Ramadan in Dubai: A Tourist's Essential Guide

Our online Ramadan guide is dedicated to educating and equipping the diverse community of Dubai during the sacred month of Ramadan. It will offer information tailored to the needs of expatriates and tourists, aiming to be both relevant and beneficial to our audience.

The Holy Month of Ramadan 2024: Know Ramadan Basics

What is Ramadan?
What is Ramadan?

Ramadan comes from an Arabic root “ar-ramad,” which means scorching heat. The holy month of Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting, worship, service, gathering, and spiritual growth.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, the day starts early so people can eat a pre-fast meal before dawn. This meal, called Suhoor, is important as it will keep them going through the day. During daylight hours, fasting Muslims cannot eat food or drink water or other drinks. People can eat and drink again once the sun has set.

The traditional way to break the fast is by eating dates and drinking a glass of water. Then, the evening meal, Iftar, is a social event that can go on for hours. It is common for people to eat together in large groups of family and friends. Special foods are prepared and shared, and desserts are particularly popular.

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the month of fasting. Many Eid traditions are mainly centered around family, food, generosity, and festivities. On Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims wake up early and dress in their finest clothes to attend the Eid prayers. After prayers, they wish each other a happy Eid ('Eid Mubarak' in Arabic) before spending the rest of the day with their extended families, enjoying good food, and sharing gifts with children and loved ones.

What is Ramadan?
What Can tourists expect when visiting Dubai during Ramadan?

Tourists visiting Dubai, UAE for the first time can expect a Culturally rich experience during the Holy month of Ramadan.

The working hours in Dubai may be reduced or changed for offices, shopping malls, restaurants, and other tourist attractions such as museums and theme parks. Plan your visit accordingly by checking the working hours online.

It is prohibited to eat, drink, or smoke in public places in Dubai during Ramadan. The rules apply to ALL public spaces such as the metro stations, buses, and old Dubai. However, some restaurants will be open in Dubai during Ramadan.

It is worth experiencing the tradition of Iftar during Ramadan in Dubai. Traditional tents will be set up and Iftar buffets will be offered across Dubai, at the city's best restaurants and hotels. Fasting Muslims will usually break their fast with a sip of water and dates, before going for the rest of the meal.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan shopping and Offers During the season

The holy month of Ramadan is not only a time for spiritual growth but also a season of sharing, giving, and Family gatherings. It's also a time for special shopping, Shoppers can expect lots of discounts, promotions, and Ramadan special offers from the majority of Brands and Malls, Allowing everyone to shop for essentials, gifts, and Eid Decor Items.

During Ramadan, Dubai comes alive with vibrant pop-up markets, offering a unique blend of cultural experiences, culinary delights, and shopping opportunities. Here are the best Ramadan Markets to check out during the festive month in Dubai.

  • Ramadan District at Jumeirah Emirates Towers
    Dates - 15 March to 4 April 2024
    Timings- daily from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am
    Location - Plaza Terrace, Jumeirah Emirates Towers
  • Hai Ramadan at Expo City
    Dates - *9 Mar – 8 Apr 2024
    *to be confirmed with a moon sighting
    Timings - 17:00 – 00:00
    Price- Entry fee from AED 20, additional charges applicable for some activities and workshops 6+ (5 and below free)
    Location- Al Wasl Plaza, Expo City Dubai
  • Dubai Municipality Ramadan Souq
    Date - February 17 - March 9, 2024.
    Time - ‘Ramadan Souq’ between 10 AM and 10 PM.
    Location - Old Baladiya St - Deira - Al Sabkha - Dubai
  • Ramadan Market at City Walk
    Date -March 10 to April 8
    Time - 10 AM to 12 AM
    Location - Located next to The Green Planet
  • Ramadan Souq at The Beach, JBR
    Date - March 10th to April 8th
    Time - 10 AM–10 PM
    Location- The Walk - Jumeirah Beach Residence - Dubai

What is Ramadan?
Hala rides being available 247

We at Hala understand the importance of maintaining uninterrupted service during the month of Ramadan, to accommodate the needs of Residents and tourists, Hala Ride will continue to operate taxi services in the city 24/7. This allows people to travel to work, attend religious activities, and carry out their daily routines during Ramadan.

Tourists and residents can rely on Hala Ride to navigate the city during Ramadan. To make the most of the service, it is advised to utilize the pre-booking option through the Hala Ride App if the tourist has a specific travel plan. This allows the users to secure a taxi at their desired time, which can minimize the wait time, especially during peak hours.

More than 50% of our captains observe the holy month of Ramadan, meaning they may be working long hours without food or drink. It is important to be patient and considerate of their physical and spiritual commitment during this time. Let's make sure we support our colleagues and respect their religious practices.

What is Ramadan?
Over 50% of our captains observe the holy month of Ramadan

Tourists are advised to be mindful of the fasting practices observed by more than 50% of our captains during daylight hours. It is considered polite to refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public places, including taxis, as a mark of respect for those who are fasting.

Show gratitude and appreciation for taxi captains' hard work and dedication during Ramadan. A simple thank you or a kind gesture can go a long way in acknowledging their efforts.

Things to Know During Ramadan

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan Fasting Basic Rules

Non-Muslims are not required to fast during Ramadan, but they must refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking in public during the fasting hours, including chewing gum.

Additionally, ensure that you do not:
  • Engage in any aggressive behavior
  • Dance or play music in public but you may listen to music quietly with headphones
  • Wear inappropriate clothing in public
  • Swear as blasphemy is considered extra offensive during Ramadan
  • Refuse a gift, or an invitation to join someone at Iftar.

What is Ramadan?
Important Dates for Ramadan 2024

  • When does Ramadan 2024 start?
  • 10 or 11 March.

  • How long is Ramadan 2024?
  • 29 or 30 days, depending on moonsighting.

  • When does Ramadan 2024 end?

Around 9 or 10 April.

  • When is Laylat al-Qadr 2024?
  • Laylat-al-Qadr is one of the last ten odd nights of Ramadan. According to some Hadith narrations, the 27th night of Ramadan may fall on the 7th of April this year. You can stay updated on the Islamic calendar by checking the Muslim Aid website regularly.

  • When Does Eid al-Fitr 2024 Start?
  • Eid-al-Fitr 2024 might fall on or around April 10th, depending on the sighting of the moon.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan Dos & Don’ts
Do's

  • Learn about Ramadan - Take the time to learn about Ramadan and its observances to better understand the culture and customs.
  • Be considerate - Be patient and considerate of the physical and spiritual commitment of those who are fasting.
  • Plan your meals - If you are not fasting it is advised to plan your meals accordingly. Operating hours are likely to change during the month of Ramadan.
  • Participate in Iftar - Experience the Iftar Tradition, Consider joining locals for Iftar (breaking the fast) to experience the communal spirit of Ramadan. Many places have public Iftar events..
  • Dress modestly - Dressing modestly is essential during the Holy Month, for men and women. Tight and transparent clothing should be avoided throughout the territory during Ramadan.
  • Plan Activities Around Prayer Times: Many businesses and activities may pause during these periods, Hence Plan accordingly. Malls are open past midnight and suhoor go into the early hours. Embrace the late nights and discover a side to the UAE you may have not seen before.

Don't's

  • Eating and Drinking in Public - Avoid Eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours out of respect for those observing Ramadan.
  • Playing loud music - Do not play loud music or swear in public as it may offend those who are fasting.
  • Dinner Reservation - Restaurants across the UAE tend to get a lot busier as families and friends meet to break their fasts together. Plan and make a reservation beforehand
  • Ignore Dress Code - Do not dress inappropriately or wear tight-fitting clothes in public - modesty is key.
  • Expect Regular Service: Understand that service levels and schedules may be different during Ramadan, and be patient with any changes or delays that may occur.
  • Be Disruptive During Fasting Hours: Refrain from loud or disruptive behavior during fasting hours, especially in public places where people are observing the fast.

What is Ramadan?
Myths & Misconceptions about Ramadan Fasting:

  • Ramadan is only about fasting - There are many other activities that people engage in throughout the month besides fasting, One of these is giving to charity. Muslims are encouraged to fulfill their yearly obligation of donating to charities during Ramadan. This practice, called Zakat, is a fundamental part of Islam. Another important thing during Ramadan is praying. Muslims pray five times every day at certain times, from early morning until night.

  • All Muslims fast during Ramadan - It is important to remember that not every Muslim can fast during the month of Ramadan. If you have a Muslim friend or colleague who is seen eating or drinking during this time, it should not be assumed that they have broken their fasts. There are exceptions to fasting for certain individuals such as children, the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those who are ill or traveling. These individuals are exempt from fasting during Ramadan.
  • It is disrespectful to eat or drink around Muslims during Ramadan - Typically, Many Muslims don't feel disrespected if you eat in front of them while they fast, so there's no need for those not observing the fast to abstain from eating or drinking. Many Muslim women on their periods and others who can't fast eat in front of their families, and Islam doesn't impose any provision or courtesy forbidding non-fasting individuals from eating in the presence of those who are fasting.
  • Fasting is harmful to health - Oftentimes fasting has been misunderstood by people as something harmful to bodies, however, research has shown that intermediate fasting which is done during Ramadan assists in burning fat and dropping insulin levels.
  • It's a great time to start that weight loss plan - Losing weight isn't the main goal of Ramadan, although most of us secretly hope it will help shed some extra pounds. To effectively lose weight you need to decrease the amount of calories you consume per day, and when you consider that most of us eat the equivalent of a day's calorie consumption for Iftar and Suhoor, losing weight is unlikely.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan Vocabulary

  • Iftar: The evening meal where Muslims end their daytime fast at sunset.
  • Suhoor: The meal before sunrise that Muslims have before fasting begins. Suhoor is usually more relaxed than Iftar, often starting late at night and continuing into the early morning hours.
  • Hilal: The slender crescent moon that signifies the start of a new month in the Islamic calendar. It is used to determine the beginning of Ramadan.
  • Sunnah:The teachings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). For instance, breaking the fast with dates is considered a Sunnah practice.

Tips for Wellness During Ramadan and Fasting

What is Ramadan?

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is comprised of refraining from food, and drinks (including water) from sunrise to sunset each day.

Here are some tips to maintain your wellness and balance if you are fasting for Ramadan:

  • Drink plenty of water and eat hydrating foods during Ramadan
  • Consume the right foods at Suhoor to last through the fasting hours
  • Replenish your energy levels by eating healthy, balanced Iftar

  • Break your fast with dates.
  • Eat freshly prepared food and eat slowly.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of coffee, sugar, and salt.
  • Do not exert yourself physically when fasting.
  • Maintain a moderate level of physical activity.