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A serenity and calm takes over, peace seems to surround the people and everyone is friendlier. Ramadan has started.

During this month, all healthy Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, during which time they must refrain from all food (including chewing gum), drink, tobacco use and any kind of intimacy. Most people tend to wake up just before dawn to eat. This is known as Suhoor. They will then not be able to eat or drink again until sunset when it is traditional to break the fast with a date, followed by a meal that is known as Iftar.

Non-Muslims can also observe Ramadan. In the Gulf region many Iftar and Suhoor events are set up all over the country as a way to bring the entire community together, so even if you have not been fasting, you are always welcome to join.

You can also exchange Ramadan greetings, especially at the beginning of the month. The word ‘Kareem’ in the phrase ‘Ramadan Kareem’ is the equivalent to ‘generous’, so the expression means ‘Wish you generous Ramadan’, although it also translates to ‘Happy Ramadan’.

You can also get into the charitable spirit during the Holy Month by donating to Ramadan camps, sending care packages and giving to other charity organizations.

During Ramadan, businesses and services operate during different working hours. Although it often varies by industry, many shopping malls, grocery stores, cinemas and places of business will have different opening and closing times. Double-check times before you head out to avoid disappointment.

Ramadan ends after 29 or 30 days. Eid Al Fitr is the annual three-day celebration after the last day of Ramadan and is considered a public holiday period, when families and friends get together and exchange gifts.

Here are some top tips for Ramadan.

The do's...

Try to understand the spiritual concept behind the fasting.

Appreciate the low energy levels of colleagues who are fasting.

If you are not fasting, carry food and water with you as many restaurants may be closed. Please remember not to consume them in public

And finally, enjoy the breaking of the fast at Iftrar.

The don'ts...

Eat, smoke or drink in public. People will understand if you are not fasting, but please remember to respectful to those who fast.

You can read more on Ramadan 2017 here.

Happy Ramadan to Muslims and non-Muslims from everyone at Crown Relocations.

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