience.
United Arab Emirates
I know people will think I am crazy for saying this but the UAE is one of the closest and cheapest places to go to currently. Whether it’s cash or on miles, it’s so easy to reach and you can still fast during the trip, if you want to. They also fast 2 hours less than the UK.
One of my favourite cities in the UAE is Abu Dhabi and one of my favourite “attractions” is the Grand mosque. I have been thinking for years to visit during Ramadan as I can only imagine how beautiful it’s going to be praying there in Ramadan. This mosque is simply stunning. I am sure it will be packed in Ramadan but still, nothing can defeat the believer.
Worrying about flights? You shouldn’t be. Check my article on cheap flights to Dubai with low cost airlines. Currently, flights on some days in July are as low as £50 one way. If you prefer direct flights booked from the UK they are currently priced between £250-£350. Hotels are also very cheap since it is their low season and you can have some amazing bargains in 5 star luxury.
Understandably it is very hot in the UAE and it’s their low season but if you are going to spend your time praying at night and exploring the malls like a local then you should be OK.
Currently Morocco is a hot destination with many Europeans but as a Muslim country, there are plenty of things you can do as well. Casablanca has such a beautiful grand mosque that is one of the focal points of the city. Marrakesh has it’s own beautiful scenery with souks and Djemaa el-Fna square. Food and prayer facilities are also very easy to find and I have had some of the most amazing tangine in the most unexpected places. Really try the places where locals eat in the souk. It wasn’t a 5 star hotel experience but the food was real Moroccan dishes.
Fes is another favourite for me and I will definitely recommend you to visit if you don’t want the 100% ‘touristy’ experience. Spending some of the last 10 nights in Morroco and maybe Eid is a good way to experience the hospitality of another nation in Ramadan. Unfortunately if you are looking to escape fasting for 18hrs, Morocco won’t be your first choice since they fast approximately 1 hour less than the UK.
Flights from the UK are currently very reasonable at a £100 return per person. Hotels are also cheap in many cities with 4 stars for £40 per night. If you want an alternative and more of a local experience, you can find rooms on Airbnb from as low as £20.
Malaysia is a destination I want to very much visit. If you have time and you can afford it, then it’s a perfect opportunity to spend some of your Ramadan there and maybe celebrate Eid too. As a Muslim country, there is no problem with food and prayer facilities during Ramadan. I have some Malaysian friends and I know hospitality is second to non so you will not be having a problem making new friends there. Also for an Eid trip, you can explore Malaysia or some neighbouring countries with Singapore and Thailand being so close. There is something for everyone and they offer some amazing places to explore. City shopping in Singapore and beach resorts in Thailand and Malaysia.
Flights are currently cheap at around £400 and if you use my advice on my training video you can get it even cheaper. Another awesome thing about Kuala Lumpur is that they have really cheap 5 star hotels; some of the cheapest prices in Asia. Even the Four Seasons can be booked for as little as £150 per night; the equivalent in London is about £500 per night.
Istanbul is one of the favourite places for Muslims and I don’t really blame them. The Blue mosque is magical and in Ramadan it can only be better. The history of this place is great and there are so many things you can do even during Ramadan. Walking along the Bosporous is and hearing the Maghrib call for prayer just before sunset is beautiful. You can even have an Iftar cruise along the Bosporous if you want; just make sure you pick one without too much music and alcohol. Even though Turkey is a secular country, 90% of it’s population are Muslims so halal food and prayer facilities are not a problem. You can read my article and review of Turkey during Ramadan in this issue of Ilma Magazine, a free online magazine.
Since Turkey is in Europe, you can find good prices either with low cost airlines or otherwise. From London, prices are approximately £140 and it’s only a 3 hour flight so it might not even affect your fasting during Ramadan. Hotel prices are reasonable considering it is a peak season for them and they can be booked from £80 in the old town, in the heart of the action. If you are a family, then Airbnb might be a better choice for you.
It is also perfect if you want to combine it with an Eid trip to coastal Turkey and enjoy some sun as well in the several Halal resorts. Plus, a Ramadan in Turkey saves you 1-2 hour of fasting.
Egypt is an all year round destination with great seasides and history. It is only a few hours away from the UK and Europe and it does make a great destination for Muslims. Whether you pick Cairo or any other resort, you know that there will be facilities to pray and halal food options. Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada are mostly beach destinations and but there are family orientated hotels where you can relax and be away from the hustle and bustle.
If you are in Cairo, you can explore some of the best historic sites in the world and spend the night praying with the locals in the mosque. This is one of the things I love mostly about travelling. Having a local experience and seeing how other Muslims celebrate Ramadan and Eid.
Flights from the UK and Europe are very reasonable and can be booked for less than £200 on some days. Hotels in Cairo and the seasides are some of the nicest and cheapest properties you can find for about £50 five or four star hotels. Even for points redemption, they are so low it’s crazy. Plus, you get to save an hour or two of fasting, which is always a bonus.
Whatever you chose, just make sure you keep your fasts and prayers. Travelling is good only if it doesn’t defeat the purpose of Ramadan but enhances it.
After writing this article and looking around the countries, I am totally torn apart on which one to choose. I have considered all of them and I want to go NOW to all! I wish we can just tele-transport ourselves. Living for that day. Until then, let’s see which will be the luckiest country of all. ? Any recommendations are always welcome.