The UAE is an Islamic country and wherever you are in Dubai, you will never be far away from a mosque. Most are small neighborhood places of worship. Others are much larger, grander buildings.
Muslims pray five times a day and at the start of each prayer time, you will hear the call to prayer announced from the minarets of the mosques around you. Most Muslims will not go to the mosque every time they pray. They may pray in their homes, in their places of work, or even in public places like parks. They pray facing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. If you see someone praying, be careful not to walk in front of them.
Friday is the holy day and on this day most Muslims, especially men, will go to the mosque to join in the communal prayers which are held in the early afternoon. Until the end of these prayers, the city is very quiet and most shops, with the exception of supermarkets, are closed.
The most important and most religious time of the year for all Muslims is the month of Ramadan. This is a time when all Muslims fast during daylight hours. As a result of this, many people’s working hours are shortened, school timings change, and shop opening hours may be different from other times of the year. At dusk, the evening prayer is called and Muslims can then break their fast. Most try to get home in time to do this and, as a result, the roads can be very crowded. Conversely,…