Ramadan in Dubai: 150 employees of company fast together in solidarity with Muslim colleagues

The staff highlight that after a full day of fasting, communal eating to end the fast was the high point of the day

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Nandini Sircar

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 1:41 PM

During the holy month of Ramadan, an entire investment company in Dubai, which consists of 150 employees belonging to different faiths, came up with a unique initiative to fast as a united team for a day on March 30, 2023.

Senior leaders of the company explain that when the idea of fasting for a day as a team surfaced, it immediately caught the attention of the leadership team, who in turn embraced the idea and got wholeheartedly involved in the initiative, right from the point of conceptualisation to execution.

Kai Zheng, Founder and Chairman, Legend Holding Group, says, “This initiative promotes a positive message of solidarity and respect for cultural diversity and inclusion across all our stakeholders, both internally and externally.”

Kai Zheng
Kai Zheng

Elucidating on the motive behind the initiative, Chenna Reddy, MD, Legend World Investments L.L.C. said, “Over 20 per cent of employees in this company are non-Muslims. We were doing this for the first time and when everyone heard about the initiative, they all said that they wanted to fast. I also fasted for the first time. It was a great feeling.

Chenna Reddy
Chenna Reddy

In accordance with the requirements and nature of their work, companies throughout the government and private sector have flexible or remote work patterns within the limits of the daily working hours during Ramadan.

He adds, “I hope that this initiative taken during this blessed month reaches out to all. It encourages everyone to reflect on a closer, collaborative, and compassionate future.”

The management reminisces that later, they were overwhelmed to know how their staff felt about the day.

“I was a bit worried [whether] people they would be able to serve the customers well. We serve thousands of customers who rent cars from us, and customer service is always a priority. But we received absolutely no customer complaints and things went about quite smoothly alongside other Muslim staff who were fasting. I was happy to see everyone was very energetic,” adds Reddy.

Indian expat Deepak Joy Dsilva, National Sales Manager, says, “When our MD announced the concept of fasting for a day this Ramadan, I [doubted whether] everyone [would] participate. That’s because fasting must be genuine, and we should not in any way harm the belief of others. But in the end, I can proudly say that the participation from our colleagues was genuine, and we made it happen.”

Many underline that after a full day of fasting, communal eating to end the fast was the high point of the day that truly felt satiating.

“At the time of breaking the fast, we arranged Iftar at the office. When [we] all fasted together, we had to eat together, and this was the best part for me,” says Filipino expat Hazel Olino Aguilar, who works as an Admin Assistant.

Sri Lankan expat Shasi Prabha, Sales Coordinator, says, “I wanted to genuinely fast, so the first thing I did was to check fast timings and made sure that I had food before that. Overall, it was a great feeling.”

Many did it out of empathy, and to put themselves in other’s shoes.

Indian expat Neetu Deshwal, fleet coordinator, notes, “My thought behind doing this was that if I fast with my colleagues, it will help me understand them better, especially during Ramadan. They work [just] as much despite fasting. Therefore, I decided to be a part of this great initiative.”

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