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During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims and non-Muslims in Dubai are expected (by law) to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public. A bit of discretion and respect for the host culture is really all that is called for. If a visitor accidentally makes a mistake and eats, drinks, or smokes in public, the worst that is likely to happen is that someone will gently remind you of the time of year and ask you to stop. Although most restaurants will be closed during the day (or offering take-away only), many malls now have food outlets that are screened off from the public and open during the day in Ramadan for non-Muslims. It is also perfectly acceptable for non-Muslims to eat and drink in the privacy of their homes or hotel rooms during the day. Most hotel restaurants will remain open (with screened-off areas) for hotel guests and grocery stores also remain open all day long. It is greatly appreciated during Ramadan if women are a bit more conservative in their dress – simply avoiding short skirts or sleeveless tops. All live musical and dance performances are suspended during Ramadan but pubs will open after sunset. Time seems to move a little slower during Ramadan and by law Muslim employees have shortened work days. In general visitors do need to be more culturally sensitive during the Holy Month, but after the breaking of the fast each day the city comes alive and it is an ideal time to visit if you are looking to experience cultural flavor.

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