While many initiatives have been launched in Dubai and restaurants offer various deals for Iftar buffets during the holy month of Ramadan, there are too few special events for the more festive time of Eid Al-Fitr. If family gatherings and rich dinners are not your idea of a perfect spending the holiday, maybe it’s time you pack and prepare for a journey.
This year, the end of Ramadan will be the evening of August 8, and the public holiday will last for three days. Traditionally, people in the UAE will mark the first day of the next lunar month, Shawwal, and Eid Al-Fitr on Friday by visiting their families and relatives. After a month of fasting, praying and spiritual reflection, people enjoy the festival of fast-breaking with big celebrations, decorating their homes and preparing festive meals for their family and friends. Of course, another tradition is to wear your new, colourful and most beautiful clothes to show your happiness and festive spirit. And the thing that children love the most about Eid is the fact that everyone allows them to eat as much chocolate, candies and sweets as they want to. And while the traditional celebrations are still very important, travelling abroad is becoming trendy in recent years, especially for people living in the big cities.
Yes, travelling during Eid Al-Fitr is a great option to celebrate, especially this year, when Ramadan and Eid fall in hottest days of the year, according to weather forecasts. It’s a good opportunity to escape the heat and see exotic countries, foreign cultures, and places you have never been before. There are several destinations that are particularly popular among Middle Eastern travelers and perfect to visit during the three-day holiday. One of them is Turkey with its largest city of Istanbul, as well as the famous tourist cities of Marmaris, Antalya, Bodrum, and nearly the whole Cappadocia region. We suspect you are not a great fan of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, that’s why we recommend you to visit Istanbul. Standing in both Europe and Asia, the city beautifully combines elements from the two continents and is a real treasure for tourists.
Another lovely destination for a short trip is Egypt, which is among the most visited places on earth. The Pyramids, the Sphinx, mummies, underground cities, secrets and who know what else lies in these ancient lands! The only way to find out is to get there and explore as much as you can! But if you want to see something really different, interesting and exotic, go to the island of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular destinations among Emiratis – it’s green, beautiful nature, amazing wildlife, and cultural and historical heritage are definitely worth seeing. Thailand’s Phuket Island is one more place where you will experience the magical atmosphere of Buddhist temples and its mild August temperatures of up to 31 degrees Celsius make it even more attractive for UAE travelers. We have another suggestion for a place to visit during Eid – the Omani city of Salalah. Don’t be surprised, many people underestimate it because it’s just too close, but in fact, it’s one of the few green paradises in the Middle East.
And while driving could be fun for some, it is quite uncomfortable in the summer months, especially if you are travelling during Eid Al-Fitr with the whole family. Choose a reliable and safe airline and book your flight online in advance – it will save you money, time, and a few tears most probably. In fact, you can book together your hotel stay and your airfare on some websites. No doubt, some of the best carriers you can fly on, are the award-winning Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways which both provide impeccable customer service and quality travel experience. If you don’t find a flight on their websites which suits you (which frankly, is highly unlikely), try with Turkish Airlines – they won’t disappoint you.
Book you hotel stay in advance, too, especially if you are visiting the country or a particular city for the first time. Once you are on site, you don’t want to waste time on searching for a place to stay. One of the websites you can trust is Expedia.com which offers thousands of hotel bookings across the world. Before making a decision however, try also at Booking.com – another large company that deals in hotel reservations, or just see the offers by Marriott hotels or Accor hotel chains, if you want the best service, prices, and reliability. They also have official websites, so booking now is easier than ever.
Well, have you made your decision? If not, visit those websites and check out the special offers and promotions. This year, the Eid celebration abroad may even cost you less than gathering the whole family at home.