Ramadan brings back many old residents to the UAE, and among them is Hashim KU, who has lived in Dubai for over 50 years. In 2014, he quit his job and returned to his home country for good. But he keeps returning to UAE, not for vacation but to spend the holy month every year with complete devotion.

“My first Ramadan in Dubai was 1971, the year I arrived. It was then a small town with only a few mosques around my locality in Deira,” said Hashim.

“Dubai had a different vibe at that time. Friends, colleagues, and acquaintances went to mosques to pray together and we would engage in light conversations after Maghrib and Taraweeh prayers. There was a strong bond between people of various nationalities, all because of the proximity of our residence and workplaces,” explained Hashim.

“Now, the city has grown massively. Back then, there were only a few mosques, but now there are several, some a few hundred steps away and some are so luxurious. But the vibe of Ramadan I experienced during my days still exists, which is why I come to the UAE to spend the holy month,” added Hashim.

Hashim joined as a salesman at Dubai Duty Free in 1973 and was promoted to various positions. He worked at the airport shopping outlet for nearly 40 years before bidding goodbye. He then joined his cousin’s business for a few years before settling in his hometown in Kannur, Kerala, for good.

Whenever he visits the UAE, during Ramadan, Hashim lives with his son in Sharjah. “I have spent nearly 47 holy months in Dubai out of the 50 years in the country. I couldn’t visit during the pandemic because of the travel restrictions,” said Hashim.

To cherish and relive the beautiful memories of the past, Hashim meets his friends, colleagues, and relatives during iftar and prayer time. “The mosques in Dubai are open 24x7 and I can get involved in devotion peacefully,” said Hashim.

“The uniqueness of the city is that the nationalities residing here are very kind and helpful, they are supportive of each other. It’s a great feeling to spend the holy month here,” he said.

'Ramadan UAE resident'

Another expat who visits the UAE during the holy month is Sudanese national, Ahmed Adam.

‘I am a Ramadan resident of UAE,’ said Adam, who has been spending the holy month in Dubai since 2010.

Adam, a resident of Khartoum, books his flight ticket for the initial days of Ramadan. “I spend a day or two with my family in my hometown, and the rest of the Ramadan, I spend with my sister in Dubai,” he said.

“The country’s architecture is fascinating, but what attracts me more is the perfect religious vibe I get during the holy month,” said Adam.

“People of various races and nationalities pray, eat and fast together. Where else on the planet can we find something like this?”

Fond memories of his first Ramadan in the Emirate is what brings the expat back here. Since then, he says, “I decided to visit Dubai during the holy month every year. I love to pray at different mosques and the world-class architecture of these holy places make it a must-visit for me. And the best part is accessibility to mosques due to the fantastic public transport network here.”

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