20 May 2018

Cultural Dos & Don'ts for Expats During Ramadan

10 cultural dos and don'ts for expats during Ramadan

Expat or local, the Holy Month of Ramadan is a special time for all…

However, it is also a time where we should be more considerate about the culture we live in.

To make sure you don’t offend anyone, here’s a handy guide of 10 cultural dos and don’ts for Ramadan – helping you prepare for the next four weeks.


  • Integrate yourself into the local society - Ramadan is an experience to be embraced by the entire community.  Enjoy and take part in the many Ramadan festivities that Dubai has to offer with your friends, family, and colleagues.  
  • There are many charity events and volunteer organizations actively operating during the holy month. Get involved and volunteer at an event or two in the spirit of Ramadan, the month of blessings and giving.
  • Be wary while driving - roads in Dubai can get busy as Muslims rush home for Iftar to break their fasts. Stay alert and be cautious. 
  • If you are invited to an Iftar dinner, take the measures to accept it if you can. It is a great sign of respect and a show of friendly behavior and bears the opportunity to provide a new experience. 
  • If you are working in an environment where many of your colleagues are fasting, they may also be tired. As a result, work may have slowed productiveness, so remain patient and considerate during this holy month. 


  • If you are not fasting, refrain from engaging in activities like smoking, drinking and eating in public. This is considered disrespectful by many fasting Muslims and can even leave you with a hefty penalty. 
  • Many residents resort to leaving the country during Ramadan because of the restraints and harsh weathers during this period. If you can, avoid doing so. Ramadan is a beautiful and serene experience enjoyed and witnessed across the city, and could serve as an excellent chance for you to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. 
  • Avoid intimate and physical contact with others of the opposite sex while the month of Ramadan is being observed. Demonstrating such acts can be offensive to others. 
  • Don't rely on bars, clubs and other establishments that serve alcohol during Ramadan when making plans. Generally, these establishments remain closed and do not serve alcohol until after the sun has set and Iftar has begun. 
  • Remain modest and ensure you dress respectfully and appropriately. This means you should avoid clothes that are too tight-fitting, short and revealing.