As a Western ex-pat working in the Middle East you quickly learn that if you want everyone to show up for a meeting, don’t schedule the meeting during prayer time.
Muslims pray 5 times a day. 3-4 of these prayer times will be during work hours. What complicates things is that the prayer times are not at the same time each day. The times are based on the lunar calendar. The first prayer in the middle of the summer is at 3:30am and that same prayer in the middle of winter is at 5:30am. You should know that most of the Middle East does not change their clocks for daylight savings.
So, how do you know when it will be time to pray. I have utilities that I use to make sure that I don’t schedule meetings during prayer times.
As I use Microsoft Outlook, there is a plug-in, that will schedule the times of prayer times on your calendar. If you don’t want to have all of these in your calendar there are a number of prayer time downloads for mobile phones that will do the same thing. I use Salaat Time for Blackberry. I also use a system bar utility that gives a notification bubble just prior to the prayer time. This application is also handy at it will show that prayer times every day for the full year; it is also called Salaat Time .
You can use one or more of these utilities to help you schedule a meeting in the future.
Note: Cross posted from executiveGEEK.