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How UAE Schools and Nurseries Bring Ramadan to Life for Children and Families

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the most sacred month for Muslims. It is a time dedicated to quiet reflection, prayer, spending time with family and doing charitable works to help those in need. With Ramadan being such an important month in the UAE, most nurseries and schools hold special community initiatives or events to mark this special time. Here, we take a look at the many creative and interesting programmes that UAE education providers have been using to teach children about the meaning of this special time of the year…

Ramadan at… Dubai Heights Academy

Ramadan is a time of great significance for the students and parents at Dubai Heights Academy, says Principal Alison Lamb:

“With a large proportion of our school community being Emirati and/or holding Islamic beliefs, Ramadan has always had significant importance at Dubai Heights Academy and is a special time for us to strengthen our community bonds.

“In the name of inclusivity, we think it is crucial to spread the meaning of the occasion to non-Muslims too, so our whole school comes together to put up decorations and informative displays around campus.

“It is also a time for increased acts of charity and compassion; we make sure that our outdoor Ramadan sharing fridge is always stocked up to support those less fortunate and in need within the local area.”

|Ramadan at… Future International Nursery – Dubai and Sharjah

Rukaya Yate, Manager at Future International Nursery (FIN) Sharjah – which has recently reopened with a beautifully refurbished premises – explains the great lengths that both the Dubai and Sharjah branches of the nursery take to mark the holy month for their children:

“Ramadan holds special significance for us and the children at FIN. It’s an opportunity to nurture personal goals and values like kindness, empathy, generosity, and a sense of togetherness and community.”

As a bilingual Arabic and English nursery, Future International Nursery has children from a diverse range of nationalities, and is able to explore the values of Ramadan in both languages, bringing them to life through a range of hands-on activities:

“We want everyone to feel a sense of belonging and ownership during this special month.

“Through a variety of activities and initiatives – such as partnering with charity organizations, children visiting local supermarkets to buy food for donation, visiting the Red Crescent to drop off donations, participating in kindness challenges, special storytelling sessions, involving children in decorating their environments, and dressing up – we create a nurturing and inclusive environment where all children can get involved and feel the spirit of Ramadan, regardless of their background, enriching our spirit of diversity and unity.”

Rukaya Yate continued:

“For our Muslim children, these initiatives and activities further help foster a deep sense of pride in their Islamic identity, reinforcing their cultural heritage and traditions.”

Ramadan is brough to Life in Dubai schools each year for students and parents

The special initiatives at Future International Nursery are outlined below:

Welcoming Ramadan Day:

“We always start with a special welcoming Ramadan day where the FIN team and children dress up in traditional Ramadan clothing. Children actively participate in making decorations and putting them up around the nursery, enriching the spirit of Ramadan.”

Storytelling and Songs:

“Throughout the month, we read stories that reflect the values we are promoting, learn songs related to the occasion and have group role-play iftars together.”

Emirates Red Crescent Partnership:

“Every year we partner with Emirates Red Crescent. Our parent community sends in donations, and children are involved in visiting the local supermarket with their teachers to buy non-perishable foods. Children pack the items and visit Emirates Red Crescent themselves to drop off the donations, teaching them about generosity and giving back to the community.”

Ramadan Kindness Challenge:

“We share a special Ramadan kindness calendar with parents. Each day, children are encouraged to do one act of kindness. Parents share videos and pictures of their children participating in these activities. During circle time in the class, we celebrate their efforts, promoting participation and encouragement among the children. These activities not only reinforce personal goals but also foster a sense of community and compassion among the children.”

Grandparent Visit:

“We believe grandparents bring an essential dimension to the lives of children. During this time we invite grandparents to share a special moment in the class with their grandchild and their friends. They read stories and share a special memory about Ramadan, creating meaningful connections.”

Ramadan at Future International Nursery schools in both Dubai and Sharjah is a profoundly important time of the year

Quran Competition Ceremony:

“Throughout the academic term, children learn different surahs of the Quran. During Ramadan, we take this opportunity to celebrate all their efforts with a ceremony where they receive gifts and certificates, acknowledging their dedication and learning achievements.”

Ramadan at… Arbor School Dubai

Ramadan initiatives hold a central position in a year-long calendar of diverse activities that are all part of being an international school, says Brett Girven, Principal of Arbor School Dubai:

“At Arbor we like to recognise a wide range of significant cultural, national or religious events, in particularly those which are significant in terms of living in Arabia and the Middle East.

“As an International School with more than 80 nationalities on site, it’s difficult to ensure that we balance everybody’s world view.

“However, I think our community will acknowledge that we go above and beyond at Arbor to ensure we celebrate all the things that are special about our diverse community, as well as those things which are unique to our mission.

“Arbor School runs several initiatives this time, including a Fridge managed by student ambassadors into which community donations are placed which can be accessed by staff and labourers within the nearby community. In the secondary the Gift of Gratitude is an initiative run by staff and students, we hold a community Iftar, and we even did a Ramadan evening bazaar!”


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Ramadan at… GEMS Al Barsha National School

GEMS Al Barsha National School uses Ramadan as an opportunity to highlight the values of compassion, self-reflection and gratitude says Michelle Thomas, Principal/CEO, GEMS Al Barsha National School:

“Ramadan is a month of fasting, spiritual reflection, and communal bonding. During Ramadan, we adjust our schedule to accommodate fasting students, emphasising values like compassion and charity. We engage in community activities like food drives and charity events, fostering a sense of giving back.

“Education during this time includes lessons on Islamic teachings and cultural traditions, helping students deepen their connection to their faith and heritage. Ramadan is a time for our school to reinforce inclusivity, cultural understanding, and spiritual growth, ensuring our Muslim students feel valued and respected.

“We run a list of activities, including our community iftar, fundraising gatherings for school support staff, daily activities, an invitation to the Red Crescent Society for a special activity for parents to collect clothing donations, and student competitions such as best decoration and best prayer corner. Additionally, our secondary students prepare a charity dish along with the recipe, plus greeting cards signed by the school will be given to government authorities. We will also have daily notes recording or filming a clip about the students’ daily routine during Ramadan.” 

Further information

Read our review of Future International Nursery here

Read our review of Dubai Heights Academy here

Visit the official Dubai Heights Academy web site here

Read our review of the Arbor School Dubai here

Visit the official Arbor School Dubai web site here

Read our review of GEMS Al Barsha National School here.

Visit the official GEMS Al Barsha National school web site here. 

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About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and Parents United's WHICHPlaydates - a regular meeting place for UAE parents to discuss the issues that matter to them, make friends and network with others. You can often find Tabitha too on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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