Emirates' Iftar meal boxes return for month of Ramadan

2017-05-19 08:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town -  Gulf carrier, Emirates Airlines has announced a return of its signature Iftar service for customers travelling during the holy month of Ramadan. 

The service which dates back to more than 20 years ago on Emirates flights during the whole month of Ramadan, is expected to begin on Saturday, May 27.

The re-designed special Iftar meal boxes will be available to passengers across all cabin classes on select Emirates flights, including flights to and from the Gulf region as well as on flights catering to Umrah groups travelling to Jeddah and Medina during the month of Ramadan.

According to the airline, this evening meal eaten by Muslim believers at the end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset will provide those who observe Ramadan with a convenient way to break their fast through the "nutritious and balanced meal". 

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The airline will also utilise a unique tool to calculate the correct timings for Imsak (the time to commence fasting) and Iftar while in-flight. 

The airline says this tool was developed to supplement Emirates’ annually produced booklet on the timings for Ramadan, available on every flight.

"The tool calculates the exact Ramadan timings using the aircraft’s longitude, latitude and altitude; ensuring the greatest level of accuracy possible while on board," says the airline.  "When the sun sets, passengers will be informed of the Iftar time by the captain."

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Trays of dates, symbolic of Ramadan, and water will also be provided at boarding gates allowing customers to break their fast prior to boarding, or while boarding at Emirates’ hub in Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 and other Emirates destinations. 

During the holy month, cold meals will be served in lieu of a hot one on all flights to Jeddah and Medina, including Umrah day flights.

Here are some travel tips when flying to Muslim countries during Ramadan:

1. No eating, drinking or smoking in public

Do not eat, drink or smoke in public during fasting hours. This applies to all public places and public and private transportation. Public observance of the fast is compulsory regardless of religion.

2. Dress modestly 

Visitors should refrain from wearing revealing clothing out of respect to those observing Ramadan. This is particularly important when visiting malls, hotels and restaurants or iftar tents in the evening. As a general rule, clothing that is sheer, too short, low-cut or tight-fitting should be avoided, particularly shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless tops.

3. Be mindful of workplace etiquette

Business travellers should respect the shorter office hours and work around them. When having business meetings with Muslims, it is best to schedule them in the morning when people are less tired and can better concentrate. Make sure meetings do not occur over lunch, over-run or inconvenience fasting participants. While non-Muslims are permitted to eat and drink behind closed doors, they should avoid doing so in front of those fasting and should instead excuse themselves to a more remote area of the office. If offered refreshments by a fasting Muslim, it is considered respectful to decline.

4. Check food and entertainment schedules

Be flexible with your food and entertainment plans. Avoid unnecessary travel within an hour of sunset, as traffic will be heavy and accident rates peak, and avoid making dinner reservations around that time, as most restaurants will be busy preparing/serving iftar. In many places, live music entertainment is prohibited, dance clubs are closed, and bars are kept dry. Shopping malls are usually very crowded in the evening, and many tourist activities are put on hold throughout Ramadan.

5. Avoid public display of affection 

This is a complete no-no as are listening to loud music and chewing gum in public. Do not order alcohol or pork around iftar at a restaurant.

(Tips source: Gulfnews.com)

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