Many have asked what it was like to fast in Arabia. So this is my personal account of it:
1) This time of the year, the fasting duration is about 1 hour less than Malaysia, which is 13 hours per day. It is late autumn.
2) I think, because of the low humidity, I got dehydrated faster here and hence felt tired and lethargic easier. So, fasting is more trying.
3) There is no bazaar Ramadan madness, you do not see anyone suddenly becoming an expert kuih/lauk maker once a year here (how many times have we bought kuih-tak-sedap during Ramadan?). The local Ful (an arab dish made of beans) shop finished their Ful early.
4) The local mosque holds daily breaking of fast service with a quick bite on dates, samosas, soup and drinks before maghrib prayers. After that it is a generous rice+chicken+lamb combo served on trays, to be shared by 2.
5) Isha & tarawih prayers are delayed about 45 minutes to let everybody enjoy their post-maghrib iftar and have a bit of rest afterwards. The number of rakaats for tarawih may differ between mosques, either 8 or 20.
6) Many offices especially government ones open later and close early. I was told some would open for about 3-4 hours only. My office turned 9-to-3.