If you are a non-Muslim, being in a Muslim country during the holy month of Ramadan might be one serious affair for you. Hundreds of questions must be popping in your mind, every now and then. Numerous if’s and but’s and what if’s must have flooded your mind, and you might be in a fix weather you should visit or not- even thinking about the alternatives.

However, the good news is- all this is normal and very must expected. After all, we all fear the unknown and the unseen don’t we?
So, in order to bring an end to all your confusions, here is a complete guide for all the non-Muslim fellows regarding your first Ramadan in Bahrain:
To start with, Ramadan is The Holy Month of fasting for Muslims, the 10th month of Islamic calendar, during which the Muslims fast, pray as much as possible, and the month ends with Eid- the annual religious celebration.
Being a Muslim country, Bahrain has a ban on eating, drinking and smoking in the public places during Ramadan, and the rule is applicable on all the citizens and visitors, irrespective of the religions. Fines are also places on the one’s not abiding by the rule- and thus it is better to beware and be cautious. Since the Muslim majority in the area is fasting, most of the restaurants are closed during the day, but certainly not all of them. There are certain restaurants in every area, open during day time, with some of them offering home delivery, others offering take-away and still some open for dine-in as well. You can find a complete list of all the restaurants operating during the day hours here.
In addition to the restaurants, almost all the expat clubs are offering lunches during the day time (to members only), however alcohol is not served during the month anywhere- only room service is provided. Same goes for brunches- there are no brunches during the month.

To make up for the absence of vast lunch options and brunches during Ramadan, there is a variety of Iftar Buffets, offered in almost all of the restaurants! All the deprivation you might feel at lunch hours, would utterly vanish if you visit any of this Iftar Buffet, which provides variety of dishes, desserts, drinks and the Arabian specialties- an unforgettable experience for the foodies indeed.
In addition to the Iftar buffets, there are also some amazing iftar deals, offered by several famous restaurants and food outlets. The discounts offered by these restaurants are as high as 50% off on the entire menu, allowing you to have great taste and great saving at the same time!
In case you are not aware, iftar is the meal used to open fast, and iftar time starts right after the sunset- so all the iftar buffets and the iftar deals being at the sunset- and the ending time varies from a few hours to mid-night servings.
Since majority is concerned with the food-related matters in Ramadan, the month of fasting, I mentioned the food-details first. However, this is certainly not the end of it! Ramadan is the month of blessing for Muslims, and everybody is welcome to take their share from the blessings!
There are several special Ramadan Kareem offers in all the known superstores, combined with the smaller stores as well. Most of the items of daily use are thus available at much discounted prices- offering greater savings for everyone.
Moreover, the office timings are lessened during the month- most of the organization have 6 hours working day- instead of the usual 8-9 hours, with the day starting an hour or two late as compared to the usual time, and ending at around 4:00 PM- and the timings are same for all the employees. Thus, you can enjoy half timings for the whole month!
While the office timings are lessened, the malls and all the other entertainment options are open during day hours, including the malls and also the cinema! The water parks, resorts and all the other water-sports/ entertainment options are also open throughout the month- with most of them also offering special discount deals. The Lost Paradise of Dilmun (Water Park) and Al Dar Island will be operative during the whole month, so all you have to do is- keep an eye for the special discounts, and avail them- making your weekends more productive and fun-filled.
The malls are, in fact, open till late hours- the usual weekly timings of 10:00 PM is substituted by 12:00 during weekdays and 1:00 AM on weekends. in addition, almost all the brands offer special Eid Discounts- so you can also top up your wardrobe/ cosmetics/ home d├ęcor and everything, availing these special discounts.
The month of Ramadan ends with the celebrations- Eid ul Fitr. As Eid is the day of celebration and festivity, there is 3 days national holiday, and all the leisure and entertainment options are open for public. While all the restaurants and food outlets resume their normal operations immediately, there are also special eid buffets, dinners and several special deals for Eid days.
So, with just a little difficulty with the food options (that too, limited to only the dine-in options), there is a whole bunch of positive aspects linked to the month of Ramadan. Stay Blessed, and enjoy your Ramadan in Bahrain to the fullest.
Ramadan Kareem J

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