Ramadan 2023: Business etiquette during the Holy Month Ramadan 2023: Business etiquette during the Holy Month
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Ramadan 2023: Workplace dos and don’ts during the Holy Month

Ramadan 2023: Workplace dos and don’ts during the Holy Month

Here’s how you can be considerate to colleagues and clients during Ramadan


Ramadan started on March 23, Thursday. The UAE’s moon-sighting committee made the announcement on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain also confirmed March 23 as the first day of the Holy Month.

Read: UAE confirms first day of Ramadan 2023

How will Ramadan affect business?
The UAE has announced reduced working hours for Ramadan for both the public and private sector.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) said government entities will work from 9 am through to 2.30 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 9 am until 12 pm on Fridays during the holy month.

FAHR added that ministries and federal authorities could implement flexible working or remote work schedules during the month in line with their specific requirements.

Federal employees’ shifts will be 70 per cent remote and 30 per cent in-person attendance on Fridays during the holy month.

Employees working across the country’s private sector will have a reduction of two working hours per day, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said.

The emirate of Umm Al Quwain has announced a three-day weekend for government departments throughout the holy month.

Read: UAE announced reduced working hours

Ramadan etiquette at the workplace

Ramadan is one of the holiest times of the year for Muslims and following the tips below will help you show respect and strengthen your relationship with colleagues, clients, and employees.

  1. Given the truncated working times, expect longer turnaround times across and plan your schedule accordingly.
  2. This year, Muslims will fast for more than 12 hours. Be considerate of those fasting and avoid scheduling meetings near prayer times or late in the afternoon.
  3. Mid-morning meetings are ideal. Ask your clients/ employees if a virtual meeting would be more convenient in Ramadan to avoid driving in the heat.
  4. Eating and drinking are not permitted in public places (except in designated areas) during daylight hours. As a sign of respect to those fasting, do not offer any food or drink in meetings. If you are in a virtual meeting, do not eat or drink when the camera is on.
  5. Modest attire is always recommended in the UAE and this becomes even more important during Ramadan. Avoid clothing that exposes your shoulders or legs. Don’t wear revealing or short clothing.
  6. Ramadan is also a time for strengthening relationships. Enhance business ties by inviting your clients for iftar or arranging a corporate iftar for your employees. Attend when you are invited.

Charity is strongly recommended during the month making it the ideal time for giving back to the community. Donate to the ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment campaign’.

The campaign aims to secure sustainable food aid for vulnerable communities.

Also read: UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed announces one billion meals campaign

Ramadan in Dubai – Here’s what’s happening during the Holy Month

Ramadan around the GCC

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) announced that working hours in the kingdom will be limited to five hours, starting from 10 am until 3 pm.

Strict Covid-19 precautionary measures have been put in place for the month of Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia.

Social distancing and wearing of masks will be mandatory for visitors, with thermal cameras monitoring the area. The Grand Mosque will also be cleaned and sterilised up to 10 times a day.

The Sultanate of Oman announced reduced working hours for the holy month on March 21, Tuesday.

The official working hours of the administrative apparatus of the civil state will be from 9 am to 2 pm. Private establishments will implement reduced working hours for Muslim workers.

Muslim employees will work six hours per day with no more than 30 hours per week.

In neighbouring Qatar, a statement issued by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Sulaiti, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, declared the official working hours for during the month to be five hours a day for city employees.

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