The Ramadan rules to know

Here's what to do, and not to do, during the holy month

Ramadan 2009, The Knowledge

• Don’t smoke, drink, chew gum or eat in public in the hours between sunrise and sunset. It’s offensive, and flagrant flaunting of the rules could also get you a warning from the police or even result in you spending the rest of the month in jail.

• Don’t dance or sing in public at any time. Not that you should have many opportunities – there will be no live music gigs and only background music in bars.

• Don’t expect to have the kind of blow-out clubbing weekends you might be used to. Most major nightclubs will be shut, but many bars and pubs will be open after 7pm. A few may open before that time, but they will not serve alcohol until sundown.

• Don’t play loud music at any time in your car, on the beach or even at home. If it’s audible to others it may offend.

• Don’t wear revealing or tight clothes in public, even when you’re heading out for a night on the tiles.

• Don’t blaspheme or swear in public. Doing so is frowned upon at the best of times, of course, but during the whole month of Ramadan it’s particularly insulting.

• Do listen to your iPod if you want your music fix – so long as the music is inaudible to others you should be OK.

• Do make the most of the community spirit and food to be found in the iftar tents at the city’s hotels. It’s a great opportunity to relax, play games and experience traditional Arabic entertainment.

• Do eat at home before heading out for the night – restaurants and tents will be packed.

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