Between 18th June and 17th July (this will be confirmed according to moon sighting) followers of the Islamic faith will be observing Ramadan. Ramadan has high significance in the Islamic calendar and lasts for a period of 30 days. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar which is shorter than the commonly used solar calendar, which means that the dates of Ramadan each year are changeable.
Muslims are expected to fast during Ramadan. This fasting involves not eating or drinking during the daylight hours, from dawn to sunset. Ramadan is followed by Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking Fast” which will last for 10 days. As this is a religious time period in Islamic countries, the working hours will be different.
In countries that observe Ramadan, all companies and government offices work shorter hours, generally between 10 am and 2 pm. Expect that communication during this period will be delayed, due to the very short working days. It should be appreciated that Ramadan is during summer time, where many countries will be experiencing heats of 50 – 60 degrees. Therefore whilst followers will not be drinking during the day, it will be difficult for workers to endure the heat, hence the short working hours.
It is important to consider that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be affected the most out of all the Arabic countries. This will be due to the fact that during Ramadan, around 3 million people will visiting Jeddah for pilgrimage, making the city very congested and difficult to move around.
Eid Al Fitr Holiday
This is likely to start on Friday the 17th of July 2015, but will depend on the start date of Ramadan. All government and company office will be closed entirely during this holiday period. Depending on the country, the holiday period will last anything between 2 – 10 days. The longest holiday will be in Saudi Arabia, likely to last 10 days.
The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime (by adult who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence)
This year the Hajj holiday period will be between Monday 21st of September and Saturday, 26th of September 2015. Over 5 million pilgrims will be travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca. This will mean that entering the city of Jeddah will be extremely difficult and it will be extremely difficult to find accommodation for anyone who wishes to visit.
Most importantly, all government establishments and some businesses in Saudi Arabia will be closed entirely for 10 to 14 days.
This festival will fall on Wednesday, 23rd of September 2015.
Eid al-Adha is also called the Feast of the Sacrifice which falls on the 10th day of Hajj period and lasts for four days. Both these celebrations vary every year, as the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar (as mentioned above.)
During Eid al-Adha, all government and private offices will be closed through-out the Middle East.
According to the Islamic religion, during the Eid period, no work can be carried out in Muslim countries.
If you have any other questions about how this festival may affect your business, please feel free to contact us.