FAQs about Ramadan


What is Ramadan all about? It’s a time of spiritual cleansing and developing a closer relationship with God.

What is fasting? Fasting is the complete abstention from food, drinks, medication and smoking from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is around 30 days give or take, and ends with Eid Al Fitr which is a three-day celebration.

Who fasts? Anyone who is healthy and wishes to. Fasting is not forced. People who have serious health conditions or are pregnant, children and the elderly are exempt.

Do I have to fast? No.

Can non-Muslims drink, eat or smoke during daylight hours? Yes, of course, but we advise doing so in one of the many cafes and restaurants which cater to tourists. It is considered impolite to eat, drink or smoke in front of those fasting so please be respectful.

Will I get in trouble if I eat, drink or smoke during the day in public? Most likely no. If the police see you and decide to make an issue of it, you will most likely get a telling off.  It is better to just eat and drink in a restaurant.

What if I’m at one of the tourist sites and there’s no restaurant open? Try finding somewhere out of the way or be inconspicuous.

Are the tourist sites open as usual? Tourists sites can close earlier in order to allow staff to get home in time for iftar. If in doubt, ask us.

Can I drink alcohol? Absolutely. Restaurants and hotels which normally serve alcohol will continue to do so during Ramadan. Liquor shops are closed though during Ramadan.

What time does fasting start and end? Fasting starts just after sunset and ends just before sunrise.

What do people eat during Ramadan? The evening meal (iftar) features quite an elaborate spread of soup, salad, a main course and a dessert. You will always see dates and water served first as this is what people must consume to break their fast before eating a full meal. During Ramadan, there are plenty of special foods and drinks.

Is there anything else I should know? Avoid getting a taxi just before iftar. The roads will be very crowded and you will likely struggle to find one.

Ramadan Kareem and enjoy your stay!