Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, is observed by the Muslims as a month of fasting to celebrate the first disclosure of the Quran to Muhammad.
The fasting starts at dawn and ends by dusk. As many countries and cities commemorate this festival on a large scale, tourists must be aware of certain things.
Food and Drink
Tourists need to be careful as eating, drinking and smoking at a public space is strictly prohibited during Ramadan. Car and bus travellers must stick to this rule as well. Foodies should be aware that most of the restaurants and bars are closed during the day. Many of them open only after dusk, but do not play live music. These places extend their hours at night for innumerable consumers. Contrarily, 4-star and 5-star hotels can provide special facilities for the international travellers. Getting meals delivered by room service is a convenient option!
Schools and Companies
Corporate travellers need to keep in mind that private businesses and government offices tend to lessen their working hours during Ramadan. For example, this time the public sector is supposed to operate from 9AM to 2 PM. However, keeping things diverse, private companies can have a different work schedule. Business meetings should be kept short and precise. Morning is the best time as business partners tend to be more attentive! Schools run for a shorter period of time.
The shops are closed in the daytime but re-open after sunset. The bigger businesses shut at around midnight while the smaller ones continue till dawn. To entice potential customers, there are attractive discounts on clothes and electrical items. Shopaholics can visit popular shopping malls like Yas Mall, Marina Mall, and Abu Dhabi Mall for a delightful experience. Some of the malls may even feature shopping festivals!
In the holy month, international travellers should dress more modestly. They need to cover themselves from the shoulder to the knee. Revealing or tight clothes should be avoided in public places such as malls and gyms. Shorts, miniskirts are a big no-no! Although hotel areas might be slightly flexible regarding this, everyone should adhere to the laid-out norms.