Learn how to behave properly during Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin on 11 or 12 March this year. The official date is likely to be announced by the Moon Observance Committee on Sunday evening.

During this month, Muslims fast during daylight hours, taking food and drink only after sunset. The holy festival brings a marked change in the daily routine of Emiratis, who use this time to strengthen their faith, frequent family reunions, charitable activities and personal reflection.

Foreign visitors travelling to the UAE for the first time should pay attention to some rules and guidelines. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset. Out of respect for fasting people should not eat, drink, smoke, or even chew gum, in public places during the day. Non-Muslims may do all these things in private or designated places, including restaurants and cafes.

In addition, demonstrative displays of affection in public should be avoided as this can be an offence. Men and women should also dress more modestly during the holy month, avoiding revealing and tight clothing. Swimming costumes are still acceptable on public beaches and in hotel swimming pools, which will operate as normal.

It is worth remembering that it is best not to play loud music during the holy month, and to use headphones, especially during prayers or the call to prayer.

Non-Muslims can try their hand at fasting by attending iftar and suhoor at hotels and participating in charity initiatives. If a guest has received an invitation to an iftar, as with any such offer, it is polite to participate.

During Ramadan, Muslims tend to give more to charity, and non-Muslims can also use this time for charitable donations or volunteer work.

Source: The National

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