Holidays – Ramadan 2015
18th June 2015 - the expected first day of the holy month of Ramadan 2015. Muslims the world over fast, pray and carry out charitable acts.
2015 is flying by and we’re already saying goodbye to Easter. Ramadan is earlier this year and the first day of Ramadan is expected to be 18th June 2015, depending on the physical sighting of the moon’s new crescent. The lunar month of Ramadan lasts for 30 days during which time Muslims are expected to fast from dawn until dusk. Those not fasting should show respect and not eat or drink in public. In quite a number of restaurants, hotels and cafes the dining/drinking areas are curtained off. Some eateries close down altogether for the month.
Don’t eat, drink or smoke in front of others unless within a curtained-off area. Do not eat, drink or smoke in your car or any other area where you may be cause offence. Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with many different nationalities with many different religions all living happily side-by-side due to the spirit of respect for one another. As a respectful individual please pay heed to the Muslim holy month.
Muslims also abstain from sex during the daylight hours. In general, public displays of affection are not tolerated in Dubai.
As a guest to the Emirati nationals you should not smoke in public during this time unless in specifically designated areas. .
You may find that in Dubai restaurants and cafes a delivery and/or a take away service is available. So you may be able to have lunch delivered by your favourite restaurant after all!
There is no live music in nightclubs and, in fact, most close for the month of Ramadan. You should not play loud music during Ramadan in respect of those who may be resting.
The day’s fast finishes at dusk when restaurants and cafes open for Iftar (breaking the fast). Iftar timings are provided in local newspapers and prayers are offered before Iftar begins – do not begin eating or drinking until the prayer ends. Iftars are usually buffet style meals offered by hotels and restaurants every night of Ramadan. It is a good time to meet with friends and family and all nationalities and religions are welcomed.
Most hotel bars are open in the evening during Ramadan.
Offices usually close two hours earlier than normal and open a bit later in the morning. Check for any change in the opening hours on the website of government authorities. Please bear in mind that things may slow down slightly during Ramadan.
After work everyone is rushing to get home so please be very careful on the roads.
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. The Islamic lunar calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar as it follows the moon rather than the sun upon which the Gregorian calendar is based.
It is not just a time for fasting. Muslims endeavour to consider their lives and carry out acts of kindness to others including providing meals for the poor. We could all take a leaf out of their book and consider others.
Have a look at this website for more information. If you are interested, the Government of Dubai has a website – Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.
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