The holy month of Ramadan has started and if you are in Dubai on a visit it will be worth an experience. Life of Non-Muslim expats and travelers changes drastically in the UAE. Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar year and UAE is being an Islamic country strictly follows the fasting practice. During Ramadan, travelers will get a unique opportunity to experience the traditional Emirati culture and cuisines. If you are a tourist and you are not fasting there are a few Do’s and Don’ts you will have to follow not only in Dubai but also throughout the UAE during this holy season. Those who follow Islam fast from sunrise to sunset and those who are non-Muslims are also expected to respect the religious sentiments and be aware of the Do’s and Don’ts.
- Know how to greet:
It is a custom to greet by saying “Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak” during this holy month. It means you are extending greetings of prosperity and well-being to the recipient.
- Do dress conservatively:
During Ramadan time be wise and dress appropriately, though you are in Dubai on a visit. Both men and women non-Muslims are expected to cover their shoulders and knees when they are in public places such as malls, parks, etc.
- Do some charity:
The holy month in Dubai follows the spirit of giving. Even if you are on a visit and not fasting, you can always do some charity for the less fortunate through the charitable trusts or stock up on food and water to place in fridges placed across the city. It is a great gesture to help the lesser fortunate acquaintances home to break their fasts.
- Do Smoke in private:
Be mindful and smoke in private areas and not in public as a gesture of respect for those who are fasting.
- Book your dinner venue in advance:
Because of Iftar the restaurants might be crowded so better, book your dinner venue in advance.
- Do follow workplace etiquettes:
If you are traveling in the UAE during Ramadan, you are expected to respect the shorter office hours and work around them. While fixing up meetings business travelers should schedule it during the morning hours especially with the Muslim partners as they will be less tired and can concentrate. Make sure you do not extend your meetings post lunch which can cause inconvenience for fasting participants.
- Do enjoy Ramadan Night Markets:
Pop-up souks are a usual sight during Ramadan in the UAE. Ramadan Night markets are famous for food, traditional souvenirs, shopping opportunities and more. They are great fun for family and friends.
- Don’t eat, drink or chew in Public:
Respect the religious sentiments and those who are religiously fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. It will be wise not to eat or drink in front of them. You will notice the restaurant and food outlets who serve a meal during lunch hours are been blinded or in closed doors.
- Don’t be affectionate in Public:
Do not demonstrate affection to your partner in public. Well, it is strictly against the law in normal days, however, doing so during Ramadan will be considered as a religious offense.
- Don’t play loud music:
This holy month is for spiritual reflection. You will be expected to respect that and do not disturb the peace by playing loud music.
Ramadan is considered as one of the most important events in the Muslim Calendar. By being careful about the do’s and don’ts during this period is a good gesture of showing respect to the Islamic culture.
So be mindful when you are in Dubai during Ramadan period and think about others who are fasting around you.