Ramadan is expected to begin on 23 March in UAE with Eid-ul-Fitr falling on 21 April. However, this year it will be a different experience due to several steps taken by the government to provide relief to the people during the holy month.
Although the government has enforced measures to ease fasting, residents will also enjoy shorter fasting hours, cooler temperatures, and a life without coronavirus restrictions in Ramadan.
Here is the list of seven ways that Ramadan in UAE will be different from the last year:
Spring Break at Schools
Several schools will observe Spring break as well as end-of-term break in the first half of Ramadan, giving students and parents a chance to either go on a small vacation or fulfill their religious duties without academic stress.
The spring break will start on 27 March and will be two weeks long, including the weekends.
UAE is one of the few countries providing remote work to its residents during Ramadan. President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the authorities to ensure 70% of federal employees work remotely and 30% in offices on Fridays.
Likewise, the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, also ordered government institutions to adopt remote work. Many schools and universities have also announced virtual classes on Fridays following the orders.
Umm Al Quwain earlier announced a three-day weekend for public sector employees in Ramadan from Friday to Saturday. However, Sharjah was the first emirate to implement a three-day weekend in January last year.
Other Emirates like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also considering this option.
Short Fasting Hours
This year residents will be fasting for shorter hours due to the fact that the holy month moves 10 days back each year. The first sehr will be at 5:01 AM and iftar at 6:32 PM on 23 March in UAE.
Every year, the holy month approaches the winter season and moves away from the scorching summer days. In addition, rain is forecasted for the next few days across UAE, lowering temperatures and providing residents with pleasant weather throughout the month.
No Coronavirus Restrictions
Although restrictions were relaxed in 2022, some COVID-19 precautions were implemented during Ramadan last year to ensure the safety of worshippers. These included indoor mask-wearing and maintaining one meter of social distancing. However, this year all of these restrictions have been lifted for worshippers.
Up to 75% Discounts
Many hypermarkets and supermarkets have announced massive discounts. Here is the list of hypermarkets and supermarkets providing discounted products:
|LuLu Hypermarkets||Up to 60%||Groceries, food, fresh produce, home appliances, electronics, and furniture.|
|Union Coop||Up to 75%||Basic food and non–food products, including beverages, electronics, and household appliances.|
|Carrefour||Up to 50%||More than 6,000 products, including bulk buys, international brands, and private labels.|
|Al Adil Trading||Up to 50%||Over 400 products, including rice powder, black chickpeas, sugar, juices, syrups, and fresh vegetables.|
|Al Maya Supermarket||Up to 30%||Over 480 Ramadan essentials, including beverages, frozen foods, fresh produce, and other grocery items.|