Approximate dates: August 11 to September 9 2010. August 1 to August 30, 2011
Although not a holiday in itself, Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The exact dates change each year but it lasts for a full lunar month.
During this period Muslims are asked to abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. Many shops, especially food outlets, will be closed through the day and businesses may change their working hours.
Eating or drinking in public is not only considered inconsiderate to those fasting, it can also attract the attention of the authorities. If you are not taking part in the fast, and many non-Muslims do, then it is best to be discreet.
At dusk, after the call to prayer, iftars, or feasts, will be held. If you are lucky enough to be inivted to one, it is a good way of socialising with Emiratis.