Blessings to you as you read this. Here in Dubai, the official 1st day of Ramadan has been announced as Monday 6th May after a meeting of the moon-sighting committee. Whether you live in the UAE and celebrate this holy month or not, many things will differ from your normal plans and routine from working hours, social meet ups, dining and more.
Ramadan is a holy month when Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Quran (the religious text of Islam) to the Prophet Mohammed. This means muslims will be fasting for the next 30 days from sun rise to sun set, as one of the five pillars of Islam.
During this time, there are some cultural things to take into consideration to keep in line with respectful manners.
One of the most common greetings you’ll hear being exchanged during this time is ‘Ramadan Kareem’ which means ‘Have a generous Ramadan’, or ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ which means, ‘Have a blessed Ramadan’. Either phrase is fine to use in your general exchanges.
For non-Muslims who are not fasting, one of the main things to remember and consider is that public eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum during daylight hours is strictly prohibited. Doing so could land you a fine and so it’s best to eat at home or at a restaurant which has a section screened off so that dining customers are out of sight.
Many restaurants will be operating different hours for lunch, dinner and Iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan, so it’s best to check opening times and table bookings as Iftar is a very popular time of the day.
Working hours and school times are shortened and so it’s best to double check your schedule to make use of the extra hours you may have in your day to do other activities.
Generally, public displays of affection are prohibited in the UAE, but during the holy month, it is most certainly forbidden and frowned upon, seen as disrespectful to those fasting.
During Ramadan you should dress in appropriate and respectful clothing in public. it is recommended that both men and women dress conservatively. For women specifically, that would mean having shoulders and knees covered.
Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Centre (Mawaqif) has announced paid and free parking timings during the Holy Month of Ramadan, after Dubai and Sharjah.
According to a statement tweeted by ITC, paid parking timings during morning hours will be 9 am – 2 pm, while 9 pm – 2.30 am during the evening.A
On Thursdays, during evening hours, parking fees will only apply until 12 midnight only.
Whether you’re fasting or not during Ramadan, we’d like to wish you a blessed and fruitful month. Ramadan Mubarak to you.