happenings this month Understanding Ramadan
Understanding Ramadan
Updated on 31 May 2016

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root 'ramida' meaning dryness or scorching heat, and is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar uses the phases of the moon to mark its days, usually 344 or 345 days per year, and the sighting of the new moon marks the start and end of Ramadan. In the 365 day Gregorian calendar, Ramadan falls approximately 11 days earlier each year.

Muslims believe that during Ramadan Allah revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed – Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH), and honour the holy month with prayer, fasting and charity.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam (basic acts), and is obligatory for all Muslims who have come of age. Those who are ill, travelling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or menstruating are excused, but must make up the days later on.

To fast means not to eat or drink (including water) during daylight hours. Muslims are also expected to abstain from smoking, sexual relations and speaking sinfully. While non-Muslims are not required to fast, they are legally obliged not to eat, drink or smoke in public places. If you break the rules, you will probably receive a verbal warning, but be careful, short jail sentences have been handed out in the past. Generally speaking, the police are lenient, but your understanding and cooperation are expected and very much appreciated by the authorities. Of course you may eat, drink and smoke behind closed doors and many restaurants and hotels continue to serve food behind screened-off areas.

Other things to be aware of include: no music in public during the day as Muslims listen to Quran recitations; the dress code is intensified, so dress modestly by covering your shoulders and knees, and there is a change in traffic as working hours are cut to 6 hours a day, allowing those fasting to leave the office early and rest before Iftar.

'Iftar' is the breaking of the fast at sunset and is a social gathering serving traditional meals. Muslims are urged to invite others to break the fast with them and it is said that the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) used to break his fast with dates, a tradition that Muslims still follow today. In some places in Dubai, the firing of a traditional cannon is still used to announce Iftar and two shots are fired on the first day of Eid Al Fitr to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Throughout the month you will hear the words "Ramadan Mubarak" and "Ramadan Kareem" used as greetings (Kareem means generous, Mubarak means blessings), and "Suhoor" which is the meal in the morning just before sunrise.

Please show consideration during this special month, but most of all, you are encouraged to experience the spirit of Ramadan by taking part in the many social activities on offer, especially Iftar.


• smoke, drink or eat in public during the hours of sunrise to sunset. This includes while you are driving as well as in public places, such as shopping malls.
• sing and dance in public.
• be overly rowdy. Keep stereos on a low volume while driving, on the beach or in your house, so as not to disturb your Muslim neighbours.
• wear clothes that are considered revealing in public places, i.e. supermarkets and shopping malls.

• smoke, drink and eat in the privacy of your home or hotel room.
• get sociable in the evenings for Iftar.
• be charitable.
• wish your neighbours "Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak".

Share this page!
And you won't be disappointed.
Top things to do in Jumeirah 1,2,3, Beach Road, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufouh, Palm Jumeirah
Top things to do in Deira, Garhoud and Al Muteena.
Your little ones will thank you.
Top things to do in Bur Dubai, Karama, Al Mankhool, Al Jaddaf and Oud Metha
Weekends don't get more action packed and varied than they do this weekend. With comedy, musicals, and fitness sessions, there is absolutely no excuse not to get out and get active over the next few days. If you are one of those people that has all
Dubai stands in line with cities like Paris, Milan, London and New York, so you can never be bored of this city. There are a million of things to see, try, and taste!
Top things to do in Al Barsha, Barsha Heights and Al Quoz
Top things to do in Downtown Dubai, DIFC, Business Bay, Al Meydan and Dubai Design District
Top things to do in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Emirates Living, Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Top things to do in Sheikh Zayed Road, 2nd of December Street and Al Satwa
Top things to do in Dubailand, Motor City, Sport City and Green Community

Get up-close with these creatures.

Flip Out Dubai is home to the Middle East’s largest trampoline park that includes 3D wall runners, archery tag, dodgeball and paintball.

iFLY Dubai is the world's first double vertical wind tunnel, standing 10m high and 3m wide, with fans that can blow up to 200kph! Execute twists, turns and somersaults in the specially constructed chambers, while the qualified instructors

LEGOLAND Dubai is now open at the Dubai Parks and Resorts where visitors from all ages can enjoy extensive rides, dining and entertainment. Buy your tickets now!

List of public beaches with free entry.

Stock up on unique Middle Eastern-flavoured gifts at ARTE’s market. Artisans of the Emirates (ARTE) is made up of cultural artists & crafters who hold regular Markets at various locations across the UAE.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is an all-day adventure offering access to over 20 signature rides and attractions, including live shows and a 5D cinema experience.

Enjoy an aerial tour of Dubai.

A 'must do' when in Dubai.
The Dubai Fountain was designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, and is 275 metres long with five circles and two central arcs. Over
The UAE is surrounded by two bodies of water, both offering different diving experiences. Dubai is good for shipwrecks, which are home to Barracuda, Snappers and Jacks, with common
Take a magic carpet ride across rolling red sand dunes, with an amazing bird's eye view of the untouched desert below.
Since its opening in December 1999, the Burj Al Arab has been one of the most photographed structures in the world. Sometimes referred to as "the world's most luxurious hotel
Unveiled in February 2010, the Burj Khalifa stands 828 metres high - 320 metres taller than Taipei 101 which held the record since 2004. The Burj Khalifa currently holds seven records, including the highest occupied
Discover Dubai
Stay Connected - Drop us your email.