'Dry mouth, staying hydrated': Dubai diver on challenges of fasting on the job

For Mohab Ehab, a diving instructor at Deep Dive Dubai, one of the toughest parts of Ramadan is having to go without coffee


Nasreen Abdulla

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Mon 1 Apr 2024, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 2 Apr 2024, 12:29 PM

For Dubai resident Mohab Ehab, or Mo as he is popularly called, life is all about discipline. As a diving instructor at the Deep Dive Dubai, the Egyptian expat spends considerable time under water. However, his job becomes a tad bit more difficult during the holy month of Ramadan.

“If I am fasting and diving, it is hard on my body,” he said. “The biggest challenges are mainly due to hydration. In an open sea dive, the weather can be hot and the water is quite salty. If it goes into your mouth, you end up being very thirsty. Even in an indoor dive, you have the apparatus in your mouth through which you are breathing. Excessive gas can cause dehydration and make your mouth very dry.”

Strictly disciplined

To overcome this, he spends a large part of his non-fasting hours drinking water and keeping himself much hydrated. “Before going to bed, I eat a lot of fruits, yoghurt, cucumbers and lettuce,” he said. “I also sip water throughout the evening because if I am not hydrated enough, it could lead to muscle cramps.”

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

Mo says he has a strictly disciplined life during Ramadan. “I go to bed at 11pm and wake up early,” he said. “I have to be at Deep Dive by 8:30 in the morning. I finish by around 4:30 pm. Once I get back home, I take a nap. The length of the nap depends on the amount of preparation I need to do for iftar.”

For him, one of the toughest parts of the month is having to go without coffee. “For the first 4 or 5 days, I have withdrawal symptoms,” he laughed. “But after that I get used to it. Another challenge is the relatively short window that you have to get a lot of things done.”


During iftar, Mo only has coffee, dates, and electrolytes. “After that, I go to the gym,” he said. “I cannot work out later than that. After the gym, I return home and have a proper meal. That is my main meal of the day.”

As a diver, fitness is of utmost importance to him. “If you want to sustain a career in this profession, you have to take extremely good care of your body,” he said. “I have to work out at least six days a week, I have to eat very healthy and be careful about my sleeping.”

Mo said the role of cardio is very important in his line of work. “We have to take care of our hearts as a diver,” he said. “Cardio activities like swimming, cycling, trampoline and in the gym are very important. All types of breathing exercises are also crucial.”

According to Mo, they are also advised to rest after some dives. “We are not allowed to work out when we do certain dives,” he said. “If I start to go below 30 meters while diving it is usually a technical dive. This impacts the body differently and I need time to recover after that. So I don’t work out on such days as my body needs the rest.”

More news from UAE