Ramadan In The UAE

16 Jun, 2015 - UAE Life & Economy

Ramadan is a month during which the majority of Muslims are expected to refrain from consumption during daylight hours (children, the infirm and the elderly, are exempt).

In the UAE this means no eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum from the time you wake up until sunset when Iftar – the evening meal that breaks the fast -takes place (at about 7pm). Ramadan is a matter of law in the UAE – even popping outside for a quick smoke could land you trouble (so now would be an opportune time to quit!)

If this is your first Ramadan, we’ve written this for you:

  1. Work times will change and traffic peak hours will move accordingly. Plan ahead.
  2. Ramadan is not only a time for tangible fasting but is  also a spiritual time for Muslims. Don’t feel upset if your invitation to go to watch a horror movie is refused by your colleagues.
  3. Breakfast is served in the middle of the night and is named ‘Suhoor’. It is the meal that sustains fasting Muslims throughout the following day.
  4. You are not expected to fast but some expats do. The golden rule, based on anecdotal experience, is not to binge during your evening meal. Traditionally a fast is broken with dates or other fruit and water.

It has become a UAE tradition over the years to drink Vimto during Ramadan. Yes, that Vimto!  Each Ramadan millions of bottles of the classic English cordial adorn the tables and carpets of people in the region. If you are invited to an Iftar meal, you’ll still be enjoying a taste from home!

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