For the most part Ramadan 2021 is expected to begin around the 12th of April in the UAE. Therefore, the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) announced rules and restrictions for observing Ramadan safely amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. With regard to this recent announcement, here are things you should know:
1. Iftar tents, large gatherings banned
Firstly, no one’s allowed to set up iftar tents outside houses, mosques, and public places. However, the usual evening gatherings held for donations and zakat are banned in the UAE this year. Family visits will also be limited.
NCEMA encouraged citizens to make and collect donations online. You can contact your preferred charity to ask where you can send donations electronically.
2. Share meals with your family only
The government strongly advised against distributing and exchanging meals with families outside your own home. You can only share meals with members of your household.
It is against the law for restaurants to distribute iftar meals within their establishments or storefronts. Owners can call the regional labor housing management if they would like to deliver meals to labor housing complexes.
3. Limited time for prayers
Muslims can still pray in mosques during Ramadan 2021, but must follow strict safety protocols. There will be a 30-minute time limit for the Isha and Tarawih prayers. When prayer is over, mosques will close immediately. Women’s sections and some roads will also remain closed.
4. Attend religious meetings virtually
Religious gatherings in mosques are illegal and will remain so throughout Ramadan as part of the government’s COVID-19 response. You and your family, however, can join virtual Quran readings instead and to make charitable donations online.
5. Stay informed about updated measures
The government will continuously assess the pandemic situation and advises citizens to watch out for new developments. It will update safety measures accordingly especially during the last ten days of Ramadan (Qiyam-ul-layl).
Make sure to remember and follow all these safety reminders as you celebrate the month of Ramadan. Authorities will diligently hold inspections and any individual or organization found to have violated the rules will face legal sanctions.
COVID-19 cases have reached an overall total of 123 million worldwide, with 440,000 accounting for cases in the UAE. The government has taken proactive measures in response to the pandemic and as of March 2021, all residents and citizens 16 years and older can get free COVID-19 vaccinations in the UAE. Public safety and travel restrictions remain in place.