Dubai: His first Ramadan in the UAE has so far been a great experience for Sri Lankan expat Najah Sanoon.
Having landed in Dubai last year, Sanoon and his family are experiencing this Ramadan in a very different way from how it is back home.
“Generally, the UAE is a peaceful country and in Ramadan it is more peaceful,” he observed.
Ramadan tents in mosques are something that he has not seen back home in Sri Lanka.
Sanoon, who works as a product manager for a gem mining company, said he was excited about arrival of Ramadan, when he saw Ramadan tents being set up and decorated with lights.
“In Sri Lanka, Muslims are a minority. The UAE being an Islamic country, it is a quite different experience here during Ramadan.”
He said the atmosphere in the country makes one embrace the Arabian traditions.
“We have also started preparing Arabic dishes at home for our iftar.
There is a restriction on eating in public when Muslims are fasting. “It gives a sense of togetherness as everyone becomes part of our fasting, iftar and suhour.”
“Back home everyone sleeps early. Here, there is a festive buzz after the sun sets. People get together for iftar.”
“Back home, we have family gatherings but no lavish iftars. People are not used to having lavish iftar spreads there. Only a few restaurants offer iftar buffets there. Only recently five star hotels have introduced iftar buffets.” He said in the UAE almost all restaurants offer iftar meals.
Sanoon said he has been touched to see the Ramadan Sharing Fridges in the UAE.
“Another big difference here is that office and school working hours are reduced during Ramadan. This is really good for families to spend more time together.”