Riyadh: Non-Muslim expatriates in Saudi Arabia have been warned against eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan if they do not want to face expulsion.
Ramadan is the month-long sunrise-to-sunset fast.
The Interior Ministry of the oil-rich kingdom is calling on non-Muslims to "show consideration for feelings of Muslims" and "preserve the sacred Islamic rituals”.
Otherwise, a statement says, Saudi authorities will cancel violators' work contracts and expel them.
The warning came on Friday, the first day of the Ramadan observance.
In addition to Saudi Arabia's 19 million citizens, there are nearly eight million Asian workers in the country, as well as hundreds of thousands of other foreign expatriates from around the globe, according to government figures.
Saudi Arabia, the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom, is the home of Islam's holiest sites. It enforces a strict interpretation of the religion.
(With Agency inputs)
First Published: Friday, July 20, 2012, 19:18