Why visit Riyadh during Ramadan?

by: Juergen T Steinmetz |

Ramadan is a significant month for Muslims worldwide, including those in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.

Expats, visitors, and locals join together to experience the special atmosphere one can experience during this holy month.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism worked hard to raise pilgrim capacity in Makkah and Madinah to meet the growing demand for accommodation during the Ramadan holy month.

Tourism Minister His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khatib

Leading to the Ramadan season, the Kingdom’s Tourism Minister, His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khatib, on his Twitter page, said that the ministry is planning to operate an additional 9,000 hotel rooms in Madinah before Ramadan.

“I met with businessmen and operators of the hospitality sector in Madinah, and we were briefed on the readiness of the city’s hotels to receive visitors and Umrah performers in the Ramadan season,” said Al-Khatib.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah offered services to seven million Umrah visitors.


Umrah is celebrated in Mekka. The gateway to Mekka is Jeddah and the busiest time of the year for Saudia Airlines.


Not only in Jeddah but also in the capital city Riyadh where business continues and tourism is flourishing, during this month, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs to purify the soul, practice self-discipline, and draw closer to Allah.

In Riyadh and the rest of the Kingdom, you can expect many changes during Ramadan. The city will take on a quieter, more reflective atmosphere during the day, with many shops and businesses closing during the daylight hours.

However, come nightfall, the city will come alive with vibrant activity as families gather to break their fast together, visit local mosques, and engage in nightly prayers and recitation of the Quran.

The filled masjids with prayers, incense smokes, and packed restaurant tables with traditional Saudi dishes give you a golden chance to explore the local culture and a religious occasion that alter the whole city into a giving and compassionate value.

In Riyadh, during Ramadan, you can expect to find many special events and activities throughout the month. These may include charity drives, cultural festivals, and religious lectures and discussions. It is also customary for many families to invite guests to share their iftar meal, which breaks the fast each day.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. Once the Hilal of Ramadan is announced to be seen, the whole kingdom will be covered with joy, and Muslims will exchange congratulations for its arrival. It is one of the best months for Muslims.

The Holy Qur`an was revealed to Prophet Mohammad -Peace be upon him- during Ramadan in Lailat Al-Qadr, the most fabulous night of the month. In Ramadan, Muslims perform the fourth pillar of Islam: fasting, abstaining from food and drink from dawn to nightfall.  

Ramadan is special when Muslims show religious discipline and worship more, such as reading the Qur`an, charity, visiting relatives, etc.  

If you plan on visiting Riyadh during Ramadan, respecting local customs and traditions is essential.

How to behave as a visitor during Ramadan?

Dress modestly, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours, and be mindful of the significance of this holy month to the local Muslim community.

Life in Ramadan

Ramadan daytime is relatively tranquil, whereas the nighttime is busy and lively; it is the time to visit the family, eat outside, and shop. Staying up till midnight is usual for most Muslims during Ramadan. Malls working hours change to open doors for all in two shifts, the first starting from 10:00 A.M. to 05:00 P.M., and the second begins after Al`Isha prayer till 02:00 A.M. Restaurants, on the other hand, open the doors ahead Al-Maghrib prayer. They serve both Iftar and Sahour buffets. 

Stores in Ramadan

If you want a special Ramadan ambiance, visit the local markets` public realms. The city’s citizens are used to spending more time with their families during the spiritual nights of Ramadan by walking and shopping while wearing traditional clothes, Thop for men, and Jalabiya.

You can indulge in a religious ambiance in the spaces of Qasr al-Hukm, where you can hear the recitation of the Qur’an throughout the minarets of Imam Turki Bin Abdullah grand mosque; that reach the traditional stores around. For example, the Almaigliah market which considers an authentic icon of the local culture. It provides the finest natural incense.

Additionally, there are many amazing shopping malls with unique stores, for example, Panorama Mall and Riyadh Park. In the last ten nights of Ramadan, working hours change during the last ten nights of Ramadan to remain open all day except the afternoon. 

Restaurants in Ramadan 

Many Riyadh restaurants serve food by opening buffets inside tints, including traditional Saudi dishes such as samosa, lokma, Vimto juice, and dates with Arabic coffee.

Hotels participate in making these kinds of buffets amidst spiritual Ramadan ambiances.

Full article: Why visit Riyadh during Ramadan?
Copyright: eTurboNews – Travel Industry News – World Travel News