Ramadan is began on 8 July (9 July in the Americas) and will last until the next new moon (ca 7 August). The main celebration of the year for Muslims starts on the day after the month of Ramadan is finished. This holiday is called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr (‘Eid in short). During the month of Ramadan, between sunrise and sunset, Muslims are required to refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and sexual activities.

  • You should expect that catering outside hotels will either be closed during the daytime or very limited; catering may also be limited within hotels (especially Saudi Arabia)
  • Refrain from consuming food and drink, and from smoking, in public places (hotel catering facilities do not count as a public space, but other public areas do). If you are able to purchase food and drink in a shop in town you should not consume them in the street as this may be considered provocative. Similarly you should refrain from smoking in public places.
  • Fasting, and abstaining from liquids, in mid summer can be particularly difficult. Expect people to appear tired (they will have got up very early) and, possibly, for concentration levels to drop off as the day progresses. Ramadan this year is in the height of summer when the days are long and can be extremely hot. Please show understanding and be prepared to be patient.
  • As soon as evening falls, Muslims are allowed to break their fast (Iftar). Shops may well close to allow this to happen.