Halal things to do at Haram Places - Las Vegas
Roaming reporter Sara Noor (@SteezeLDN) tackles the 'City of Lights'
Las Vegas, the microcosmic epitome of western culture, fantasy and mayhem. Admittedly, one’s first impression may be apprehensive as it certainly is not advertised as an ideal retreat for a Muslim. Nevertheless, after taking the plunge anyway, we found Nevada’s promiscuous powerhouse to be a diverse and friendly tourist destination for everyone.
Upon arrival, we did not expect to find any halal eateries or entertainment. Even so, after a thorough Zabiha search and befriending locals; we were astonished to find a handful of Masajid and numerous food outlets.
However, a trip to Vegas is not complete without a detailed dissection of the strip, so whilst this feature mentions Muslim friendly areas, a major focus also surrounds halal options within mixed environments such as casino’s and restaurant/bar’s also serving alcohol.
Check out Bahath’s tour of our top 10 travelling tips for tourists tackling Vegas.
This mini-city proved absolutely nothing like the original but when you realise that the majority of American tourists are utterly in awe of the Vegas Eiffel Tower; you’ll also understand that most of these people have never been to Paris, France and probably never will. Whilst definitely more entertaining at night, the French themed hotel and casino prides itself in the half size tower, which is open to tourists as a look out spot all year round.
The view from 165m up was surely impressive, boasting all the incredibly picturesque urban and mountainous beauty the city has to offer. It’s also the best spot to watch the Bellagio’s Fountain Show which was great because viewing time was unlimited. Unlike many tower top experiences, I was allowed to stay for as long as I liked, and for $17 I guess it was worth it.
The staff were super friendly and knowledgeable of the casino as well as Las Vegas generally.
Highlight: Getting professional photographs on the bridge inside the Casino, in which both the back legs of the tower cling onto the ceiling. It sounds like an architectural nightmare but it looks pretty good so you’ll have to take my word for it
Lowlight: I asked where mini-London is. There is no mini-London. Not okay.
2) GRAND CANYON
Admittedly I didn’t get the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, but it’s a 4 hour drive away from Vegas to the North West Rim, slightly shorter from Arizona to the South Rim. Promising breath taking views from either side, the Grand Canyon National Park is the unmissable attraction of the district. It’s accessible by donkey, foot and helicopter all which seem marvellous, it’s definitely on my list for next time.
3) HARD ROCK CAFE
With 42,000 square feet of indoor space, this Hard Rock certainly exceeds our expectations of the ordinary café. It’s next to the MGM Grand on Las Vegas Boulevard and boasts an array of entertaining features. The wonderful view of the Strip from its’ entrance, particularly at night, separates this experience from any other eatery, meaning you can’t visit Vegas without an evening at the Hard Rock.
Highlight: Interactive Rock Wall
Lowlight: Awkward to get to by foot from Paris
4) HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD
The flagship West Coast store offers every chocolate lover’s dream; a Liberty statue made entirely out of chocolate, the chance to feature in a Reese’s commercial, oh and it’s 2 stories of pure cocoa retail. You can’t go wrong with a place like this which aims to unite chocolate fans and families; the casino is set to open soon within the mini New York City Complex.
Highlight: reminded me of an upgraded M&M world
Lowlight: Vegas is a desert, the chocolate melts instantly so I couldn’t buy any to take back to Los Angeles.
5) MARASH TURKISH ICE CREAM
Their ice cream was superbly creamy, a definite treat for all dessert lovers. The staff were really friendly too, which added to the tight knit vibe of the Muslim community out in Las Vegas.
Highlight: They also serve kebab
Lowlight: I wish it had been bigger! Further variety in flavours would’ve been great too.
6) EMPIRE STATE NYC
Modelled after the New York skyline, this iconic hotel-casino complex uses and abuses its’ theme abundantly. The lake in front of the faux Chrysler is meant to represent New York Harbour, while the Manhattan Express Rollercoaster adds the edgy ‘fast-life’ vibe tourists tend to be after. So whilst the mini-city is packed with dozens of night clubs and bars, there’s clearly still plenty to see including a mini Liberty statue.
Highlights: Original theme park aspect, and the concrete jungle design added to the New York vibe
Lowlights: The ESPN Zone- the NYC Sports restaurant closed down in June 2010!
7) BELLAGIO FOUNTAIN SHOW
Although a dupe for the Dubai Mall Fountain Show, it’s still pretty good. I’m not sure how anything could be bad about a water show, apart from the fact we’re in a desert with severe drought, but economic water geographies are so minor, right?
The hotel itself offers ridiculous views of the landscape in the background reminding us of the natural beauty of the place; the contrast of untouched land to the city strip proved unique to Vegas. It slightly made me want to visit Salt Lake City, but nevertheless the architecture of this stunning hotel matched perfectly with the show which was even more amazing at dusk.
Highlight: watching the show from the top of the Vegas Eiffel is so much better, trust me
Lowlight: It’s not as elaborate as the Dubai version but as far as desert water shows go, its up there with the best.
Originally posted of http://www.bahath.co/vegas/keep-it-halal