Staying in the Middle East, it is unusual for the residents to have not heard of the holy month. Ramadan is a month-long observance in Islam that is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and spiritual growth. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk every day, abstaining from food and drink (yes, even water) and break their fast at Maghreb prayer. They do so to get closer to Allah and to empathize with the hardships of the less fortunate.
During this holy month, Dubai lights up the city with decorations of lanterns with the phrase ‘Ramadan Kareem’ to wish the people a blessed month. During Ramadan, Dubai Police will sound the Iftar Cannon at various spots across the city at Iftar time till April 21 at each destination for two days in a row. These locations include DIFC, Zabeel Grand Mosque, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, Ain Dubai and many more.

There will be fireworks lighting up the sky on April 1 at The Beach, Bluewaters and JBR, April 8 at Al Seef and April 15 at Dubai Festival City Mall. Throughout Ramadan from March 22 till April 21, Oasis Mall will host a Ramadan-special Oasis market from 10 in the morning till midnight where visitors can shop for goodies including honey and Arabic sweets.

From March 31 to April 9, the Ramadan Street Food Festival will be held. During Iftar and Suhoor (the meal before beginning the fast), the colorful streets of Sheikh Hamdan Colony, Al Karama, will provide a variety of authentic and traditional cuisine.

Aside from ranging delicacies of buffet food across the restaurants in the city for Suhoor and Iftar times, residents usually prefer cooking traditional meals and opening their fasts with their families in a humble setting. As the saying goes, Ramadan is a month of fasting and not feasting, so all Muslims are encouraged to keep this in mind when they are observing their fasts.

Muslims also engage with charitable work during this period as encouraged, but newcomers should also keep in mind that begging is strictly prohibited in Dubai. The beggars can be fined and jailed for their offense, so it is better to reach towards trustworthy charitable organizations for your donations without breaking the rules.

While there have been new rules enforced for distributing food, residents can still partake in charity by making financial donations to licensed charities, donate in boxes available in malls and public places, prepare, purchase or distribute food to families in the community, distribute iftar meals and dates to passers-by, and also to place water boxes in mosques.

People of other faith are also requested to stay mindful during this period. They should abstain from eating or drinking in public spaces during the fasting hours, and should instead abort to their home spaces or indoor approved locations for their meals. Also, they are advised to not listen to music loudly as it may intrude a nearby person who is making a prayer or reading/listening to the Qur’an recitation.

And lastly, but not the least, give some time to your loved ones this Ramadan. With a clean mind and soul, a happy heart would be the perfect fit to this equation. From the team of StudentsEra, wishing you all a blessed and prosperous Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem!