Ramadan in UAE: Work is worship for this paramedic who often has Iftar on the go

The frontline worker always keeps dates and water in his ambulance due to the nature of his job

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 12 Apr 2022, 8:32 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Apr 2022, 6:10 PM

For 25-year-old Mohammed Anzar, an advanced paramedic at the Aster Cedars Hospitals in Jebel Ali, working in Dubai under the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) is a ‘dream job’.

A resident of UAE for one-and-a-half years, Anzar is experiencing his second Ramadan in the country. While being in the Emirates during the holy month is a profoundly spiritual experience, work comes first for this paramedic.

“This is my second Ramadan in the UAE,” said Anzar.

He added, “Moreover, being licensed by DCAS in Dubai is a dream job for most paramedics from the subcontinent. The state of infrastructure is incredible, and the license is internationally recognised.”

Anzar said he usually works eight-and-a-half hours shift and is on-call some days of the week. Due to his working hours, Anzar rarely enjoys a hearty Iftar.

“Some days, I get back-to-back calls. We eat some dates and water and rush to the patient on those days,” he explained.

Anzar said out of the 11 days of this year’s Ramadan; he has received three back-to-back emergency calls from patients. “I usually have a proper meal at 9.30pm or 10 pm during these days,” he stated.

The paramedic also said there is always an emergency stash of dates and water in his ambulance. “The days we have to carry patients out of buildings without an elevator or escalator is when we experience some physical strain,” said Anzar.


On the days Anzar does not have calls, he usually observes Iftar with the rest of the hospital staff. “We get together like a big family together in the hospital cafeteria,” he stated.

To combat the stresses of his job, Anzar eats a healthy Iftar comprising of fresh juice, cut fruits, and probiotic drinks to keep his energy levels high. “I miss the food we make back home in Chennai, especially kanji (rice gruel) mixed with mutton, oily fried snacks and my mother’s special custard,” he added.


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