We are fortunate to experience Ramadan for the first time in the United Arab Emirates. Although this is just the beginning of the holy month, we are eager to see it unfold and are glad that we are exposed to the culture and traditions of Ramadan.
It is a time of reflection, generosity, and unity, where families and communities come together to celebrate and honor their faith. However, for businesses operating in countries where Ramadan is observed or for those with lots of business contacts in countries where Ramadan is celebrated, it’s important to understand the customs and practices of the holy month in order to maintain respectful and positive business relationships.
At Blackhole Media, we celebrate cultural diversity and believe that businesses can thrive even as their colleagues are immersed in the events of the holy month. We understand the importance of respecting cultural practices but also want to help businesses navigate the unique challenges and opportunities presented by Ramadan.
This blog post intends to do just that.
The difference in Business during Ramadan
If you’re operating in a Muslim country or have clients or partners who are located in one, you’ll notice a marked difference in the way things are run during the holy month.
As the most important period in the Islamic calendar, it’s a time when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and attend additional prayers in the evening.
While this can affect business hours and public etiquette, we’ve put together a list of five tips to help you stay on track with your enterprise while observing or respecting the spiritual event.
The Synergy of Work and Social Meetings
This is a great opportunity to meet valuable contacts for a casual dinner, an Iftar, or even a shisha gathering. Ramadan is the time of year when everyone is extra hospitable, so take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen your relationships!
Keep in mind that people will not be getting a regular night’s sleep this month (waking up early in the morning for a pre-fast meal), and many find the first few days to be challenging. Check-in prior to meetings to ensure they haven’t been side-tracked, and avoid early morning starts to give people time to adjust.
At the same time, since Ramadan is the most social month in the Islamic year, you should take advantage of networking Iftars (the fast-breaking evening meal at the time of adhan of the Maghrib prayer) and other events to socialize while getting work done.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Ramadan is the month of charity, and there are numerous organizations that run Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns during this time. Consider getting involved in activities like donating food items or packing food parcels for distribution. If you don’t have a CSR policy in place, this is the perfect time to start one.
Take Part in Ramadan
There are a great number of events happening during Ramadan, so make sure to get out and get involved. Take part in Ramadan-themed activities, visit cultural centres to learn more about the local culture, enjoy the variety of dining experiences, and build and strengthen your relationships. During the days of Eid, make sure to personally wish your close contacts a happy celebration!
While work may slow down during Ramadan, this time of year presents a unique opportunity to accomplish things that might not be possible during other times of the year. Make the extra effort, and you’ll benefit not only professionally but personally as well.
At Blackhole Media, we celebrate the diversity of cultures and traditions that make our world so unique. As Ramadan progresses, we reflect on the importance of respect, understanding, and empathy towards our colleagues, clients, and partners. As we believe that cultural awareness is crucial to building positive and sustainable business relationships, we are also committed to helping businesses navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by different cultural practices.
May this holy month bring you peace, happiness, and spiritual growth and be filled with blessings, love, and renewal!