5 important rules to follow this Ramadan in UAE

By Mala Yachts -March 21, 2023

Ramadan is almost coming, with astronomical calculations predicting that the holy month will begin on March 23. At this sacred time, Muslims around the world abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, and the Islamic community gathers to pray, with fasting being one of the religion’s five pillars.

People across the UAE are gearing up to welcome the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in full force, as it is the first time in four years that Ramadan will be enjoyed without any Covid-related restrictions.

With laws regarding mask use, travel, gatherings, and attending mosques more lenient than ever before, one must wonder: what is prohibited in the country during the holy month?

Here are five public norms to follow this Ramadan to ensure a seamless, calm, and tranquil month for those who observe.

  1. Do not consume food, drink, or chew gum in public

According to the UAE penal code, eating or drinking in public during Ramadan is completely prohibited – but did you know this includes chewing gum.

However, the prohibitions do not apply to all indoor establishments; many shops and restaurants throughout the country remain open during the holy month to serve non-Muslims, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

It is also worth mentioning that these limits on providing food and drink do not apply in Dubai; as long as it is done indoors or in designated places, individuals who are not fasting are permitted to eat and drink in these settings.

  1. Avoid arguing and harsh behavior.

Those who fast and those who do not are both exhorted to be respectful to one another during the holy month. Citizens are advised to avoid unnecessary disagreements or arguments, particularly in public.

  1. Avoid listening to loud music

People are asked not to play loud music in their automobiles or residences so as not to disturb observant Muslims who may be praying or reciting the Quran at that time.

It is also illegal to listen to loud music in shopping malls.

  1. Do not turn down Iftar invitations

It is considered disrespectful to decline Iftar invites from Muslim friends and colleagues. Iftar, a meal held every day at dusk throughout the holy month to break the fast, is a highly auspicious event that is celebrated with abundance of food, family, and friends.

While there is no prohibition against declining a kind invitation to an Iftar celebration, it may be considered bad practice.

Refusing to accept the Iftar invitation is considered bad form.

  1. Do not dress inappropriately in public

Because Ramadan is a month of peace and serenity, UAE residents must dress modestly in public during the month. Men and women should wear attire that covers their shoulders, torso, and above the knee as a general guideline.

It is worth emphasizing that, while especially appreciated during Ramadan, these wardrobe standards are already part of Emirati law.



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