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Holy Month of Ramadan begins in the UAE

Colorful hanging decorative on shiny brown background for holy m

Ramadan has officially started today (June 29) in the UAE

June 29, 2014 1:28 by

The purpose of Ramadan is to practice internal and external self discipline, with Muslims abstaining from eating and drinking between the hours of sunrise to sunset.

Such a rigorous spiritual exercise is a daunting task, so the government of the UAE has adjusted a number of public facilities accordingly.

Here is a list of changes you can expect to see across the country:

1. Restaurants:

Restaurants across the country will be closed until Iftar, the time in which Muslims break their fast. Iftar is at sunset, which is around 7:15pm. However, if you are not fasting, many restaurants will still deliver food.

2. Parking:

Paid parking timings will change during the month of Ramadan. Paid hours are split into two time periods. The first is between 9am and 2:30pm and the second between 10:30pm until 2:30am. On Thursdays, the second time period is from 9am until midnight. Fridays are free of charge. The fees remain the same.

3. Dress code:

While there is a dress code in many places across the UAE, it is further emphasized during the Holy Month. As a general rule, shoulders, knees and chests should be covered up out of respect for those who are fasting. If one is dressed inappropriately, they may be escorted out of public places.

4. Eating:

While you are not expected to fast during Ramadan if you are not Muslim, it is important to remember that eating, drinking or smoking in public is not permitted, and you may be fined if you are seen doing so.

5. Nightlife:

Although some hotel bars and restaurants may still serve alcohol after iftar, most clubs and bars around town have completely shut down for the month. 

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