New to Saudi Arabia? Here are 7 activities to learn about Ramadan

You are in for a unique and culturally rich experience…

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is when Muslims worldwide abstain from eating, drinking, or smoking between sunrise and sunset.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which is the foundation of the religion. The pillars are the framework by which Muslims everywhere live, and Ramadan is considered the holiest time in the Islamic calendar. It is a time for prayer, reflection, and religious devotion to cleanse past sins and to focus on Allah through good deeds.

The end of the holy Ramadan season is marked by a three-day grand celebration known as Eid al-Fitr. It is a time to celebrate the successful completion of the month-long fast and to give thanks for the blessings of Ramadan as Muslims gather to pray, exchange gifts, and share food with family and friends.

Does everything close during the day?

Everything tends to happen much later in the day during Ramadan. Eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours are prohibited, so many cafés and restaurants are only open from late afternoon until the wee hours of the morning during Ramadan. Timings differ for each restaurant, too – some may have shorter or different opening times, so it’s best to check ahead. Shopping centres may even choose to close even later than usual, with many staying open well after midnight.

Discover cultural experiences in Riyadh during the holy month

With abundant cultural offerings, Ramadan is the perfect time to experience another side of the Kingdom with the spirit of togetherness that defines this season. Although it may be quiet throughout the day, it transforms into a magical hub of culture, spirituality, and tradition after the sun sets. The city comes alive with various events and activities for locals and tourists alike.

Here are seven ways to enjoy cultural experiences during Ramadan in Riyadh.

A Day in Ramadan

A Day in Ramadan

Organised by the Scientist’s Gift Organisation, this initiative aims to give first-hand insight into the holy month of Ramadan. You’ll get to do a tour of the Al Rajhi Mosque, the largest mosque in Riyadh, enjoy an iftar meal, and observe worshippers praying in congregation. Please note that participants need to be dressed modestly, and women are required to wear an abaya and a head scarf.

A Day in Ramadan, until Mar 28, 5pm to 9pm, Riyadh. Meeting location: Al Rajhi Grand Mosque, 7084 Al Akheyar, Al Jazirah, Riyadh 14251. Tel: 056 503 5002. Register your spot here



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Whether you’re looking for cultural immersion or simply to catch a glimpse of local life, HiHome provides a unique and first-hand experience for you to learn about the Kingdom and its people. It is the first and only platform of its kind in Saudi Arabia, where Saudis can become hosts, welcoming guests from around the world into their homes for a few hours – with each host offering exciting experiences to visitors, such as cooking, creating art together, and more. This Ramadan, come and experience iftar with your choice of Saudi hosts, understand the significance of the holy month, and discover how Ramadan is celebrated in each Saudi household.

HiHome, Price for each experience varies. Visit: hihome.sa / @hihome.sa

Ramadan Season 2024

As part of the Ramadan Festival activities, the Ramadan Season, taking place within the Al Masmak Palace Museum, celebrates the historical legacy and customs of the holy month of Ramadan. There are plenty of activities for the whole family, including an exhibition to help you understand the value and spirituality of Ramadan, an interactive experience showcasing the Holy Quran, and more. You’ll also get to enjoy popular regional cuisines, live cooking shows, taking part in crafts workshops, and shopping and purchasing handmade products. For a luxurious iftar and suhoor experience, book a spot at the Al Thuraya dining, which offers a diverse menu and dishes inspired by various local and international Ramadan cuisines.

Ramadan Season 2024, Ad Dirah, Al Safa Square, Riyadh 12651. Free entry but you need to book your tickets here. Other experiences within Ramadan Season may require a separate ticket. @ramadanseasonsa

Give back and volunteer with Etaam


If you’re looking to volunteer and connect with the local community, check out the Saudi Food Bank Association – Etaam, a local charitable organisation focused on distributing food to the needy. Over the years, the non-profit organisation has also joined forces with numerous brands to provide meals to people and families across the Kingdom. For instance, during this holy month, Optimum Nutrition has announced the distribution of 1,000 Iftar boxes in partnership with Etaam. In line with the world’s #1 sports nutrition brand’s mission to be a force for good — for everyone, everywhere — the initiative will cover various Saudi cities, including Riyadh, Al Dammam and Al Ihsaa, with beneficiaries comprising low-income individuals and families who are registered within Etaam’s data system. The 1,000 Iftar boxes campaign is not only their way to thank and support the local community, but also a means to raise awareness about healthy food and unlock access to nutritious meals for all.

Visit: Etaam.org.sa

Souq Al-Mawsim

Set within At-Turaif’s beautiful park, Souq Al-Mawsim centres on Diriyah’s unique culture and heritage. It is the place to source seasonal, locally grown fresh produce, local craft items, and special finds from its many stalls. The souq, with its line-up of performances and cultural activations, makes a great day out for families and groups of friends.

Souq Al-Mawsim, until Apr 11, 9.30pm to 2.30am, At-Turaif Park. Free entry but a ticket is required and can be booked here. @diriyahseason

Cook Your Suhoor


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Ready to roll up your sleeves? Learn how to cook Kabsa, the traditional Saudi dish, and immerse yourself in a cultural exchange with Saudi Chef Um Abdulrahman to learn and learn some helpful tips and tricks. This culinary experience is organised by Bonjour Saudi, a travel and experience design house, with unique offers connecting visitors to the cultural wonders of Saudi Arabia.

Ramadan Night: Cook Your Suhoor, Mar 28, 9pm to 11pm, Bonjour Saudi Rooftop, Ad Dawh Al Kabir, Samhan, Diriyah 13712. SAR250 per person. @bonjoursaudi

KYMK’s Ramadan Gathering


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Kan Ya Ma Kan offers one of the best glamping experiences set in the beautiful Riyadh desert, complete with fully equipped tents with a host of amenities. The location changes every season to take advantage of the myriad desert landscapes. And this weekend, they’re hosting a suhoor gathering trip on Thursday March 28 from 9pm to 2am at The Farm. Experience the peaceful atmosphere of The Farm as you bond with your loved ones or meet with like-minded individuals and enjoy activities such as painting and playing games over a delicious meal. Stay updated on more of its upcoming events via its Instagram page.

Kan Ya Ma Kan Trips, Price for each experience varies. Register and book your spot here. @kymk.sa