Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and it is believed that this time is when the Qu’ran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This month is a time of faith and sacrifice, from sunup to sundown all Muslim who are healthy and able will refrain from drinking or eating including gum, no tobacco, and also steer clear of intimacy.
In Dubai, with a large portion of the population being Muslim and being a part of law, you do not eat or drink in public in respect of those who are fasting. There are some locations you can eat and drink, they are generally covered or partitioned off and only those who are not fasting are allowed in that area. Dubai Mall generally has a temporary wall around their food court and other large malls may do the same.
Fasting or Sawm is one of the five pillars of Islam which all Muslims are expected to follow, the other four are Faith (Shahadah), Prayer (Salah), Charitable Giving (Zakah), and the Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj). <- Follow this link for more information on Ramadan and the public rules to follow, special things you can do during this month, etc. A well established and professional website will have much more information than I can provide.
Aside from the religious aspects of the month, this time (and just after) can be a great time to visit Dubai. A month of sales across the country are set to begin on July 1st. Businesses may lower prices during Ramadan as well, and prices are dropped at food markets or price caps are put into place as more food is purchased during this time.
Last year was pretty easy going. I enjoyed having less traffic and there was extra reason to meet with friends. It was a little tricky to spend all day out of the apartment with three little children and having to find a proper place to rest for a drink or bite of food. This year I think we will take more advantage of this month and I am already very excited to share some fun experiences with some friends who will visit at the very end of Ramadan.
It is a beautiful time to try new things if you are not from here. Iftar (the first meal at sunset) is a big deal and Iftar specials abound. I personally am looking forward to attending a few Iftars. Ajman Palace was amazing last year, perhaps I can afford to go again!
Ramadan Kareem! to all those celebrating as a devout Muslim.
And Ramadan Kareem to all others who will get their fare share of exposure this month to a wonderful holiday and celebration, I hope we non-Muslim can learn and grow this Ramadan 2017!