Questions & Comments

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  1. Wow. This has really opened my eyes to something that I knew little to nothing about. Very interesting! Great piece of writing!

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Eye opening is definitely a good way to describe Ramadan!

  2. Loved this! What an amazing thing to be able to experience. Thank you for sharing – it’s wonderful to get a glimpse into expat life from back home xx

    • Thanks Maddy. I guess the great thing about living here is that there’s always a story to tell!

      • Stories to tell……The Arabian Nights….1001 stories, this is the land….this is where story telling has fuel to keep going…Tunes of the Dunes…

  3. Great post!! Very interesting… Love the photos

  4. I’ve been in Malaysia before during Ramadan. Same deal. Basically everything is closed and there is nothing to really do. Glad I was only there for one day.

    • Yes Ramadan isn’t for everyone. I think in Malaysia would be especially hard because you’d have to wait until sunset for all that amazing food!

  5. A great piece of writing Velvet. I think you summed up Ramadan in Qatar perfectly

  6. Fascinating reading. I’ve always wondered how the behaviour changed during religious festivals. My only experience of living in another country where the main religion is not Christian is Fiji, and as the country is so touristy none of these restrictions seem to apply. Come on over to my expat Kiwi blog and let me know what things you would put in a memory box if you were to return home from Qatar now. Cheers Vix x

    • Hi Vix,

      Just read your post. A memory box is a fun idea – I’ll have to have a think.

  7. Wow, definitely sounds interesting! I’m having a hard enough time adjusting to life in Germany as an American, so I can’t imagine the culture shock you must deal with moving to Qatar. Then on top of that, having to figure out how to handle Ramadan – definitely sounds stressful!

    • It’s a ittle bit stressful but it’s also great fun. The 5-hour work day helps keep the stress at bay!

  8. Thank you! I’ve been planning a visit for next year and was unsure whether to plan around this time or not. Very useful.

    • Ramadan timing is definitely a factor to consider if you’re planning a visit. But don’t forget that the timing changes each year – it will be held about 7 days earlier next year (i.e. around 10 July).

      • Actually, my mistake. Ramadan falls approximately 10 days earlier each year(the estimate of 10 July for 2013 is still correct).

  9. A very interesting piece Velvet. Thank you for your fantastic writing- it made for a very captivating read!

  10. Great article Velvet. We’ll be visiting Qatar in late September, early October. Can’t wait to learn all about this fascinating place.

    • That’s a great time to visit. It’ll be nice and warm so you can enjoy some of the lovely outdoor restaurants. And, more importantly, you’ll be able to have a glass of wine with your meal!

  11. Great post, but we don’t have to be cover from wrist to ankle. This is my 4th ramadan and my husbands 26th Ramadan in Qatar as expats and we have never heard or had to follow this ruling or have most of our friends who like my husband have grown as expat children in the Gulf. Also if this was the case I’d have been informed immediately as I teach Arabic children. X

    • Wow – you’ve both had a lot of experience with this! It’s good to know that it’s not a strict rule. I must admit that I’m probably a bit overly cautious when it comes to the way I dress and usually cover up more than others. I could probably afford to loosen up a bit!

      Thanks so much for your input.

  12. you should have done more research if there is anytime that the road as free of traffic is at 5:00 pm to 6:00pm during the holy month of ramadhani will teach you one thing that in this article you missed it up or rather mess it up the brushing of teeth’s for muslims is recommended five time a day find out about that. second the tents that you see around are not for dancing as you mentioned they are meant for breaking the fast together as one in one place ,there a no music or dance.
    many restaurants close during ramadan but they are ones with doors open they are not closed for restriction of ramadan because in the first place there doors are always open for business majority being muslims will they still have there doors open for no reason

    • Hi Burhaz. This is an account of my personal experience as an expat with some help from my Mulsim friends and colleagues. It’s not a definative guide to Ramadan as everyone has a different story. But I appreciate your helpful feedback – the more insight the better.

  13. Great piece, thanks so much for writing this, we are about to move to Doha at the end of May so we were looking at what Ramadan would mean for us and you have hit it spot on.



  14. I never been there but your writing style made me feel that I have been there, Very nice post. Wish you a best Ramadan.

  15. I am not Muslim but like their tradition and culture… As Zakat Charity said “I never been there but your writing style made me feel that I have been there, Very nice post.” i feel the same and i wish this Christmas i wil be there..

  16. Fantastic post, but we don’t need to be cover from wrist to ankle. This is my 4th ramadan along with my husbands 26th Ramadan with Qatar as expats and we have never heard or had to follow along with this ruling or have almost all of our friends who like my better half have grown as expat children in the Gulf. Also if this was the truth I’d have been informed immediately when i teach Arabic children.

  17. I agree with the other Aussie expats, you don’t need to be covered from ankle to wrist just modestly…and you would have to live in a bubble or Al Rayyan Village not to know when Ramadan started. You also didn’t mention anything about the fact most expats leave for Ramadan or that there are some of the best travel deals in the ME during his time

  18. That is great information, thank you so much….. was considering a trip to Doha instead of Dubai…… but did not realize Doha gets totally dry during Ramadan…. Never mind thanlkfor all the information

  19. Beautifully written and almost a true picture shared but I would like to share few things which I feel should be corrected.
    Though, there are a lot of things that are over stated, like not be able to hold hands, dressing up from wrist to ankle, closing your kitchen windows and all.
    There is nothing like that AT ALL!
    The tents are not for dancing as stated earlier by another blogger and I find it unfair on your end to write something which is words of mouth to you and nothing else.
    PLEASE, it is not intense at all, all you need to do is spend time with a Muslim family or friends and you will see. They cook for themselves and others while they are forbidden to eat or drink while they fast and its pretty ok, I’m 33 and I have absolutely no problem at all to see someone eat smoke or drink infront of me while I’m fasting. This is and Islamic Arab country where a lot of people fast, imagine the lives of people living on far east n far west and living and fasting over there and I’m sure they can pretty well handle it.
    Construction places that I’ve worked at, there were expats who smoke in a confined place and turn it off when they see a Muslim coming as respect but there are no confrontations at all.

  20. One thing is not true in this post…WE DO BRUSH OUR TEETH …In islam hygiene is a must!