Saudi Government is implementing strict rules when it comes to eating during the month of Ramadan. Non-Muslims also have their own set of responsibilities. They are not allowed to eat, drink and smoke in the public as a means of respect to Muslims who are fasting. Once caught, you will be punished, and worst, deported.
In Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, restaurants and other similar establishments are close throughout the day. They just open their stores when the sun sets or when ‘iftar’ starts.
Non-Muslims, on the other hand, are obliged to show respect to Muslims who are fasting by not eating in public. Though not implemented in other non-Muslim countries, eating in public during Ramadan constitutes serious legal offenses in countries dominated by Muslims like Saudi Arabia.
Public places are areas like streets, workplace and shopping malls. When in Saudi and other Muslim countries, you are not allowed to eat or drink inside even inside the office. There are no lunch breaks and work timings are cut short to allow fasting Muslims to rest. However, after the sun sets, or as what they call ‘iftar’, they starts to eat and there are some Mosques offering free food.
There are exceptions to the strict eating rules in Ramadan. Travelling Muslims are allowed to eat which is why restaurants and other similar establishments are open in airports.
Though not implemented all around the world, these rules when it comes to eating, drinking and smoking in public is something that you should not take for granted to avoid facing serious offenses later on.
Source : LifeinSaudiArabia