In Dubai, Thursdays are the last day of the working week as the weekend consists of Friday (Prayer day) and Saturday. And yes, getting up on a Sunday to go to work takes a bit of getting used too! Summer vacation means I'm at home and privileged to spend time with this little fella:
We played Jasper's favourite game of chase, under the blanket (he thinks you can't see him, like he's in stealth mode). Although I've learnt from previous games to keep my body parts out of the way so I used a plastic stick as bait.
As you may be aware, it's Ramadan. August is a difficult month for it to fall on as it's so very hot. The Municipality have imposed shorter working hours as they do every Ramadan, which is lovely as it means Mr Shortcake is home a little earlier.
Due to the restrictions on eating and drinkng in public I've not ventured out much other than to pop to the corner shop (it's more of a massive supermarket not on a corner!). Mr Shortcake thought it might be interesting to explore Dubai a little to see what kind of changes take place during Ramadan. We were aware that some businesses close and most food outlets only offer take-away for those not fasting so we went to see for ourselves. We started in the Mall of the Emirates where they have a beautiful display of twinkly Ramadan lights in their fashion dome. The huge inflatable stars pulsated too:
It was eeriely quiet in the shopping mall. Any of you that have visited Dubai will know that the malls are packed day and night so it was very strange to see it so sparsely populated.
Next stop was Safa Park, Gate 4 where they have a cannon that fires at sunset to signal the end of the days' fast. As it is our first Ramadan we were keen to check it out. We weren't sure what to expect but we were certainly a little intimidated by the sight of the sleak military cannon and the four officers sat nearby.
A few spectators had gathered early like us, but as sunset drew closer large SUV's pulled in with the passengers choosing to remain in the air-conditioned atmosphere of their vehicles rather than stand on the side lines with us. I moved at the last minute and stood on the other side where you can see the people in the image above. You will see from the video I've included below that it may not have been the best idea.
BOOM! I'm grateful that my ears didn't mind the sudden abuse but the poor young man next to me was a little shocked by the sound.
As the call to prayer rang out and the fast was broken we drove to Jumeirah Mosque, a mosque that is open to visitors on certain days. They had put in an extra special effort to decorate the mosque for Ramadan and it looked spectacular:
So beautiful! It was lovely to view and experience some of the aspects of Ramadan here in Dubai. We also plan to visit an Iftar buffet at some point too. Traditionally fast is broken with dates (I love dates) and juice, followed a little later with a slighltly heavier meal, but of course in Dubai there are many many variations to try. Tomorrow we have a clothing fitting at the tailors, I've never had tailor made clothes before so I'm a little excited!