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Ramadan 2011

Ramadan 2011 | 1 August – 30 August | Dubai, UAE

Ramadan is the holy month in which Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Holy Koran. In 2011 Ramadan is anticipated to commence on Monday 1st of August and will continue for 30 days until Tuesday 30th August. In the Muslim calendar a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Ramadan on the sunset of Sunday 31st of July.
Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies. This means Ramadan moves approximately 11 days every year. The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims have the following obligations;
• No eating, drinking, smoking or intercourse between sunrise and sunset (children under 12, the elderly, the insane, travelers, pregnant or nursing women, the ill and those who are fighting in battle are not expected to fast)
• Curb undesirable emotions such as anger, greed, envy, lust and refrain from gossip.
• Keep thoughts and actions pure and use the time of fasting for spiritual contemplation.
• Be charitable and help those in need.
• Visit friends and family members.

Restaurants and coffee shops close during daylight hours in respect of Muslims who are fasting. A few restaurants (particularly within hotels) and coffee shops remain open during the day but will be well concealed or hidden behind large black curtains. You may eat and drink in a hidden coffee shop/restaurant but NOT in public. Some fast food venues remain open however this is strictly for take away purchases which must be consumed in private.

Fasting is broken every day just after the sun sets. A cannon is fired to announce the breaking of the fast for the day. If you want to see this display you can visit SAFA PARK gate 4 in Jumeira. When fasting is broken you can enjoy an Iftar at many locations. An Iftar is a huge meal to be enjoyed with family and friends. Traditionally, a date is the first thing to be consumed before the feast/Iftar begins. This is wonderful time to experience the culture of the UAE and be involved in the Muslim celebrations.

Expatriates must follow and respect the following rules in Dubai and the UAE during Ramadan;
• Do NOT eat, drink or smoke in public (including in your car).
• Do NOT play loud music (including in your car) it is classed as disrespectful.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three day holiday called Eid al Fitr, the official dates for which are not announced until the sighting of the moon however it is estimated that it will fall on 31st August this year (2011).

Check out our Top 10 Tips for Living in Dubai here.

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