Ramadan violators penalised Dh1,000

A salesman and a female visitor who publicly drank juice during daytime in Ramadan were each fined Dh1,000 for breaking article 313 of the Federal Penal Code.

23:52 September 16, 2008

Dubai: A salesman and a female visitor who publicly drank juice during daytime in Ramadan were each fined Dh1,000 for breaking article 313 of the Federal Penal Code.

The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours found 30-year-old Lebanese salesman, S.O., and 28-year-old Russian woman, O.D., guilty of violating the Federal Penal Code, thus marking the first verdict of its kind since Ramadan started on September 1 this year.

The couple were caught publicly drinking juice in the waiting room of an Eppco station before iftar.

The duo pleaded not guilty and asked for leniency as they were non-Muslims and were unaware that their act was punishable by law here.


A Public Prosecution source explained that eating or drinking in public before sunset during Ramadan is classified as a crime, which offends religious faith and rituals.

"The punishment against such a crime is a maximum one month imprisonment or a maximum Dh2,000 fine... it depends on the judge's discretion," said the source.

An Arab witness, identified as T., spotted the couple drinking juice in a station. He reported them to the police, who referred the duo to court.

The ruling is still subject to appeal.

Have you noticed people being ignorant about fasting in Ramadan? Should more designated food courts be made for people who do not fast? Do you know of any non-Muslims who fast during the month? Tell us at or fill in the form bellow to send your comments.

Your comments

I would disagree with the law, as its a law for the Muslims in an Islamic country, not for non Muslims. I would say you would be more challenged and rewarded if you keep your fast while other non-muslims around you are eating and enjoying.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:44

We totally respect the law and respect the Muslims and the residents of UAE but I think the law is quite harsh it should not be punishable and leniency is a must as Islam is a religion of forgiving.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:43

We have non-muslim staff in our office and they eat/drink in front of us. They are free to that act since our boss is also doing the same and stay at office from 9am-7pm. It's very hard for me and others on fasting since we can smell the food all around the office. I think there should be a spacific law to prohibit this act.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:32

I believe that if a person is fasting, he/she should be able to restrain himself from drinking or eating, and that should not be a compulsive act. We respect the laws of the UAE, but for a non-muslim there should be an exception, maybe those people were really tired after a hard day work and needed a drink. Unless they come upto your face and drink water, then it gets offensive otherwise people should respect that the ones who do not fast are also human
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:25

Ignorance is not an excuse to LAW. I believe that Respect and Discipline are the best ways to practice every time.
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:25

I am a non-Muslim but I?m fasting this Ramadan. I am thinking that it is a good time to make some sacrifices. If you are a non-Muslim and you are not observing fasting, before going to any place make sure you eat and drink at home. It is fine for me not to be very strict about what we wear but fasting is different. Try to fast so you understand how they feel.
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: September 17, 2008, 11:19

I truly believe that the penalty is very much reasonable!!- as this is a LAW of a country you are in- if you don follow certain laws and finds it difficult to respect the culture, the rules of that place than you should leave
Posted: September 17, 2008, 10:53

I once saw a British woman who was eating an ice cream in a public bus stop, I warned her that its ramadan and its considered haram, but instead of being thankful, she shouts at me and told me that I dont have any right to say to her what she must do, that she is a tourist, and she can do whatever she wants to do...Well, Im just being nice and she accepted it badly...
Posted: September 17, 2008, 10:34