5 Exquisite Destinations For Your Raya 2017 Getaway


May 17, 2017 | BY Nafisa Dahodwala

From diverse cultures to mouthwatering cuisines, we bring you a roundup of handpicked destinations from across the globe if you're planning that perfect Raya vacation. 

Call it Hari Raya Adilfitri, Eid-ul-fitr or Ramzan Bayrami, the last day of the holy month of Ramadan -- also known as the fasting month -- is a day of joyous celebrations for the Muslim community worldwide. It is a day to let go of the past and to start afresh.

Read also:  Indulge in a 6-course truffle infused menu at Bistro à Table this Raya

Along with some amazing sales, local bazaars dishing out Ramadan specials and fireworks, capital city Kuala Lumpur will witness the least congested roads as everyone returns back to their kampung to celebrate the festival with their families. 

While celebrations in Malaysia will reach its peak during the three day public holidays at the end of June, it's also the perfect time to plan for holiday to a destination beyond our shores.

For your exclusive Raya holiday, here are a few handpicked destinations with the perfect amalgamation of culture, adventure, food and of course, some well-deserved R & R.

 Istanbul, Turkey

istanbul 2.jpg (original size)Eid celebrations in Turkey are simple yet distinct, lasting for a good three to five days. While you are at it, start your day by attending the morning prayers at the Sultan Ahmed mosque (Blue Mosque) and let the beat of the Turkish drummers engulf you in the spirit of festivity that surrounds the city.

Move ahead to sample some freshly baked baklava, pide and a wide range of Turkish delights from one of the many cafes along the Hippodrome Square. Experience some local culture by booking yourself a private tour of the Hagia Sophia and take in the glorious sunset over Istanbul’s Ottoman and Islamic architectural skyline through a cruise along the Bosphorous.

Complete your holiday by visiting one of the many upscale Turkish hammams (baths) that offer special packages during the holiday season.

Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

 Dubai, UAE

dubai 2.jpg (original size)

For the most vibrant and happening Eid-ul-fitr festivities, Dubai is the place to be. This is a city that knows how to celebrate!

From entertaining parades to massive fireworks that paint the sky in hues of green, gold and red; you can witness it all here. Indulge in a range of global cuisines at The Latitude or experiment with some bold Emirati flavours at Seven Sands. Quench your shopping desires at City Walk, Dubai’s hippest entertainment and shopping hub showcasing top brands including Karl Lagerfeld and Missoni.

If you are looking to escape the busy city vibe, book yourself a desert safari for an insight into the regale Arabian life complete with a barbecue dinner, live performances and an authentic Bedouin camp. 

Stay: Burj Al Arab Jumerira

 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tanzania.jpg (original size)Bring in the Eid celebrations alongside Dar es Salaam’s Swahili community. The Swahili community shares a fusion of Arabic, African and Indian heritage; a fact predominantly visible in their unique take on the festivities.

While the celebrations may not be as loud as its neighbouring island of Zanzibar, you can catch a glimpse of the city’s unique community with their Arab inspired clothing, Indian cuisine and musical performances influenced by Afro rhythms.

Escape into a 48 hour ordeal with nature and book yourself a wildlife safari to the Mukimi National Park for a rendezvous with the African wildlife.

Stay: Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro

 Baku, Azerbaijan

iStock-497061652 resized.jpg (original size)For those of you looking to savour the treasured Eid-Ul-Fitr holidays, plan an escape to picturesque Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

With the Caspian Sea on one end, the mesmerizing Caucasus Mountains on the other followed by a fringe of its mud-volcano deserts, Baku is the perfect East-meets-West and one of Eurasia’s best kept secrets. Home to a large expatriate community, Baku is a chaotic mix of cultures, architecture and cuisines.

Take a stroll alongside the opal waters of the Caspian Sea, explore Baku’s Unesco Hertigae sites, dine on the finest Azerbaijani cuisine, shop at one of the many exclusive boutiques, admire the illuminating architecture and relish in Baku’s intriguing nightlife with its al-fresco bistros and bars for an Eid-ul-Fitr holiday you will never cease to forget.

Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Baku

 Beijing, China

beijing.jpg (original size)Not many would consider Beijing an ideal location for a Eid-ul-fitr holiday. But if you are looking forward to starting your Eid with a new experience, do so at Beijing’s Niujie Mosque.

Catering to the Chinese Muslim minority, Niujie Mosque is the largest and oldest Muslim prayer hall in Beijing where Chinese and Muslim cultures display a melodious interaction. For the rest of the holiday, well, it’s Beijing, what can we say!

Explore the Forbidden City, hike along a part of the Great Wall of China, get your fix of fancy vegetarian food at King’s Joy and shop from over 300 luxury brands at Seasons Place.

Stay: Hotel Eclat Beijing

 (Photos:  Pixabay)

Travel in style this Raya with the new Tumi 19 Degree aluminium luggage.