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Category Archives: Ramadan
Few more days and it is Ramadan again…. It will commence either this coming Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. It depends on the sighting of the moon but one thing for sure.. We should be reminded of the do and don’ts during this period. I have written earlier few blog posts regarding Ramadan. You can click here to read more about it.
Starting Ramadan our office timing will change. It will be 8:30am – 3:30pm for non-Muslims and from 8:30am to 2:30am for Muslims. Yes, working hours will be shorter and based on my experience every Ramadan, office work seems to be less busy compared to normal days.
Anyway, Ramadan Kareem in advance to everyone..
Last night at past 9pm, I received a confirmation that indeed Eid is on Friday and not today though government offices are already closed for Eid holiday since yesterday while other private firms started today.
Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The beginning and the last day of Ramadan is always determined through the moon (sighting of the Crescent moon) because Muslims follow the lunar calendar in which the year is shorter for 11 to 12 days compared to the commonly used solar calendar.
For this reason, the exact date, as to when the Ramadan will start or end, will not be known in advance. However, one thing for sure! Eid is always anticipated because it means public holiday for expat workers. (**Smile**)
Generally it is a 3 days off for government and 2 days for private firms. If the Eid falls on weekdays then followed by weekend, it makes a longer Eid holiday. Sadly, the Eid this year falls on weekend.
As of next week, normal working hours and workloads are back again. (**sad**)
Anyway, Eid Mubarak to everyone!
I was dying of hunger (slightly exaggerated though) today afternoon. I knew it was my mistake because I completely forgot that it is Ramadan.
Quite late already, I drove fast to Dubai this morning trying to reach on time for my first appointment. I normally don’t take breakfast. Hot coffee (3 in 1 Nescafe) is enough to rev up my day.
So at past two in the afternoon after my last meeting in Shiekh Zayed Road area, I wandered around looking for a nice place to hang out for lunch before driving back to Abu Dhabi. To my dismay, the restaurants and fast food shops were open for take away only.
Walking hungry and thirsty in a hot and humid weather was not really very pleasant. I could not even drink my water. Half an hour later, I decided to take away a sandwich from Subway. I ended up eating in my car while driving back to Abu Dhabi. Sigh..
It is another holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim brothers and colleagues. Today marks the first day of Ramadan in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
Here are few things to remember during Ramadan.
Eating is not allowed in public areas. For years I have been working in UAE in an environment with mixed religion, I and most of my colleagues are accustomed not to eat openly in the office during Ramadan. It became a sort of common and implied gesture to respect our colleagues who are fasting. We drink our coffee or take our meals in the pantry or in any private and secluded areas.
Majority of the restaurants are closed until Suhoor or the breaking of the fast. In hotels, though they keep one restaurant open for non-Muslims, the windows and doors are covered with curtains so there is no visibility of food from the outside.
Working hours are shorter during Ramadan time. Generally Muslims will work for 6 hours only. For my company, Muslims will work from 9am to 3pm and for non-Muslims 9am to 4pm. Other companies work only for six hours regardless if you are Muslim or not.
So, if you happen to have business meetings during Ramadan and it is your first time here in UAE, it is better to check first their Ramadan office hours.
Ramadan time applies to any establishments from shopping malls to offices.
Majority of the bars and discotheques are closed too during Ramadan. If they are open, there are no live music and entertainment. I remember my first visit to a bar during Ramadan. It felt very odd because the ambience was very quiet. No upbeat and loud music. People just drank and talked.
Lastly, the commonly used greetings during this Holy Month are “Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak”.
If you have never been here – in this part of the globe – then it is interesting to know the local customs.
Click here to read more.
I will never forget Ramadan in my life because it was this time of the year in 2007 that I had to take my lunch in the toilet.
I left my home in Dubai without breakfast to catch my interview in Abu Dhabi. The interview finished around two in the afternoon. I started to feel hungry. I hit the mall hoping to find an open food shop. After roaming for half an hour, I almost gave up until I saw Dunkin Donuts. It was open and I eagerly bought two donuts and a bottle of water. I looked around for table unfortunately all chairs were tucked on top of the tables.
Therefore, the donuts would be for take away only. I had to travel for two hours back to Dubai and I knew well that there was no way I could eat in the bus. As I was leaving Dunkin Donuts, I noticed the sign for ladies toilet. I went inside, checked around and found it very clean. I locked myself in one of the cubicles and started munching my Boston crème donut.
So before you end up in another toilet cubicle for lunch, here is vital information about Ramadan that you must know.
What is Ramadan?
The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is observed by fasting and abstinence. Muslims abstain from food and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Also, Muslims are expected to refrain from smoking, and other activities that are not consistent with the Islamic values.
Aside from fasting, it is also a time to do charitable deeds, spend time with family and friends, contemplate and pray.
Ramadan Kareem, which means blessed Ramadan, is the common greetings.
What to Expect?
The Iftar (the meal after the fast is broken) is typically shared with family, friends and colleagues. It is common for companies to hold staff Iftar in hotels or restaurants and for family to invite colleagues and friends for Iftar.
Office Hours & Timings
The opening time of the shops, malls, banks and other establishments are oftentimes different than normal days. The shops are usually closed during the Iftar time and resumes only after an hour.
Restaurants & Food Shops
The hotels oftentimes keep one restaurant open but covered where breakfast and lunch are served for non-Muslim guests.
Bars & Discotheque
Alcohol is served only after seven in the evening or as indicated but without live music.
Don’ts & Don’ts
And lastly, be considerate and respectful to those who fast.