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Newsletter 04/2019

ABCD News | Ramadan Kareem


Ramadan lasts for one complete moon cycle, which is usually 29 or 30 days. The moon sighting determines the duration. It is common to greet people during this time by saying "Ramadan Kareem”. This roughly translates into “Happy Ramadan”. Adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk every day throughout Ramadan and refrain from smoking, sinful speech and behaviour.

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. 

Things to remember during the Holy Month:

  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in public (including in your car) during the fasting hours. This includes chewing gum.
  • Do not engage in public displays of affection, like hugging or kissing.
  • Do not engage in any aggressive behaviour.
  • Do not dance or play music in public. You may listen to music quietly with headphones.
  • Do not wear inappropriate clothing in public. Dress respectfully. Men should avoid wearing sleeveless tops, while women should cover their shoulders and knees.
  • Do not swear.

If you are not fasting 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.

A good list of daytime dining options can be found below:

Supermarkets are open as usual, and you are free to do your weekly shop as normal.

Malls remain open and many trade a little later during Ramadan. Some have designated areas set aside where food and drinks can be purchased and consumed during the day.

Bars generally open from around 7pm, and close earlier than usual. There will be no live music, but live sport on TV will still generally be shown.

There’s no denying the fact that driving during the day, particularly between 5pm and Iftar, can be hazardous. Be aware that some drivers may be dehydrated, and reaction times can be affected. In addition, be mindful of hailing taxis or ride services around sunset as many drivers are also fasting and availability can be affected. 

Lastly, 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. There are Ramadan Sharing Fridges dotted around Dubai and information on this initiative can be found through the link below:

We at the ABCD join with the Australian Embassy to observe Iftar on May 14th at the Burj Al Arab. We hope to see you there and we wish you and your loved ones Ramadan Kareem

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