I didn't plan it this way but I left Dubai for Canada the day before Ramadan and have been away for 3 weeks.
I returned on Thursday evening and needed a coffee and a smoke after a 13 hour flight. But it was still day light and the coffee shop at the airport was closed and it is illegal to eat/drink/smoke in public during daylight hours.
However there were people smoking, hubby was happy to wait for the sun to set (within the next 15 minutes) and while I then had a cigarette he queued for coffee when the Costa opened up.
Yesterday we went to the Mall, not only was every coffee store closed for business but the chairs and tables in the food hall had been put to one side. The supermarket was open, we shopped, I bought fresh bread, as I paid and in a moment of weakness, I automatically tore off a piece of the bread and popped it in my mouth, the very second I did it, I took it out and was mortified I'd broken the law.
Today we went to the Mall of Emirates. Most coffee shops were closed, however several were open for take aways and I've been told a lot of non muslims take their work breaks in the bathrooms so they can eat.
I find it very strange that there are screens around the food counters in the coffee shops that are open for takeaways, yet no screening at all from the supermarkets and as usual they were busy as you'd suspect on a Saturday in a major city.
The food hall at Ski Dubai end was open, this photo is one of the many screens covering the entrance. Hubby had some lunch and I wanted a coffee, but they don't sell coffee in the food hall.
You'll see on the sign that it does say 'legal action will be taken and fines issued'
I've chosen to live in Dubai, a Muslim country and I am more than happy to live by the laws of the country I live in. To be out in a city centre on a weekend where there are no gangs of youths, no one swigging alcohol from brown paper bags, no fear of any danger or risk is truly wonderful.
My first thought about this was New Years Eve on the beach in Dubai. There were 17,000 people on the beach watching the fireworks at the Atlantis. Can you imagine that number? Now realise that not one single person had consumed alcohol and understand why I'm happy to obey the laws of the country I live in. No worries about something kicking off, no worries about getting caught up in any violence, no drunken youths spoiling our night.
The local papers, websites, employers, social media and the government issue guidelines for behaviour, eating and drinking and what you can wear and can't wear. They also make it quite clear that this is 'The Law' not a recommendation.
So why am I fed up with Ramadan? Because people are flaunting the rules. I can only assume that the two young men eating and drinking outside Carrefore were tourists and they were approached by security. The many women with strapless tops and cut off shorts must have also been tourists, I mean if they lived here they'd know the law, wouldn't they? Or are they just complacent?
I'm assuming that almost 100% of people who arrive in Dubai, do so by air, yet I didn't see one sign or poster or leaflet letting visitors know it was Ramadan and what to expect and to obey the laws. Nothing was mentioned on the plane prior to landing and when I received my email from Emirates to remind me to check in the day before I flew, there was no additional notification about Ramadan.
Perhaps I missed it all, perhaps it's not deemed necessary as after all what kind of mad tourist comes to Dubai in the summer anyway?
So maybe everyone who I've seen inappropriately dressed, smoking or eating and drinking in public during daylight hours lives in Dubai and thinks they are exempt from the law?
I didn't know it was actually against the law over there to eat in public during ramadan, so yes quite possibly these poor tourists are ignorant to the fact? Thank you for teaching me something new!! #mysundayphotoReplyDelete
it surprised me to that it was illegal alsoDelete
If I were to visit Dubai I would make it my business to find out what was and was not acceptable to do in a country that is so different from France. However I think too many people think they are exempt as they are tourists and so the airlines etc should do more to at least try and educate people. I also think that the sign is not actually very clear and a small explanation of what Ramadam is might have been useful. (Oh and our current gite guests work in Dubai!)ReplyDelete
i will be away for all of Ramadan next year, as I don't work I'm house bound until its over, there's not even anywhere just to sit when you go out and in this heat i can't cope without having to have at least a sip of water from time to timeDelete
I've been to Dubai and stopped at the Atlantis during RamadenReplyDelete
We knew the rules , it was hard but we accepted it.
People shouldn't flout the rules but they do.
it really irritates me ClaireDelete
It always surprises me to see people immodestly dressed in countries where it is frowned upon. I saw it a lot in Fiji on public beaches were locals swim, one pieces are almost ok but they prefer a light kaftan over even for swimming. Even the men are dressed to the knees.ReplyDelete
Cultural sensitivity is important. However with Dubai so reliant on immigrants to keep it going you would think there would be the odd "place of refuge" where non Muslims could get coffee or a snack.
I think most Muslims are fed up of Ramadan too, most of Muslim friends are complaining how hungry they are, it's been so hot in the UK and the days are incredibly long.
I do wonder how people cope in countries where the days are so long compared to here in the Middle East, but then it is so much hotter hereDelete
I don't think I could cope with it either!ReplyDelete
i shall be spending the whole of the next ramadan out the countryDelete
This is so interesting to read.....I didn't know this about Ramadan & Dubai xReplyDelete
it has surprised me alsoDelete
wow i had no idea about all these rules. i mean i knew muslims couldn't eat till sundown but all the rest of it...eek!ReplyDelete
it surprised me that they are actual laws and not rulesDelete
Amazing, things like this would scare me if I visited. I'd wonder if I was actually breaking some form of lawReplyDelete
Thank you for linking up
ive discovered that the authorities or anyone offended by peoples dress are actually very polite when they approach youDelete
My friend lives in Canada and they have to fast for 18 hours in summer! I was checking Alaska the other day they have 23.5 hours of sunshine sometimes!!!! I shall not be fasting if I lived there!ReplyDelete
Interesting about the "law" during Ramadan. For such a cosmopolitan city I would think there would be more lee way .
I think the airlines assume travelers should do their research before traveling - my friend missed her flight recently because she wasn't aware of the new law about traveling with birth certificate when traaveling with children! needless to say she wasn't impressed. And one time I was going to Kuwait via Dubai, we were only told about the alcohol limit rule when we were already on board about to take off (SIGH) not sure what travelers with quantities above the limit were expected to do at that time
In Saudi they encourage people in countries with long day light hours to follow the sunrise and sunset of the Middle EastDelete
I really do think that if people go to a country (even as tourists) they should learn what their laws are and abide by them. Must be tricky but then they shouldn't travel at that time of year! Hope you had a good trip in Canada :)ReplyDelete
I agree with you, but I also think the travel agents and airlines could at least provide a link to a government websiteDelete
I have much admiration for Muslims who manage Ramadan in hot countries or over the long days of summer, I doubt I'd make it (could manage the food but not, not having liquid or brushing teeth etc.).ReplyDelete
As for knowing the laws, if you travel somewhere so different you should make sure to at least try to understand the local laws (at least big, obvious ones).
Muslims can brush their teeth during Ramadan, just not during day light hoursDelete
I can only imagine how harder it is if you see people consuming food in front of you while on a fast. #mysundayphotoReplyDelete
it must be difficult, but i think water is the hardest thing to go withoutDelete