The Muslin holy month of Ramadan started at the sunset today (Wednesday June 17) and ends in the evening of July 17.
During the Ramadan the most devoted Muslims don’t eat or drink between the daylight hours. There are exceptions for this such as pregnant woman and children.
The Ramadan also affects the airlines of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways and Australians Business Traveler wrote a good article about this (access here) of which below is an excerpt:
A spokesperson for Qantas partner Emirates told Australian Business Traveller that “Emirates will continue to offer alcohol in all lounges and on flights during Ramadan.”
Etihad will continue serving alcohol in its international lounges including in Sydney, London and Paris, but this “will not be displayed in the bar area in the usual manner during daylight fasting hours”, an Etihad spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.
However, the airline’s lounges at its Abu Dhabi hub will not serve alcohol during daylight fasting times “out of respect for local customs,” with the lounge’s bars open only from 7pm to 3am daily until Ramadan concludes.
Alcohol will still be served on flights during Ramadan – including from Doha to Australia and Europe, and in the airline’s London Heathrow lounge.
However, a Qatar Airways spokesperson advised that “in respect of the Holy month of Ramadan, alcohol will not be served in (Doha’s) Hamad International Airport during Ramadan.” This means that, in effect, Qatar lounges at Doha will be an around-the-clock ‘dry zone’ until Ramadan’s end on July 16.
The Middle Eastern airlines should remember that they are serving global travelers and non-Muslims as well that expect all the facilities to be open regardless of the Ramadan. Do the Etihad and Qatar Airways have warnings on their websites regarding the reduced service in their lounges during this period?