Ramadan is one of the holiest months in Islam. Muslims fast during this month and spend the night in congregational prayers called Taraweeh. Ramadan in Dubai has festivity, fun and spiritual fulfillment.
Here is what you need to know about observing Ramadan in Dubai.
How to observe and enjoy Ramadan in Dubai:
How do Muslims observe Ramadan?
Adult Muslims, barring a few exceptions, are required to fast from dawn to dusk every day throughout Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims pray every night for 30 days, reciting different chapters each day until the Quran is completed by Eid Al Fitr. This is called the Taraweeh prayer, which is recited after Isha prayers mid-evening.
How to greet others in Ramadan?
Greet people by saying “Ramadan Kareem”. This roughly translates into “Happy Ramadan”.
Take the greetings online by using the hashtag #RamadanKareem
Where can you eat, drink, or smoke?
If you are not fasting, then you are free to eat and drink in the privacy of your own home, as well as in designated areas. Ask your employer where you can eat your lunch. The same goes with smoking.
Some restaurants and cafes will be open during the day. You are free to frequent these. Food can be taken away and consumed in private.
Work hours during Ramadan:
The standard work-day is reduced by two hours for all employees across all sectors, regardless of whether you are observing Ramadan or not.
Dubai Metro timings during Ramadan:
Usually, metros on the red and green lines start at 5.30am for Ramadan with the last trains at 12am on weekdays. The train service will be available from 10am on Fridays and 5.30am on Saturdays ending at 1am on both days.
Moving around in Dubai during Ramadan:
- Grocery shopping: Supermarkets and groceries are open as usual, and you are free to do your weekly shop as normal.
- Driving: Driving during the day, particularly between 5pm and Iftar, is hazardous. Some fasting taxi drivers may have been working longer than they should have been and as a result they may be dehydrated and lacking the ability to concentrate properly. Only drive in the afternoons if you absolutely have to.
- Booking a taxi: If you are heading out around the Iftar time, then be advised that booking a taxi may not be so easy. A lot of drivers will be breaking their fast, so availability may be difficult.
- Going out for dinner: If you are planning on going out for Iftar then you should book a table in advance. Restaurants are understandably busy during Ramadan evenings.
- Going to the mall: A lot of businesses change their hours for Ramadan. Malls remain generally open during the day and stay open later than usual – with the exception of food courts and restaurants. Some restaurants may remain open, but this will seldom be advertised.
Giving to charity during Ramadan:
Ramadan is a charitable time, and giving to those less fortunate will be greatly appreciated. It doesn’t have to be money, but perhaps food for Iftar. You can join initiatives like Ramadan Fridge sharing initiative or donate to the laborers in Sonapur.