Whether you’re fresh off the boat or have been living here in the UAE (or any Muslim country) for a long time, it always helps to be reminded of the several dos and don’ts during the holy month of Ramadan.
- Do not eat or drink in public during the hours of fasting. Smoking is also prohibited. You are excused however if you’re pregnant, an elderly or suffering from an illness as fasting might pose health problems.
- Do not wear revealing or tight clothes. This is already observed throughout the year but is strictly imposed during Ramadan.
- Do not be loud. No shouting, swearing, singing, playing of loud music and definitely no dancing in public.
- Public display of affection is considered as offensive so avoid kissing, hugging or cuddling your husband, wife, partner or friend/s especially of the opposite sex.
- If you are working in a front office or reception, refrain from offering guests with refreshments even if you’re not sure if they’re fasting or not.
- Embrace the spirit of peace and contemplation. This is the best time to reflect on and be thankful of the countless blessings and opportunities that this country has given you.
- Be extra understanding towards those who fast. They do it from sunrise to sundown so imagine how challenging that might be. Others might be a bit irritable but just be more patient and considerate.
- Experience the culture – for one, partake in the many Iftar offers. Take your family or friends with you and feel the lively energy of the community after they have broken their fast for the day. I tell you, the city becomes so vibrant at night during this season.
- Greet the people you encounter Ramadan Mubarak (have a blessed Ramadan) or Ramadan Kareem (have a generous Ramadan).
Remember that Ramadan is a sacred month for the Muslim community so it is important to respect these rules even if you’re non-Muslim.
May you all have a happy and blessed Ramadan!