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Ramadan 2024: Anticipated Changes and Community Spirit in the UAE

Introduction

As the countdown begins, marking the approach of Ramadan, a month of spiritual reflection and devotion, it’s time for residents in the UAE to prepare for the subtle shifts in their daily routines. With less than a month left, let’s delve into the anticipated changes that will mark this sacred period.

Predicted Start Date of Ramadan

The exact commencement of Ramadan is contingent upon the sighting of the crescent moon by the UAE’s moonsighting committee. However, astronomical forecasts tentatively place the beginning of Ramadan on March 11, 2024, heralding the onset of this holy month.

Impact on Working Hours

It brings adjustments to working hours across various sectors including offices, malls, restaurants, and parking facilities. Here’s what you can anticipate:

  • Private Sector Offices: In accordance with Article 15(2) of ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021’, working hours in private sector offices are typically reduced by two hours during Ramadan.
  • Restaurant Operating Hours: During these days, many restaurants align their operational hours with the fasting schedule, closing during daylight hours and resuming service after the evening prayers.
  • Grocery Stores and Mall Timings: While supermarkets and grocery stores maintain their regular operating hours, malls often extend their opening times into the late hours of the night.
  • Parking Regulations: Paid public parking hours undergo modifications during Ramadan. Specific details regarding altered timings, fees, and payment methods are typically communicated through signage on parking meters.
  • Taxi Availability: While taxis in the UAE operate 24/7, it may become challenging to hail a cab directly from the streets during the evening hours of Ramadan.

Community Spirit and Practices

In addition to practical adjustments, Ramadan fosters a deeper sense of community and empathy among residents in the UAE. Beyond altered schedules, the month serves as a time for reflection, charitable acts, and strengthening bonds with family and friends.

Cultural Celebrations and Traditions

As the UAE prepares to embark on this sacred journey, communities come together to celebrate the richness of their diverse cultural heritage. Special Ramadan tents and majlises are erected across the country, providing spaces for communal gatherings, traditional festivities, and shared meals known as iftars.

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