A guide to the holy month of Ramadan

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Ramadan in Dubai https://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/guide-to-ramadan 20200520T093708 20200524T163154:637259347147522935 Dubai's Heritage and Culture

What is Ramadan? How is it celebrated? Here is your guide to the most important month in Dubai

What is Ramadan? How is it celebrated? Here is your guide to the most important month in Dubai

Experience the season of spirituality


What is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar’s most important month, Ramadan, is a time of reflection and piety, marking the lunar period in which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelations. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, while the other four are Faith (Shahadah), Prayer (Salah), Charitable Giving (Zakat), and the Pilgrimage to Makkah (Haj). For observers, this season sees more time spent in prayer and with loved ones.


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When is Ramadan held?

As it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary each year, but in 2020 it started on the 24 April to 24 May. The official start of the holy month is announced when the crescent moon of the ninth month (of the traditional Islamic calendar) rises. Ramadan lasts for approximately 30 days, until the next new crescent moon has been sighted, which signals the start of Eid Al Fitr.


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How do Muslims observe Ramadan?

The pace of the city slows down, and time is taken to reflect, refresh and grow. While different countries celebrate the holy month in different ways, fasting between sunrise and sunset, praying regularly and performing charitable acts is encouraged in the spirit of community and empathising with those less fortunate.


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Do I need to fast?

Regardless of your faith, Ramadan can be a special month in Dubai. Fasting is not required for non-Muslims but visitors are asked to be considerate by refraining from eating, drinking and smoking in public during daylight hours. If you'd like to learn more about Ramadan and local traditions, contact the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.


What are iftar and suhoor?

As the sun sets, observers break their fast with an iftar meal. The suhoor meal, which takes place just before the start of the fast at sunrise, is traditionally lighter and often consists of fruits, sweetened grains and yoghurt.


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