Caught Eating, Drinking or Smoking in Public during Ramadan, Get ready to be deported
If you are Non-Muslim, you should also respect the people who have been fasting and working with or around you. It is considered highly inappropriate to eat anything in front of the people who are fasting. Ministry of Interior has warned all the expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, especially Non-Muslim expatriates that if they are caught drinking, eating or smoking in public places, they would be held and deported from Saudi Arabia. Non-Muslim expatriates should be aware that they are exempt from fasting but it does not allow them to eat in public.
It is important to mention here that apparently Ministry of Interior has warned Non-Muslim expatriates living in Saudi Arabia but it do not mean that Muslim expatriates who don’t fast can eat or drink in public. I think there will be stricter punishment against those Muslims expatriates who are found eating or drinking in Public as they are involved in dual offense. First, they are not fulfilling their religious obligation by fasting, second they are involved in an unethical and inappropriate act.
We cannot finish this topic without explaining the meaning of “public”. As you have already read above that no one is allowed to eat, drink or smoke in Public. Public here pertains to streets, shopping malls as well as workplace. Yes, you cannot even eat inside your office as other people would be able see you eating or drinking.
However, there are few exceptions to this rule. For example, you are allowed to eat, drink or smoke in Airplane, Airport, Train Stations and Bus Station etc. You will find restaurants, coffee shops and other eatery shops open there. The reason is that Muslims are exempted from fasting when they are travelling. So they can eat or drink anything if they are travelling to a distant location.
source – #LifeinSaudiArabia