Ramadan is an important time and there are a number of cultural sensitivities to be aware of.
The most important points are to dress appropriately while avoiding eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public during daylight hours.
Ramadan is also a great opportunity to be charitable by showing kindness and helping others, as well as experiencing iftar with friends and family.
It's also important to be considerate and respectful of those who are fasting during the day, while also remembering that this is a contemplative time.
Ramadan is predicted to start on April 24 this year but depends on the sighting of the moon.
Here are some guidelines to follow this Ramadan in Abu Dhabi.
Do… dress appropriately. Abu Dhabi already has guidelines in place for dress, especially in public areas such as malls and parks. Be especially considerate of these during Ramadan. Men and women should wear clothes that cover their shoulders and knees.
Do… respect those around you. If you’re not fasting, be considerate and mindful of others who are.
Do… try to avoid the roads at sunset, as they will be busier, since people who are fasting are likely to be travelling at this time to attend iftar. Travel earlier or later if you can.
Do… accept invitations to iftar. Aside from being a wonderful way to experience the UAE’s culture, it’s polite to accept. Do take a small gift for your host, such as a box of dates.
Do… use Ramadan greetings such as Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak.
Do… be charitable. A big part of Ramadan is kindness and helping others. There are lots of official charities in Abu Dhabi and causes around the city for you to get involved with.
Don’t… eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during daylight hours. This includes on the street, in your car, at the office (check your own office rules) and any other public spots.
Don’t… play loud music in public. If you’re in your car, keep the volume of the radio down. Ramadan is a contemplative time, and you should be mindful of disturbing others.
Don’t… use offensive language or gestures. This isn’t something you should make a habit of anyway, but it’s particularly important to refrain from this during Ramadan.
Don’t… smoke in public areas. If your workplace has an outside, public smoking area, be aware that you will need to change your routine.