Monday, August 01, 2011

Do's and Don'ts during Ramadan

Whether you are a local, an expat, or tourist, the Holy month of Ramadan is a special time for everyone. It is a time for repentance, gratitude, compassion, and charity for our Muslim brothers.

For non-Muslim expats and tourist, it means a time to practice and exercise obedience to the rules of the country, show respect to our fasting Muslim brothers and immerse oneself in the culture and tradition of UAE during the holy month.

To make sure we don't offend anybody, here are some reminders of what to do and what not to do during this month of fasting and abstinence in the UAE.

1. Don't eat or drink in public before sundown. Hefty fines can be given to offenders, the worst the person can land in jail. If you need to eat, do it discreetly. Some mall's food court is open but concealed so you can have your meal over there. We are very lucky to have a tolerant society here in the UAE.

2. Don't play loud music as it can offend people who are fasting. Playing music using a headphone is good as long as it is not audible to people next to you.

3. Don't drive recklessly on the road. Be careful and mind other drivers. People who are fasting are rushing to get home for iftar, traffic accidents tend to increase in Ramadan.

4. Don't swear in public or use offensive hand gestures. Swearing in public, in general, is taboo in UAE, more so during Ramadan.

5. Don't kiss or hug your partner or friends of the opposite sex in public. It is a general rule not to display affection for the opposite sex all throughout the year, must be avoided strongly during this time.

6. Do dress appropriately. No sheer, too short, low-cut or tight-fitting clothes. Avoid wearing shorts, mini-skirts and sleeveless tops. It is a time when ladies can try wearing beautiful local fashion.

7. Do expect a dry month. Most clubs and bars will generally remain closed during the month of Ramadan, those who will remain open will serve alcoholic only after sunset.

8. Do embrace the community spirit. Wish your Muslim friends a blessed Ramadan and join them when they invite you for iftar. Participate in charitable events and occasions.

9. Do go out at night and enjoy some Ramadan night market events. There are plenty of night markets and pop-up souks set up around the city. They have food and traditional souvenirs. These markets are a lot of fun if you're with family and friends. You may score some good finds too.

10. Do stay fit. Because of shortened working hours, we have more time for our family and ourselves. We have the tendency to eat more during Ramadan but we also have the time to burn those calories during the extra hours we have in the afternoon, break shifts, or at night. Visit the gym or run in your community park running track for an hour. Eat a balanced meal. Afterall, Ramadan is also a time to cleanse, physically and spiritually.

It may seem a lot of rules but Ramadan is only for a month so let's enjoy it while it is here.

1 comment:

  1. Surprisingly at 4:30pm today along Al Ain Road, drivers were avoiding to use the left most/ fast lane and driving at less than 100kph on the middle lane. That is considering there were many big trucks that are on the slow lane.

    Greetings of a holy Ramadan to you :)


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