If you're an expat in Qatar, you'll notice how things changes during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Here's how to join in on the fun.
7 July 2013| Last updated on 11 December 2017
Even as a non-Muslim, the Holy Month of Ramadan feels like a special time of year. It is a month of giving, peacefulness and introspection. There are things that you can do during this month to either join in or make the most of a less frantic pace of life.
There is a lot of focus on the breaking of the fast during Ramadan, so it is the perfect time to go on a diet or to start eating healthily. You can make it a healthy eating month to kick-start some good habits. Scrap the take-aways for a month and cook yourself healthy food during this time.
You will see lots of people taking a walk just after Iftar. Join in! Use this month to get fit and active. Cycling is becoming very more popular in Doha, so get a bike and get pedaling - it’s great for cardio and less stress on your joints than jogging.
If your building has a gym or pool, start to use them during this time and your exercise routine will become a habit by the end of Ramadan.
3. Charity Work
Ramadan is also about giving to or looking after those less fortunate than yourself. Look at ways that you can become involved in a local charity whether it is through donating time, money or unwanted goods.
There are always lots of great charity initiatives during this time that you can take part in. See what you can find to take part in and you may end up becoming a regular volunteer for one of Doah’s worthy causes.
SEE ALSO: The do's and dont's of Ramadan
Do go along to a traditional Arabic Iftar. There are so many to choose from and have great food and a relaxing atmosphere. It’s great to see so many different nationalities joining in with the traditional breaking of the fast. It's a great chance to sample many Arabic dishes that you may not have tried before.
Life can be very hectic in Doha, so take the time during this month to expand your mind. When was the last time you sat down and truly relaxed with a good book? Read something inspirational and uplifting to really get you thinking about life.
Have you been wanting to learn a new skill? Cooking? A language? More about the Qatari culture? This is the perfect time to focus on learning and discovering new things. Visit Doha's museums and cultural establishments to find out more about the history and culture of where we are living.
SEE ALSO: Fasting tips for a healthy Ramadan
Lots of local hotels have special rates during Ramadan, so you can take this opportunity to explore more of the region.There are some great sights to be seen and roads to be travelled. Oman is another great destination during this time- Salalah has the Khareef Festival happening and it can be a lot cooler over that side of the coast.
8. Host a dinner
Family and friends are important during this time as is showing hospitality. Why not take the chance to hold a gathering at your place one evening and invite your nearest and dearest. You could try your hand at cooking and preparing yummy Arabic food or order in a feast from one of the many great Arabic restaurants.
9. Give up smoking
This is the perfect opportunity for you to give up smoking - you know it makes sense for your health. There is no smoking in public during the day in Ramadan, so you will face less temptation than normal which should help you and your will power. Make a plan now how you are going to do this and set a stop date.
If you need help, you could try reading Alan Carr’s book The Easy Way to Quit Smoking, Champix tablets, Nicotinel, hypnosis, accupuncture and ask your doctor what they would recommend for you as a quitting program.
SEE ALSO: Ramadan timings around the world
10. Fast for a day
Why don’t you try and fast for one day so that you can see what your muslim neighbours, friends or work colleagues do during Ramadan and how it feels. This will help you understand and empathise more with people who are fasting.
We really hope you take the time during this special month to join in the spirit of the season.