Ramadan is the time of year Muslim families come together and reflect on the blessings in their lives. When is Ramadan? In 2021, Ramadan will begin on Tuesday 13 April, and will end with Eid al Fitr celebrations in mid-May, with exact dates to be announced by the UAE’s moon-sighting committee.
Who will fast during Ramadan? Many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims will fast daily, from sunrise to sunset for around 30 days, with exemptions for young children, pregnant women, nursing or menstruating, travellers and the sick.
With the world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still restrictions on movement and travel around the world. In Dubai and across the UAE, there are social distancing measures and restrictions in place, with Ramadan Tents being banned again for 2021, so how can we safely spend Ramadan at home in the UAE?
Ramadan tents at mosques, homes and public places are not permitted by IACAD in 2021, but it’s an opportunity for a more intimate Iftar and Suhur at home with your family. Instead of visiting friends and extended family members, stay safe at home to reflect on your blessings and share Iftar together.
You can dine safely in hotels and restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with restrictiosn in place. Nuevo Restaurant will host Iftar with a set menu from AED 90 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi locations.
Meals of Hope
Charitable distribution of food during Ramadan is limited to charities and institutions approved and licenced by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, to ensure COVID-19 protocols are being followed.
The Meals of Hope digital initiative of IACAD will continue in 2021, where you can order meals for those in need through digital platforms. Last year, the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign lit up the Burj Khalifa and successfully distributed meals to low-income families and those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. In 2021, this has expanded to 100 Million Meals, the biggest food drive in the region.
Feel the spirit of Taraweeh prayers at home
With social distancing measures in place, going to the Mosque for Taraweeh prayers will be limited to 30 minutes and Iftar meals are not allowed in mosques.
However, as Taraweeh prayers and reading the Quran may refresh your soul during the nights of Ramadan, reciting verses memorised or reading from the Holy Book is a great experience to share at home with your loved ones.
Time to learn
As adults, there is now an opportunity to read more of the Quran and learn more about Islamic history and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other prophets stories told in the Holy Quran.Small children can get involved in prayers by setting up prayer mats, learning about routines and rituals, and they could even make their own DIY masjid for the home. For those a little older, hold short discussions about Islam, a great way to build knowledge or create a welcoming environment to ask questions.
Why not embrace the Spirit of Ramadan with our kids art competition, running throughout Ramadan.Our favourite art works will feature in our digital gallery and prizes are on offer from Dubai Parks and Resorts and our restaurant partners.
Relax and reflect
With more time at home over the last 12 months, and less hustle and bustle, you can create a relaxing and calm environment to pause and reset for the year ahead. Practice mindfulness with breathing exercises, yoga or colouring in activities to ease a restless mind. Start to plan for a more positive time ahead with friends and family.
Although Ramadan is traditionally a time to socialise and spend time with friends, family and the wider community, it is now more important than ever to stay safe when socialising. Restaurants and hotels will be serving Iftar and Suhoor, whilst following strict guidelines on gatherings, music and social distancing.
Whilst the world emerges from the pandemic and there is a huge global vaccination drive, it is still important to abide by the advice from WHO and the UAE government on staying safe and healthy, and follow the guidance from the UAE Fatwa Council and Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department for official announcements and information sources.