Cinnamon Restaurant is a Muslim-friendly restaurant located in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. This restaurant is known to serve a fabulous selection of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian, Italian, Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes. Please note that only alcohol-free, fresh, Halal and natural ingredients are used in the dishes. ...more
Cinnamon Restaurant is a Muslim-friendly restaurant located in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. This restaurant is known to serve a fabulous selection of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian, Italian, Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes. Please note that only alcohol-free, fresh, Halal and natural ingredients are used in the dishes.
CrescentRating: Not CrescentRated
Al Dhait South Ras Al-Khaimah United Arab Emirates
When it comes to Muslim-friendly destinations, there is no area more perfect than the Middle Eastern region, and the growing popularity of travelling to the Middle East makes it much easier for halal travel. Countries that are ruled by Muslim monarchs translates to abundant Muslim-friendly services like halal food, places to pray, and even segregation in areas like water parks, the metro, and public buses. It means that even though Middle Eastern destinations comprise of a large expat population, they are used to Islamic culture and attire, and religious biases are practically non-existent. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with little stress and more spontaneity, check out these top 6 Middle Eastern countries (in no particular order) that you should visit: 1) United Arab Emirates When it comes to where to travel in the Middle East, this is a no-brainer, as far as tourist destinations go, Dubai is on the map. But the UAE has made sure that the rest of the Emirates step up their game as well, and every place has something to offer. Whether it is living the fast life, big entertainment, touring the best mosques, or discovering Arab culture, UAE has it all. Attractions Abu Dhabi: Ferrari World, Yas Water WorldDubai: Wild Wadi, Ski Dubai, Sky Dive, Parasailing, Desert SafariAl Ain: Jabal al HafeetHatta: Hatta Kayak Must-Visit Architecture Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed mosque; Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, Atlantis, Bastakia in Bur Dubai, Souq;Sharjah: Blue Souq; Ras Al Khaimah: Al Jazirat Al Hamra (a spooky abandoned village rumoured to be haunted, it is also known as Ghost Town. It dates back to the 14th century and is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone who has wanted to visit the set of a horror movie); Fujairah: Al Bidyah Mosque (the oldest mosque in the UAE, built in 1446) Getting around Dubai with public transport is fairly easy thanks to the Dubai Metro. The cabin after Gold Class is ladies only, as well as the front section on public buses. Similarly, Wild Wadi has ladies night in the summer, and Jabal al Hafeet has segregated hot spring areas that you can bathe in. With masjids, every few feet or so, and prayer rooms in the malls, praying while you’re on the move is not an issue. Make the most of the halal food cuisine with every country’s food imaginable. All restaurants are halal certified (only hotel buffets might serve pork), so eating out is a breeze! UAE is considered to be a pricey destination, and that is true if you want to splurge on the big entertainment venues like theme parks and adventure sports. You can balance it out, however, by going to the beach, roaming around the souqs, taking a ride in the abra at the Creek which is the cheapest ride you’ll ever get in the country, and taking the time to soak up the culture. You can find cheaper accommodations as compared to the hotels like furnished apartments, and thanks to the Dubai Metro, you are connected to the rest of the city. 2) Saudi Arabia We know that Saudi Arabia isn’t really known as a tourist destination – just one for Hajj and Umrah. Some people just go for the pilgrimage, while others take tour packages that show them the sites of Islamic history. Even though that is what Saudi is most famous for, it does have more to offer than just that. Attractions If you are in the vicinity of Makkah and Madinah, then you’re in the vicinity of Islamic historic sites. The battlefields of Badr and Uhud, the first masjid ever built there, Masjid Qiblatayn – the masjid with the two qiblahs, and so much more. If you are at all interested in Islamic history, it pays to put an image to the names. Durrat Al Arous Island north of Jeddah houses Albatoul Marine which is a fun place for adventure sports. Flyboarding is bit pricey here, but worth it if you’ve ever wanted to walk – no, fly – on water! Water jets are attached to your boots and up you go! Must-Visit Architecture Without a doubt, the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid an-Nabawi in Madinah are mandatory. Not just because they are spectacular and places of such peace and tranquillity despite the hustle and bustle, but because they are also home to great reward. Any prayer offered here is multiplied immensely. Credit: Wikipedia Muslims visiting Saudi rarely leave without visiting one of these sites. What most people don’t make it to are the Madain Saleh and sites. Jubbah and Shuwaymus are the areas with rock carving show that there that is so much more to Saudi Arabian history that is yet to be explored. The carvings are in a different language and depict what life was like in those days, much like hieroglyphics. Madain Saleh is not just for history buffs. These fascinating structures built so many thousands of years ago still stand today, attesting to an era long gone but not entirely forgotten. The area used to have fresh water that attracted many settlers who then carved out structures. Today, it is completely dry but the buildings still stand. As with countries in the Middle East, certain attractions can be rather pricey. But when it comes to history, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 3) Qatar Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, and its lifestyle reflects that. Just step into the airport and you are surrounded by brand names and items that seem like they belong in a dream. Despite all this modernity though, Qatar still maintains its heritage, and it is one of the best places to visit. Attractions Credit: Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara on Facebook Banana Island Resort by Anantara is truly a paradise. Even if you’re not staying at the luxury hotel, you can still enjoy the premises. Its tropical flora makes you forget you’re in the Middle East, and you are treated to a range of cuisines. Make the most of the beach and sea, go bowling or take a Segway ride on this almost-private island. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook In complete contrast is the Museum of Islamic Arts which houses the largest Islamic art collection in the world. Curated from three different continents, Qatar is proud of this gem not only because of what is within but because the structure itself is magnificent, designed by the architect of the Louvre Pyramid. On its own island with a palm-tree lined entrance, set amid a vast landscape and an impeccable view across the water, this place is worth the visit. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook There are guided tours in English and Arabic every Thursday at 2pm of the permanent collection housed on two floors. Unlike other museums, the Museum of Islamic Arts is organised in such a way that you get a feel of what Islamic art is truly like through the homogeneity of a single print used across various medium. Visitors are requested to avoid strappy and short clothing and you might be restricted from entering. Must-Visit Architecture While some prefer the air-conditioned climate of malls, others would rather take in the culture while roaming the souqs. Souq Waqif is one such place that you should not miss. Contradicting the high-end fashion and attire visible in the malls, the streets are where you get a taste of what Qatar is really like. Vibrant in its sights, smells and feels, Souq Waqif has beautiful traditional bukhoor, spices, and embroidered clothing. Credit: Katara It is also a testament to history as it is where Bedouins would come to trade their essentials too. Katara Cultural Village is a beautiful man-made location to soak up more heritage. From the architecture to the Greek-Islamic style amphitheatre, people flock there in the evenings when the weather gets cooler to enjoy the outdoors. There are restaurants, mosques, and a beach right with water sports and inflatable play complexes, making it the perfect family spot. Qatar is known to be a pricey location but the country is also very hospitable. If you want to live in the lap of luxury for a few days, this is the place for you. 4) Oman Even though Oman is in the Middle East – and generally what comes to mind when one thinks of ‘Middle East’ is ‘desert’, Oman is one of the few countries that actually has a tropical oasis region. Laidback and serene, the country has plenty to offer tourists. Since a slice of Oman juts into the UAE, many residents of UAE take the opportunity on long weekends or holidays to avail the natural sites available. However, if you decide to stay there exclusively, there is so much more that you can do. Attractions As always, souqs are part of the Middle Eastern charm and Muttrah Souq is no exception. Go there to get your fix of gahwah or Arabic coffee, bargain for souvenirs, or simply to enjoy the feel of being in an Arab country. The beaches of Musandam are one of the areas that you will find people on day trips as it is separated from Oman by a piece of UAE land. Pristine white sands and clear blue waters make this a hot tourist spot. Credit: Richard Bartz on Wikipedia Oman believes in conserving their land and natural resources and this is evident at Ras al Jinz, a natural reserve for endangered green turtles, located on the east coast. Visitors can observe them laying their eggs, and even catch them hatching and returning to the sea. Wadi Bani Khalid is one of those areas that are striking and green as it has a spring that keeps running year round. Add those palm trees to the shades of red that the rocks are made of, and you have a very Instagrammable location. #prettyasapicture #nofilter Credit: Philipp Weigell on Wikipedia Salalah is the vacation spot inside your holiday. Tropical, cool and like a world of its own, this is a must-visit. If you want your holiday to include a bit of a workout, be sure to head to Jabal al Akhdar. Translating to The Green Mountain, it gets its name from the greenery spattered across it, but it is well known for its hiking trails. Another great spot is Jabal ash-Shams, or Mountain of the Sun, so called as it is believed to be the first point that the sun touches when it rises. It is the highest peak in the region and has some great views. Majlis al Jinn is for the rock climbers out there as it has the second largest cave chamber in the world. The Bimmah Sinkhole is a natural phenomenon caused by limestone that eroded below the surface leaving a spectacularly blue-green pool for swimming. Must-Visit Architecture Credit: World Architecture Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has to be one of the staples on your list of sights to see. This Grand Mosque is one of the chain of Sultan Qaboos mosques built around the world. The high arches, golden domes, engraved walls and a beautiful interior should not be missed. The Royal Opera House sounds like it belongs in England, but this one is in Oman. Besides the various international performances that the venue is used for, you can tour the location that resembles a palace. Oman is like one of those shy kids standing in the back; only when you decide to look further do you realise the gems it has to offer. 5) Kuwait Kuwait may not be a tourist hotspot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t waiting to be explored. Like the UAE, Kuwait is known for its modernity and high rise buildings, but they also keep a strong hold on their roots and culture. Kuwait is one of the smaller Middle Eastern countries, but it is worth the trip. When travelling around the GCC, what is striking is that, even though they all appear to be the same on the outside, different aspects of heritage and culture stand out when you dig deep. Attractions Housing an Imax cinema, aquarium, dhow harbour, and a discovery palace, The Scientific Centre is the best place to take kids. The floor-to-ceiling shark and ray tanks are incredible to see, and getting your hands dirty in the Discovery Palace allows kids to get lost in the wonder of science. Credit: @aquaparkq8 on Instagram In addition to viewing the different regions present in the aquarium – the desert, coastal edge, and sea zone – you can also dive with sharks if you have a valid diving licence. The age for diving is 14 years and older. If you don’t want to swim with sharks, no problem! Head to Aqua Park, a major water theme park in Kuwait. Whether you are a child or an adult, Aqua Park has something for everyone. Fancy lazing around? Grab a tube and float on the Lazy River. Want an adrenalin shot? Try the Boomerango. There are cafes and restaurants inside the park which are all halal, but as food can be a bit pricey, take at least a bottle of water with you. Tuesdays are now reserved for ladies’ day, but even if you go with the family, there are separate changing areas for men and women and separate prayer areas. Bikinis are not allowed. Credit: Mirror House The Mirror House is definitely a must-see as, even though it is an art display, it is more like art in action. You will not be bored. Each room is explained by the Italian-Kuwaiti artist and took around 40 years to complete. Yes, 40 years! It better be good! With visual effect and getting the visitors to interact with the art, this is one thing you have to experience to understand. Falaika Island is where you can see true history. Take a ferry to the island that is now an open-air museum, depicting the war. Must-Visit Architecture As with all the Gulf countries, the local Grand Mosque is a must-visit. The architecture is unique to the country and its history, and Kuwait’s Grand Mosque is no exception. With the hustle and bustle of the city, head here to admire the structure and bask in the tranquility. Kuwait Towers are also an iconic part of the city. With a viewing platform and a restaurant, you can grab a bite while you cast your glance of a view over almost the entire country. Tareq Rajab Museum is another standout location to visit. Housing some of the most beautiful pieces in history – think jewels and garments fit for a princess – the collection of Arabic manuscripts is what rocks it to international standards. Mercifully, while the rest of the museum was being looted by Iraqi soldiers during the war, this area was left untouched thanks to the quick thinking of the local guards. The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the world, so don’t be fooled by the small numbers. 6) Bahrain If you’re looking for a totally laidback holiday, Bahrain is the place to go. As a small country that mostly keeps to itself, Bahrain isn’t on the map as a tourist destination. There are plenty of low-key things you can keep yourself occupied with though, so if this is you, keep reading. Attractions Camping in the desert might seem like a risky move – “What about the snakes and scorpions?” – but wait till you see the level of camping. With proper toilets, plasma TVs, and food in your tents, just think of it as a relocation of your hotel room. Camping is open from October 15th to March 31st. Head to Hawar Island off the coast of Qatar to bask in nature. It is a protected wildlife reserve that is under Qatar as well, and a beautiful place to get away from desert life. Explore the souqs for your regular souvenirs. Just walking around the souq will expose you to items that you wouldn’t even have thought of getting. The biggest thing that Bahrain is known for is hosting the Grand Prix, so be sure to time your holiday around then and grab some tickets! You can’t leave Bahrain without taking an authentic souvenir for yourself, and what better way to do that than to go pearl diving? If you’re finding it hard to decide between buying traditional keepsakes and regular ones, you can take your time exploring Al Jasra Handicraft Centre with displays work by local artisans, or going across to the Capital Mall. Must-Visit Architecture Were you expecting to visit a mosque? Don’t miss Al Fateh Grand Mosque! Muslims and non-Muslims alike are allowed to tour the impressive mosque on Open Day. Qal’at al Bahrain is the 16th century remains of a Bahrain or Portuguese fort that is free to look around. Going back in time a hundred years is the Arad Fort, a 15th century fort that initially guarded its own island before being joined to Muharraq Island. It differs from Qal’at al Bahrain by its Islamic architecture, as it was built before the Portuguese invaded Bahrain. The currency in Bahrain is also pretty strong compared to the other Gulf countries, so the prices can seem a bit steep at times. With the few things there are to do in Bahrain though, we think a few days is enough time to visit....
With Eid-al-Fitr just round the corner, there are many Muslims looking out for a place to relax and refresh after a month of prayer and fasting… I myself enjoy the Ramadan Eid festival in my country as I am surrounded by family and friends, and our gatherings tend to go on for nearly a month! However, for those of you who are looking for a getaway to dosomething different, a visit to one of these countries should be considered. United Arab Emirates From all accounts, this is one of the places to be to celebrate Eid with a difference! To mark the end of the month of Ramadan, the municipal areas, buildings, shops, roads and houses are all decorated with lights and other festive adornments - a breathtaking sight for those of us who live in Non-Islamic countries. Further, the country celebrates Eid by going on holiday from three days to one week – so all the locals are on Eid holidays and thus the country itself is entrenched in the holiday atmosphere which is embedded with the spirit that is Eid-al-Fitr, one of giving and forgiveness,family and comradeship. Eid Day Celebrations The Eid day celebrations can start off in the traditional manner of observing the fajr prayers followed by listening to the Eid Khutbah and participating in the Eid prayers in any of the mosques located in whichever Emirate you are visiting. Then join in on the traditional giving of Zakat and meeting and greeting of the people by wishing them Eid Mubarak! In the UAE, as is common in many other Islamic nations, the females will decorate their hands using Henna which is something that can be practiced by visitors as well. Although the country is on public holiday for the week following the sighting of the new moon that leads to the day of Eid, there is still plenty to do… Shopping Galore If shopping is a priority then there are an abundance of malls in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi which offer special Ramadan and Eid discounts.In fact the Eid holiday is so well celebrated in Dubai that the malls are usually extremely crowded, cinemas tickets are booked in advance, parks and open areas are packed with families enjoying some together-time, and restaurants enjoy long queues of patrons awaiting a taste of their halal food. In addition, there are firework displays, pageants and traditional dance performances in many public areas across Dubai. Holiday with a Difference However, if you are looking for something with a bit of difference and most likely less crowded, then take the opportunity to drive to the less talked about Emirate states which are all in close proximity to each other. An advantage will be that the roads will be clear of the legendary heavy traffic because of locals spending time with their families, and the government declared public and private sector Eidholidays. So take this opportunity to go to Al Ain and visit its zoo featuring many exotic animals from around the globe, andif you are visiting with kids then they will also love the waterpark. Alternately you can also drive up to the mountains in Al Ain and be surrounded by nature. VisitFujairah or Ras al Khaimah and spend a couple of days relaxing in their luxury resorts. Also take the opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and simply hang out at the many parks. There are also desert safaris that can be enjoyed! Indonesia Another destination to consider to spend the end of Ramadan is Indonesia. Eid-al-Fitr known popularly as Lebaran or Hari Raya Idul Fitri in Indonesia is a major national holiday that last two weeks. Indonesians, irrespective of their religion, take time off work and simply holiday. Indonesian Muslims traditionally take this opportunity to visit their hometowns and spend time with family and friends. An interesting aspect of the Eid holiday in Indonesia is that the Eid celebrations are spread across many weeks and is considered the season for happiness and forgiveness. Eid Celebrations The Indonesian Muslims start their celebrations of the dawn of Idul Fitri on the previous night. People get-together in the mosques and play drums and sing chants. In the more rural areas of the country people hang oil lamps and lanterns outside of their homes to signify that they are awaiting the arrival of Lebaran. In the towns and cities of the country, the Muslims gather in the streets and chant Takbir with friends and family and even have fireworks displays to celebrate the upcoming Eid holiday. There are also musical performances which portray Islamic themes that blend with Quranic verses associated with Ramadan and Eid– known as Qasida, which are broadcast on national television. On Eid day, you can participate in the traditional Eid prayers in any of the mosques located throughout the country. If you have opted to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr in Jakarta, then do try to participate in the Eid prayers conducted at the Istiqlal Mosque which is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. Also note that the traditional Eid greeting in Indonesia is Selamat Idul Fitri which means Happy Eid. Food and Feasting Hari Raya Idul Fitri is well known for its spectacular spread of food. Traditionally, locals prepare many types of food to offer to family and friends who visit them during the RamzanEidfestival. Some of the most common food offering include ketupat - a type of rice dumpling that can be flavored with many different seasonings and fillings, rending - a type of caramelized beef curry, and rice cakes. There are also many kind of cookies and sweets on offer. If you have Muslim friends or family in Indonesia; then the Eidfestival is indeed the best time for a visit! Being a country where the majority of the population is Muslims, halal food and Muslim-friendly facilities are commonly available and easy to obtain. Shopping Amidst all the feasting, you can also fulfill all your shopping requirements. The end of Ramazan marks the beginning of the Eid festival and is characterized by seasonal discounts and special offers at all the malls. As per tradition, locals shop for new clothes in order to celebrate the Eidholiday and all retailers offer special discounts to encourage people to buy more. An interesting aspect in the Indonesian peoples’ celebration of Eid-al-Fitr is that the Hari Raya Idul Fitri is not about giving of Eid gifts to others, but about keeping for yourself the purchases made just before the sighting of theEid moon. So, try to go to Indonesia just a few days prior to the Eid holidays and shop to your heart’s content! If shopping is your priority, then I would recommend visiting Jakarta, which for me is a shopper’s paradise with its plethora of malls and extensive choice of products. Sightseeing There is also a wide variety of sightseeing opportunities throughout Indonesia. From museums and art galleries to temples and caves, and even volcanoes. Therefore, once you have had enough of all the food, festivities and shopping; most likely in Indonesia’s most popular destinations - Jakarta or Bali, take a few days to look around the country. A quick internet search will give you ample ideas of close-by sights depending on which part of Indonesia you have chosen to visit! Turkey Yet another destination to be considered to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr is Turkey. Eid is a nationally celebrated festival which last three days traditionally, although for the Ramzan Eid 2016 the holiday extends to nine days including the weekend! The Turkish call this Ramadan festival as Bayram, and practice some very purely Turkish traditions as part of its celebrations. The ideal city to celebrate this Eid holiday in Turkey would be Istanbul; with its combination of old and new, extensive sight-seeing and tourist activities as well as the large number of mosques spread across the city. Eid Day Celebrations The Turkish traditionally start Eid day with a big breakfast to mark the end of Ramadan following the traditional Eid prayers. They dress in new clothes called bayramlık, which is specially bought for the occasion of Eid and then visit their elders and kiss their hands as a mark of respect. They also visit close and extended family, neighbors and friends to impart goodwill and partake of all the lovely sweets on offer. The Turkish also use this day to remember and greet their departed loved ones and thus visit cemeteries with family. The traditional Happy Eid greeting used in Turkey to address one another is Bayraminizmübarekolsunor Bayraminizkutluolsun which translates to "May your Bayram be blessed”. They also use MutluBayramlar which means "Happy Bayram". If you are in Istanbul just before Eid day, then it would be an opportunity to experience the Eid prayers at the famed Blue Mosque, which is a sight to behold during this Ramadan festival. Another interesting aspect of Eid celebrations in Turkey is the Turkish shadow plays, such as Karagöz and Hacivat. These are popular during the Ramadan feast, and children can watch these plays at fairs free of charge. Food Galore There will be no shortage of food during the Eid festival. The Turkish are known for indulging in an abundance of food and drink during the day to celebrate the end of Ramzan. There are so many Turkish sweets and desserts on offer that it is indeed a delight! So, if you are visiting family or friends then be sure that you will get a taste of the traditional sweet dishes of Lokma and Turkish sweet churros, Turkish bread pudding, Katmer, Baklava and Pumpkin dessert. If not, then these dishes will be the popular offerings in menues of most restaurants during the season of Eid. This is also the reason that theEid holiday is often referred to as SekerBayrami to mean the "Holiday of the Sweets". Also try out the many halal restaurants that will offer Muslim travelers a delicious fare of traditional Turkish foods. Sightseeing and Holidaying Visitors need to be aware that museums, archeological sites and other tourist attractions are closed for the first full day of the Eid holiday, but are usually open thereafter. In celebration of Eid, these places offer discounted and special rates for admissions tickets. Also expect crowds both locals and foreigners as the end of Ramadan signifies holiday time for the country. It is also a more recent tradition for the locals to travel to Turkish resorts during the Eid Holidays with family and friends, so if you are planning such a visit, expect en route traffic as well as holiday-goers in high spirits of revelry and enjoyment! You may also experience a dearth of public transport so make sure you are ready to walk around the sites or have made private transport arrangements. ...