DOs and DONTs this Ramadan for all

• Don’t eat or drink in public. You can feed small children, though. Non-Muslims are not required to fast during the holy month. However, eating in public is punishable by law. Smoking and chewing gum are also not allowed during the fasting hours.

Adults found eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public between dawn and dusk (the fasting time) can face up to three months of imprisonment or a fine of up to QR3,000 or both under Article 267 of Qatar’s criminal code.

• Dress conservatively: Avoid going to public places like shopping centres and parks in shorts, mini-skirts or sleevless outfits. Dressing indecently in public or using abusive language is a crime punishable under Qatari law. The law is applicable at all times, but during Ramadan sensitivities on these issues grow. Dressing indecently is a crime punishable under Article 290 and action can be taken against the violators regardless of whether it is Ramadan or not.

• Be aware that office hours will change and that late morning or in the evening after 8pm are the best times for business and shopping.

• Avoid driving close to sunset (Iftar), as people are anxious to get home for breaking the fast. Driving can be hazardous.

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