According to astronomical calculations, the holy month of Ramadan is soon approaching and is expected to commence on March 23. During this sacred time, Muslims worldwide observe fasting, abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. Additionally, the Islamic community unites in prayer, with fasting being recognized as one of the five pillars of the religion.
As the ninth month of the Islamic calendar approaches, residents across the UAE are gearing up to welcome Ramadan in full swing. This year is particularly significant as it marks the first time in four years that the holy month will be observed without any restrictions related to Covid.
As rules regarding mask usage, travel, gatherings, and mosque visits have been relaxed more than ever before, one might wonder what activities are prohibited in the country during the holy month.
5 Rules to follow during Ramadan to UAE Residents
To ensure a peaceful and serene month for those observing Ramadan in public, it’s important to follow these five guidelines
1.Do not eat and Drink in Public Places
Public consumption of food, drink, or gum is strictly prohibited during Ramadan, as per the UAE’s penal code. This restriction even extends to chewing gum. Nevertheless, certain indoor establishments like malls and restaurants cater to non-Muslims, pregnant women, children, and the elderly during the holy month. It’s essential to note that in Dubai, individuals not fasting may still eat and drink indoors or in designated areas. The restrictions on serving food and drink only apply to specific establishments.
2. No Aggressive Arguments and Debates
It’s recommended that individuals, both fasting and non-fasting, behave respectfully towards one another during the holy month. Residents are advised to steer clear of unnecessary debates or arguments, particularly in public spaces.
3. Avoid Loud Music
To avoid causing any disturbance to Muslims observing prayers or reciting the Quran, residents are asked to avoid playing loud music in their cars or homes.
4. Do not turn down Iftar Invitation
Muslim friends and colleagues often extend Iftar invitations during the holy month. As Iftar is a significant event that brings families and friends together over a meal at sunset to break the fast, it’s generally considered impolite to turn down such invitations. While there is no legal obligation to attend, it’s advisable to be mindful before declining an invitation, as it may be viewed as poor etiquette. Refusing an Iftar invitation is generally not encouraged.
5. Guidelines for Appropriate Clothing in Public
During the holy month of Ramadan, UAE residents are expected to dress modestly in public as a sign of peace and serenity. Both men and women are advised to wear clothing that covers their shoulders, torso, and knees. It’s essential to note that these clothing guidelines are part of Emirati law and are generally expected to be followed regardless of the month.