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Ramadan 2023

A Guide for New Expats and Tourists in the UAE

Ramadan is a holy month in the UAE that holds significant cultural and religious importance. For expats and tourists who are new to the region, understanding the traditions and customs of Ramadan is essential. Here’s what you need to know about Ramadan 2023.

When is Ramadan 2023?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is observed by Muslims worldwide. It is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection, where Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin in early April and last for 30 days.

Important Terms to Know

Understanding the terminology used during Ramadan can help you better understand the customs and traditions of the month. Here are some important terms to know:

  • Suhoor: The pre-dawn meal that Muslims eat before starting their fast.
  • Iftar: The meal that breaks the fast at sunset each day.
  • Taraweeh: Additional prayers that Muslims offer after the last prayer of the day during Ramadan.
  • Laylat al-Qadr: Also known as the Night of Power, it is believed to be the night when the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
  • Eid al-Fitr: The celebration that marks the end of Ramadan.
Respect Local Customs and Traditions

During Ramadan, it’s important to be mindful of the customs and traditions of the region. To show respect, consider dressing conservatively and refraining from public displays of affection. Additionally, it’s customary to greet people with the phrase ‘Ramadan Kareem’, which means ‘Generous Ramadan’. It’s also important to remember that Muslims fast during the day, so it’s polite to avoid eating or drinking in public during this time.

Understand the Fasting Rules

Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, and it is important to understand the fasting rules. Non-Muslims are not required to fast, but they should not eat, drink, or smoke in public during the day. Restaurants and cafes may be closed during the day, but they are usually open at night.

Experience the Ramadan Spirit

Ramadan is a time of community, and it is a great opportunity to experience the Ramadan spirit. Join a community Iftar, visit a mosque, or volunteer at a local charity. It is also a time for shopping, with many markets and stores staying open late into the night.

Plan Your Travel Around Ramadan

If you’re planning to travel to the UAE during Ramadan, it’s important to plan ahead. Flights and hotels may be more expensive, and some tourist attractions may be closed or have reduced hours. It’s also important to be aware of the increased traffic on the roads during the evening rush hour.

Ramadan is a special time in the UAE, and it is important to understand the customs and traditions of the region. By respecting local customs, understanding the fasting rules, experiencing the Ramadan spirit, and planning your travel ahead of time, you can fully immerse yourself in the culture and have a memorable Ramadan experience.

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