Ramadan 2020 in Dubai, UAE
Ramadan has already started on April 24 this year. Ramadan is a month-long celebration wherein Muslim families and friends come together to share a meal after a long day of fasting and reflect on the blessings they have received in their lives.
During this holy month, Muslims become more devoted and seek spiritual closeness to God. During Ramadan, they often read the Quran and perform Taraweeh prayers at a mosque. In addition to this, they also increase their charity and are encouraged to provide meals to those in need. However, this year might be quite different from the Ramadan celebrations in the previous years due to Covid-19. Due to the pandemic, valued traditions during Ramadan will come to a halt for everybody’s health and safety. Additionally, mosques will be closed for the duration of the holy month, which will be one of the biggest changes to Ramadan.
How will Covid-19 affect iftar?
Iftar is the meal used to break the fast while suhoor is eaten before sunrise. In previous Ramadans, advertisements of iftar tents and special suhoor meals would normally be filling up your inbox as restaurants, supermarkets and hotels entice customers with their mouth-watering offerings.
This year, however, may be different as the F&B industry can go on their business – but with strict limitations to avoid spreading the virus. As part of the current preventive measures against coronavirus in the UAE, restaurants will follow the guidelines stated below:
● No shisha or buffet services are allowed.
● All diners and staff should wear masks.
● Only single-use cutlery can be used.
● Restaurants and shops are allowed to operate at a maximum of 30% capacity at the shopping malls.
● Dine-in customers are allowed but should occupy only a maximum of 30% capacity of the outlet capacity.
● A two-meter physical distance should be strictly maintained between individuals.
● Restaurants are allowed to provide delivery services between 10pm and 6am.
● Restaurants and shops will hang a red tag at the front door indicating the maximum number of allowed customers inside. This will be calculated based on four feet per customer.
How will Covid-19 affect the Supermarket during Ramadan?
As a tradition during Ramadan, families often stock up food to make sure that the kitchen is filled with special ingredients to make traditional meals. People also think of where to shop in Dubai as they also often decorate their homes with themed decorations.
Fortunately, worshippers are still able to celebrate Ramadan with their annual favorites as shopping centers, including Mercato Mall, have already re-open with just strict limitations. You can shop at Spinneys Jumeirah for your grocery needs! Just make sure to maintain a safe distance with other people while shopping.
Precautionary measures from the UAE authorities during Ramadan
● Members of the public are permitted to visit first and second-degree relatives only.
● Gatherings should be restricted to not more than five people.
● Visiting high-risk individuals should be avoided.
● It is not allowed to hold gatherings in public and private places
● Ramadan tents and Miajlises are not allowed within homes and in public places.
Precautionary measures from the World Health Organisation during Ramadan
● Follow a standardized risk assessment exercise while taking a decision to either modify or cancel or proceed with holding a mass gathering.
● Avoid physical contact. Use culturally and religiously sanctioned greetings that avoid physical contact, such as waving, nodding, or placing the hand over the heart.
● Maintain safe physical distance even when offering ‘zakah’, or charity, to the needy.
● Serve packed food while maintaining safe (3 feet or 1 meter) distance, instead of organizing ‘iftar’ banquets.
● Take extra precautions and avoid attending any gathering whatsoever if you are old or unwell.
● Avoid all events or gatherings if you have pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension/diabetes.
● Adopt virtual alternatives, for example, mediums such as television, radio or the internet, instead of mass gatherings.
● Ensure proper physical hygiene such as hand washing – both inside and outside mosques, covered dustbins at venues to ensure safe disposal of tissues; regular cleaning of mosques and premises; and regular sanitization of frequently touched objects such as light switches or staircase railings.
● Follow a healthy diet and keep yourself hydrated at all times and eat fresh food items during the fasting period.