Caught eating or drinking in public in Ramadan, get ready to be deported

Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the holy month of Ramadan. It is obligatory on each and every Muslim to fast during the month of Ramadan with a few exceptions.

All restaurants remain closed in the day time

If you are living in Saudi Arabia, you must know how special this month is for Muslims. You will not find any restaurant or eatery shop open during the daytime.

All of them open a few hours before sunset and remain open until Suhoor. If you are a Muslim, believe me, you will not find this spiritual environment of Ramadan in any other part of the world.

If you are Non-Muslim, you should also respect the people who have been fasting and working with or around you. It is considered highly inappropriate to eat anything in front of the people who are fasting.

2821 Caught Eating, Drinking or Smoking in Public during Ramadan, Get ready to be deported 01

A Warning to all expatriates

Ministry of Interior has warned all expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, especially Non-Muslim expatriates that if they are caught drinking, eating or smoking in public places, they would be held and deported from Saudi Arabia.

Non-Muslim expatriates should be aware that they are exempt from fasting but it does not allow them to eat in public. It is your contractual obligation to respect the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.

2821 Caught Eating, Drinking or Smoking in Public during Ramadan, Get ready to be deported

What does it mean by eating in Public?

We cannot finish this topic without explaining the meaning of “public”. As you have already read above that no one is allowed to eat, drink, or smoke in public. The public here pertains to streets, shopping malls as well as the workplace.

Yes, you cannot even eat inside your office as other people would be able to see you eating or drinking. 

However, there are few exceptions to this rule. For example, you are allowed to eat, drink or smoke in Airplane, Airport, Train Stations and Bus Station, etc.

You will find restaurants, coffee shops, and other eatery shops open there. The reason is that Muslims are exempted from fasting when they are traveling. So they can eat or drink anything if they are traveling to a distant location. 

Similarly, you will find the canteen shops and restaurants located within the boundaries of a Hospital open this time, the reason is that patients are not required to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. However, it is still better to avoid eating in public as much as you can.

Source: Arab News

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.