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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ramadan in United Arab Emirates

Ramadan in Dubai is a unique and different experience due to the fact that people from different parts of the world live and bring their own cultural heritage to this cosmopolitan city.

If your religion is different than our, or you are not familiar to Ramadan and live in Emirates, then you should know the following:

  • Iftar is the evening time when, just after the sun sets, a cannon is fired to announce the breaking of the fast for the day. There's one in Safa Park in Jumeirah if you want to get close to the action.
  • Iftar is not the time to have a large feast - traditionally it was a few dates and some water. Later in the evening is when it becomes more festive with larger meals enjoyed amongst friends and family.
  • Mosques offer free Iftar meals to the less privileged members of society, whether they are Muslim or not. The meals might be sponsored by charities, companies, or individuals. The Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque has one of the largest Iftar gatherings in their carpark.
  • Many hotels will have special Iftar tents where customers can have a simple or more complex meal - with a range of prices to match.
  • Ramadan is seen as an opportunity to visit friends and family members, especially those with whom contact has faded.
  • The rulers in various emirates pardon a number of prison inmates on the first day of Ramadan. Some are also released for the month of Ramadan to spend time with their family.
  • Most businesses and government offices will close for the day. Iftar is around 19:00-19:30 depending on the time of year and when the sun sets.
  • Business activities tend to slow down during Ramadan. Expect delays with any commercial or bureaucratic activities.
  • Almost all restaurants and cafes will be closed during the day but many will extend their opening hours at night.This does not include some restaurants and cafes that are inside in hotels, although they usually errect special screns to shield you from public view, but will include all external facilities such as pool bars.
  • There will be some arabic tents on the beach offering hubbly bubbly (sheesha) - water pipes and the famous Ramadan menu.A large number of popular Arabic dishes will be present on tables.All over Dubai during Ramadan you can find large Ramadan tents which are filled up with people once the Iftar fest starts each evening. Ramadan period is one of festivities and joyness ( other nationalities are also invited to enjoy the festivities)
  • There will be a few eating outlets open during the day for dine-in customers in larger hotels and shopping centers. Some fast food restaurants allow drive-through or take-outs.
  • Supermarkets are normally open during the day and have extended hours at night - sometimes till midnight or even later.
  • Shopping centers are open during the day and an extra hour or two at night.
  • Bars in Dubai are usually still open but patrons will be asked what religion they are and refused entry if they are Muslim. Live and loud music is banned, so is dancing. Bars in Abu Dhabi might be closed. Bars in Ras Al Khaimah usually stay open. Bars in Sharjah don't exist.
  • Any alcohol related offences will probably be treated much more severely than outside the month of Ramadan - it is quite possible an offender is stuck in prison until the end of Ramadan.
  • Car stereos should be turned down - loud music, especially rock or similar music, is disrespectful at least, and if police hear it, they'll have something to say about it.There will also be an increase of road accidents as people tend to drive fast just to be home on time.
  • When taking a taxi or going from place to place avoid going out just before sunset, sometimes, if the taxi driver is a muslim and gets caught up on the road during prayer time, they might stop and lay their rugs on the roadside and pray - that means you will be waiting in the taxi until they finish praying.
  • Traffic jam is it so busy so crowded, as for a lot of families tend to go out together.
  • For ladies avoid wearing less clothes, if you can just try to wear something that covers your shoulders and avoid swearing or shouting in Public Areas as this is offensive for those who are fasting.
  • Also, men who are fasting will not talk to a lady and vise versa, don't forget is it Ramadan and we must be as good as we can !


Skye said...

salaamz sis
ramadan mubarak
i love this post,it made me feel like i was really there hehehehe
masha'allah it must be soo great to experience ramadan in a arab country,in aus its so boring,nothing changes here...
take care sis mwah =D

KINHA said...

There's a especific wome's clothes or for Ramadan?I love your couture.I don´t visit Dubai yet, My husband and I intend to.Last April we make Transatlantic Brasil to Europe, and we visit Agadir and Casablanca in Moroco.I bought a silk Jalaba.

♥ Arab Mania ♥ said...

3alikom alsalam my dear Skye,i know Ramadan is difficult for the muslems living in non arabic countries..But do they not have some special Ramadan events over there ?

Oh that's nice KINHA, u like the jalabeyah u have got from marocco?
Well we cand dress as we desire in the Month of Ramadan, but is it much better to wear nice abaya's or jalabeya's especially when we go to Taraweeh Prayer.

Sara said...

Salam alaykom dear sister, Ramadan kareem. I love this post. Inshallah i can spend one ramadan in dubai i would be so lucky! u eat tamer and bala7 of course right? Its sucha beautiful month mashallah. Great post and inshallah you have a good month filled with happiness.!!



ayah said...

very intresting post, mashAllah! thanks sis and Ramadan mubarak!

♥ Arab Mania ♥ said...

Thank u my dear sisters wish u all a Blessed month filled with peace,joyness and hapiness..May ur prayers be answerd and ur Iman get stronger !

mugehobi2 said...

selammü aleyküm hayırlı ramazanlar ben türkiyeden özlem msn : ozlem.muge2008@hotmail.com

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