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Currently the Holy month of Ramadan is forecast to fall between Tuesday 18th May and Thursday 14th June in 2018, although this is subject to change. One thing can be certain however – government departments in the Arab world and their respective Embassies across the globe will have closures and altered operating times as a result. This will undoubtedly cause some delays and backlogs in bureaucratic processes, so being prepared for this will save a lot of stress!
What to Expect
The main tenets of Ramadan include fasting and refraining from drinking, spending time in spiritual contemplation and prayer, being charitable and visiting friends and family members. It’s usual to have national full day closures for Eid at the end of Ramadan which usually lasts a week, which is also observed at the foreign Embassies of Muslim states across the globe.
The start of Ramadan is generally announced with a day’s notice due to the lunar calendar making the date unpredictable. Office hours usually reduce for the duration of Ramadan within countries such as the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon and Kuwait. They will open early morning and close in the early afternoon around 2pm.
Preparing for Ramadan Delays
Organising and making the move out to the Middle East during Ramadan can definitely be prolonged. Anyone living a country which observes the holiday already will be familiar with the closures and changes in availability to certain services, but if this is new to you, it can feel hard to navigate at first.
If you’re having documents legalised and making other arrangements in the destination country, this can take a lot of working around and waiting longer than usual for things to be completed. It’s advisable to start any paperwork as soon as possible to avoid the month of Ramadan, though of course this is not always possible. It is certainly best if you arrange the move itself outside of this holiday, as trying to access services necessary to new expats can be very difficult. In terms of adjusting to your new home, this will also not be easy if you haven’t yet grasped the etiquette expected during this time.
Contact Vital Legalisation
We always communicate with the UK Embassies and our internationally based colleagues to make sure we are aware of any closure dates and delays as soon as possible. We can then amend our processes accordingly and advise customers of any possible delays which may affect their order. Where possible, we do of course always try to minimise this. Our Dubai office is usually closed for two days during Eid with reduced hours during Ramadan. As soon as we are made aware of the respective opening times of the UK-based Embassies we will be sure to make them readily available on our website.
Click here to go to our website, where you can see the latest info about closures leading up to Ramadan and Eid. We’ll do our best to keep you updated as we find out more.