6 Tips for Expats during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

Ramadan is a Holy month for Muslims all over the world. They fast from Dawn to Dusk during the whole month. They try to spend this month in religious activities.

Saudi Arabia has very strict rules against those who do not respect month of Ramadan. If you are a newcomer to KSA, it is very important to take care of following guidelines; otherwise, penalties may reach to deportation.

01-Working Hours during Ramadan: One good news for all the Muslims living in Saudi Arabia that in the Holy month of Ramadan, working hours are reduced to maximum 6 in a day and 36 in a week.

 There is no time relaxation for Non-Muslims. They will continue to work for 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. However, generally, companies set the same working hours for Muslims and Non-Muslims workers. Recommended: Working Hours and Overtime Calculation in Saudi Arabia

02-Eating or Drinking during Ramadan may lead to Deportation: If you are Non-Muslim or even if you are Muslim but do not fast during the month of Ramadan, please do not eat or drink in public places.

Saudi Arabia has very strict rules against people who do not respect the feelings of those who are fasting. If you are caught eating or drinking anything in public places, you would be immediately detained and deported from Saudi Arabia.

It will ruin your career. Public places include workplace as well. Recommended: Caught Eating, Drinking or Smoking in Public during Ramadan, Get ready to be deported

03-Eid Holidays: All Muslims and Non-Muslims employees working in Saudi Arabia get a vacation from 4 working days to 15 working days depending on your Employer.

As per Article 112 of Saudi Labor Law, every employee is entitled to have 4 fully paid vacations starting from the 30th Ramadan. If you want to read more details about it, please read this article. “Vacations under Saudi Labor Law

04-Peak Hours for Traffic: One of the most crowded times to drive during the month of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia is 30 minutes before sunset. People try to reach home to finish their fasting every day and road become very crowded.

I would not suggest you drive during this time as the chances of accidents are also very high in peak hours.

05-Delays in Government Departments: Be prepared for the delays of all your official work with the government. It is seen that work processes in government departments are slowed down.

Let’s say, if you are expecting your Iqama to be processed in one week normally, make your mind for at least two weeks during Ramadan. It is also important to know the Timings of Government Offices during Ramadan before visiting them.

06-Peak Shopping Hours: You will realize that markets are opened after 1 hour of sunset. It seems that the entire city was dead at this time. After finishing their day-long fasting, they go to the markets for purchasing.

Generally, you will find markets very crowded all night from Sunset to midnight. Last 10 days of Ramadan are amazing. You will see the life in its all colors in Saudi Arabia.

Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, Shopping Centers and you name it; everything will be over saturated with the people. All Muslims do a lot of shopping for Eid.

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