Arriving in a new country as a month long holy period is about to commence, may not be the smartest idea i've ever had.
Ramadan for a new expat in Dubai can be a little daunting, especially when you start reading the (unrealistic) portrayal of the rules and regulations on the internet. My saving grace has been the fact that I am currently unemployed, so I don't have to worry about eating in public during day. But even if your not working, you have to really break down your day because actually, you will be affected one way or another. At least until the sun sets.
During Ramadan I can't drink tea on the balcony in the morning, I can't chew gum while I walk the dog and I can't take a sip of water in a shopping mall, no matter how thirsty I am. And the rules concerning dress codes in public places, should be adhered to strictly during the Ramadan period.
Which meant, as I prepared for an interview yesterday morning, a small meltdown occurred as I realised the wardrobe dilemma that faced me. In Dubai being respectful with your clothing extends to your wardrobe choices for an interview, especially one that falls during Ramadan. So covering my knees and shoulders is a must. Which is fine except it's 42 degrees outside and wearing a cardigan is not really optimal. Sacrificing comfort for half an hour to maintain a respectful approach is worth it though.
It is these types of situations that you never really think about when taking on expat life. But learning about the culture you are living within is all part and parcel of moving abroad.