Still during the day, buzzing at night - Day 2

Still during the day, buzzing at night - Day 2

Following a standstill during the daytime, Dubai was teeming with activity during the first Ramadan night.

By Bernd Debusmann Jr./senior Reporter

Published: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:19 PM

While Dubai seemed, for me, to have come to a standstill during the first day of Ramadan, at night it was teeming with activity as people braved the stifling heat and horrendous, debilitating humidity to head out following the first day of the holy month.

The area in which I live — Dubai Marina — is typically quite crowded even in normal times, especially on a Thursday night. But on the first nightfall of Ramadan, I noticed that the nature of the crowd had changed. While on a regular Thursday I’d perhaps have noticed groups of young people on their way to dinner or one of the nearby hotels for a bar or nightclub, this time I noted more families, as multiple generations come together to take advantage of the many Iftar deals available in the area.

Walking further along the Marina, I took note that a very large number of people were headed away from the Masjid Al-Rahim, after, I assume, the conclusion of the night’s Taraweeh prayers. This mosque — which is currently the only one in Marina — is built to hold 2,000 people. But in nearly six months living nearby, this was the first time I noticed a significant amount of people coming to or from it.

Later that night, I took a stroll to Marina Mall, which, despite being approximately midnight, was packed with people, some eating, some drinking coffee, and some seemingly just loitering aimlessly, presumably to kill some of the time and gain enough energy to stay awake until their Fajr prayers, which were to take place at 4:09 the following morning. Additionally, the various cafes and shisha establishments on the Marina Walk seemed to be doing brisk business, probably for the same reason.

Again, I noticed that some foreign expats and visitors were either ignorant of the need to be particularly attuned to local sensibilities during Ramadan, or simply didn’t care, with many western women (many of them Russian-speaking, I couldn’t help but notice) in the mall wearing miniskirts and sleeveless outfits. Much to my surprise, the security guards said nothing, despite having earlier that day pounced like wolves on two young men who were about to smoke cigarettes.

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