In the festive month of Ramazan, every individual has their own idea on how to unwind: some prefer to chill at home while fasting, whereas some head out on vacations to rejuvenate. “Nothing is open and business is slow,” says a local businessman, Ahmed. “We tend to wrap up right before Ramazan and leave for the month.” But while some can afford to take a holiday, travel agents are the ones busy planning others’ retreats.
Amer Javed from Prime Travels shares his experience: “Now that the summer vacations coincide with Ramazan, we get families who prefer traveling during this month.” Destinations which people normally choose change every year. Last year, Malaysia was a popular spot and this year because of the Olympics, it’s London. He also added that Dubai has continued to remain one of the most popular destinations, specifically during Eid.
Some enthusiastic Ramazan travelers confirmed the notion that vacationing during with month is a great idea. “Life gets so boring and no one is in the mood to work so I prefer to take time off,” said Ali Aleem, a young businessman. “This year I plan on visiting Spain and London.”
Samia Ilyas, a local stock trader, says that its’ Eid and not Ramazan when people want to fly out of Pakistan. “My family and I always escape to Dubai for Eid — it’s close and convenient,” she added.
Hamid, a young businessman, also shared his views: “Eid is a holiday and I don’t want to waste it making small talk with people I generally don’t meet (extended family).” He added, “It’s easiest to fly to Dubai for five days where you can fully relax and come back to work refreshed. Ramazan gets tiring so a vacation is the best Eidi you can give yourself.”
For some, traveling abroad is not an option. Nathia Gali in Islamabad is becoming a very popular spot for city mongers to escape to for the weekend and get away from a busy Eid. “Who needs to attend boring lunches with relatives when you can be with friends in Nathia Gali or anywhere nice?” said another Eid traveler.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.