UAE welcomes Ramadan

Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, has begun in the United Arab Emirates. This year, it is expected to last 29 days, during which Muslims will keep a religious fast from sunrise to sunset.

The average duration of the religious fast in the UAE will be 14 hours. Thus, Muslims will fast for 13 hours and 30 minutes at the beginning of Ramadan and nearly 14 hours and 13 minutes in the last week.

Authorities advise fasting drivers to get enough sleep in order to avoid drowsiness while driving, and to head to an iftar beforehand so as not to speed and cause accidents on the highways.

Non-Muslims are not obliged to fast during Ramadan, but they are prohibited from drinking, smoking and eating in public places during fasting hours. They are also prohibited from chewing chewing gum, behaving aggressively and swearing, dancing and playing music in public (listening to music with headphones is permitted).

Modest clothing should be worn and it is not advisable to refuse gifts or invitations to iftar. The working day is shortened by two hours for public and private sector employees.

This rule applies to members of all faiths and does not entail a reduction in wages. Schoolchildren will also have a reduced schedule: from 08:00 to 13:00 from Monday to Thursday, and from 8:00 to 11:30 on Fridays.

Physical education and swimming lessons have been cancelled for fasting pupils during Ramadan, and music lessons will be held without musical instruments. Teachers have also reduced homework. School canteens have been closed so that fasting students will not meet those who are not fasting.

Supermarkets and grocery shops will be open as usual and shopping malls will be open until late at night. Many restaurants will be open during fasting hours and will extend their opening hours until suhur, i.e. early morning. Night markets will traditionally operate during Ramadan, with major retailers offering goods at up to 90% discounts.

Source: Time Out Dubai

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