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Mon 1 Aug 2011 04:03 PM

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Ramadan etiquette: your questions answered

Nasif Kayed outlines how to respect local customs during the holy month of Ramadan

Ramadan etiquette: your questions answered
(ITP Images)

For billions of Muslims around the world, the holy month of Ramadan signals the start of a period of reflection, humility and of fasting between from sunrise to sunset.

For non-Muslims in the UAE, the next 30 days will be about respecting the local culture and traditions, says Nasif Kayed, general manager of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

“Ramadan is for everybody to think a little bit differently,” he says. “[For non-Muslims] it is about being considerate and compassionate towards others.”

Over the next 30 days all adult Muslim adults will be expected to observe a fasting period during daylight hours.

Public sector firms and government departments will reduce their operating hours during the day while employees in the private sector will see their working hours decreased from eight to six hours with no impact on salary.

Non-Muslims are expected to respect the changes fellow Muslims will have to make to their everyday lives over the next month and several prominent officials have issued warnings to non-Muslims about how to conduct themselves during the Holy month.

The head of the Dubai Police said on Sunday that courtesy and discretion will be watchwords as his department gears up to enforce Ramadan regulations across the emirate.

“We train our officers how to deal with different nationalities and to respect non-Muslims who may inadvertently offend Muslims during Ramadan by eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the day,” Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Arabian Business.

What does this mean for non-Muslims? Click through to read Nasif Kayed’s etiquette tips during the holy month

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