Here are some pointers about what’s expected of residents during the Holy Month of Ramadan:
BE AWARE OF YOUR DRESS CODE:
You must dress appropriately throughout this month whether you’re a female or a male.
The dress code should be modest, ensuring that knees and shoulders are covered.
Be conscious of necklines and wear loose fitting clothes.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, it’s customary to greet Muslims with “Ramadan Kareem”.
Once the month is over, it’s customary to say “Eid Mubarak” for the three days of Eid celebrations that follow.
BE MORE CHARITABLE:
Contributing to charities is an important element of the Holy Month for Muslims as they are expected to give Zakat to the less fortunate. Generous acts include donating food, clothes or money to individuals and to charitable organizations. But the spirit of giving is enjoyed by everyone so if you’re looking to join in just head on over to the nearest mosque with your donations or ask a Muslim friend about the different charity programs here in the UAE.
A lot of your friends and co-workers will be fasting in this month and it might reflect on their mood during the day. So be sympathetic to those around you and if you feel you’re getting irritable or angry at their behavior, just take a deep breath and smile or walk away for some fresh air. Always remember that those who fast can’t have food or drinks or even a smoke during the Holy Month, so it’s no wonder they might be cranky.
As eating and drinking is not allowed in public during Ramadan, you’re also not allowed to smoke. So for those of you who smoke and always wished to quit, this is the perfect time to do so! Don’t forget that smoking areas are few and far between and often time in public view.
AVOID DRIVING AT SUNSET:
As the day is almost done, people will be heading back home to break their fast. This causes a lot of traffic delays due to motorists filling up the roads, who most likely are hungry and thirsty and moody due to not having anything for twelve straight hours. So stay off the roads during sunset for at least half an hour, unless you really need to be on your way to somewhere.
PARTAKE IN THE LOCAL CULTURE:
A lot of things are happening during this Holy Month, such as cultural events and Iftars in special tents. If you ever wondered what it would be like to be part of the local culture, this is the perfect time for you to partake in several events and indulge in some Emirati cuisine. Don’t forget to try some Moroccan Mint tea and Arabic delicacies while relaxing and enjoying your time with friends and family.
ATTEND SOME IFTARS:
If you’re invited to an Iftar meal with some of your friends or colleagues, accept and go along. It’s a wonderful experience and you’ll get an insight into what goes on in a Muslim household. Remember not to go empty handed! It’s common courtesy to bring something with you but don’t worry about the expense as a box of dates will suffice. Other options are Arabic desserts or sweets.
NO EATING IN PUBLIC:
As mentioned before, it’s not allowed to eat or drink in public. It’s also respectful to not eat or drink in front of those who are fasting. That includes chewing gum. Though note that most malls and all hotels will have one or two restaurants open but discreetly tucked away behind screens or closed doors.
NO INTIMACY IN PUBLIC:
It could be seen as offensive to some if you demonstrate acts of affection in public which include kissing or hugging your partner or friends of the opposite gender. In Ramadan, its best to avoid such acts as much as possible to prevent any unnecessary action taken against you.
NO LOUD MUSIC:
With the Holy Month of Ramadan, comes a sense of peace and tranquility, as it’s a time for prayers and spiritual reflection. Therefore, it’s important to respect that peace by not playing loud music in your home or car to avoid disturbing others and getting into trouble with the law.
There you have it! These pointers will help you know a bit more on what to do and what not to do during Ramadan.