Ramadan in Dubai…

Ramadan in Dubai

Ramadan in Dubai

The Holy month of Ramadan has arrived, a month observed with great holiness and abstinence from wordly pleasures… This is my 7th year in UAE during the month of Ramadan, lifestyle has changed a lot from my childhood days here. When I was a child, we observed Ramadan in our office quarters in Dibba, Fujairah. That was a great experience – we used to get lots of sweets and special Ramadan delicacies from our muslim neighbours. Nowadays Ramadan is celebrated as a great event with high profile Iftar parties and celebrations galore.

“Ramadan in Dubai is a unique and different experience due to the fact that people from different parts of the world live and bring their own cultural heritage to this cosmopolitan city. Dubai might be one of the busiest cities in the world but every year it takes time out to celebrate Ramadan.

Important dates in the Islamic calendar are the Prophet’s ascension (Al Isr’a Wal Mairaj) and the Prophet’s birthday (Maulid Al-Nabi), the start of Ramadan and the two ‘festival’ (eid) holidays, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, which are observed as holidays in all the Gulf states except Saudi Arabia.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a special month for over two billion Muslims throughout the world. It is of a special meaning to Muslims as it is the Fourth Pillar of The Muslim Faith.”

Here are a few tips and pointers on observing the Holy month while you are in UAE:

  • Ramadan influences in all spheres of life in Dubai – social, business, cultural, entertaining.
  • While this can be a somber month, the three days which follow it are more exciting, with celebrations and partying the order of the day in Dubai.
  • Celebrating the end of the religious observance, gifts are exchanged between friends and family and there is much dancing and joyous partying, often involving huge banquets which run on late into the night.
  • During the Ramadan in Dubai, Muslims have a period of fasting which consists of abstinence of food and drinks as well as any tobacco products and any thoughts or activities that are deemed unclean. All people, including tourists with a different religious background should not eat nor drink in any public locations during the day when Muslims are fasting. It is permitted however to eat and drink on hotel premises.

“Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are congratulatory greetings used when the first day of Ramadan is announced (kareem means generous and mubarak means blessings). Suhoor is the meal in the morning just before sunrise – it is usually a light meal. Iftar is the time of the evening meal just after sunset, traditionally a light snack of dates and water, although this might no be so obvious in Dubai. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims have the following obligations:

* No eating, drinking, smoking or sex between sunrise (fajr) and sunset (maghrib, rather than magrib).
* Curb undesirable emotions such as anger, greed, envy, lust, and refrain from gossip.
* Keep thoughts and actions pure and use the time of fasting for spiritual contemplation.
* Be charitable and help those in need.
* Visit friends and family members.

Children (cut-off point is about 12 years old), the elderly, the insane, travellers, pregnant or nursing women, sick people, and those who are fighting in battle are not expected to fast. Instead they should feed one poor person each day during Ramadan, or, in the case of temporary conditions, make up the days by fasting at a later date. Women should not fast during menstruation but make up those days after Ramadan.

~ by Sabitha Denis on August 21, 2009.

3 Responses to “Ramadan in Dubai…”

  1. I didn’t know that tourists weren’t supposed to eat/drink publicly. Makes sense though. Ramadan mubarak!

  2. […] Ramadan in Dubai… […]

  3. Ramadan is indeed beautiful.

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