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The holy month of Ramadan is considered the holiest and most sacred month of the Islamic Hijri (lunar) calendar. Muslims firmly believe that the archangel Gabriel descended from the heavens during this sacred month and revealed the Message to the Prophet Muhammad.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to elevate their level of spiritual and physical submission to God by way of fasting; that is to say, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and also husband-wife intimacy from the breaking of dawn until the setting of the sun.
As we prepare to welcome the holiest of months, here are the dates, calendar, and guide to spending Ramadan 2024 in Dubai and the UAE.
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Ramadan dates and calendar 2024
So far, Ramadan 2024 is predicted to begin on 11 March 2024 and end on 9 April 2024, corresponding to Ramadan 1445 in the Islamic calendar.
Tradition mandates that the exact date of the holy month’s beginning must be determined by a moon sighting committee consisting of religious scholars, astronomers, and other authorities under the cover of night. The committee is responsible for observing certain sightings related to the appearance and cycle of the new crescent moon which heralds the start of Ramadan.
Ramadan 2024 moon sighting in UAE
On the 29th day of Shaban, the moon sighting for Ramadan 2024 4ook place. The moon sighting date for Ramadan 2024 varies in each country because the Shaban month did not begin on the same day in every country.
Umrah from UAE during Ramadan
If you are thinking of performing Umrah during Ramadan, you can check our article about the latest update of Umrah 2024 below.
Ramadan in Dubai and the UAE
As working and operating hours are generally reduced during Ramadan, life in Dubai and the rest of the UAE becomes noticeably more subdued. The majority of residents tend to withdraw and escape the blistering heat, but for the most part, hotels and restaurants are functioning relatively normally. Hotels in particular typically offer attractive deals and offers to the delight of local residents who are all too happy to take advantage and book themselves a staycation.
However, after Iftar (breaking of the fast), Dubai’s vibrancy returns with lively all-you-can-eat banquets housed in numerous Iftar tents city-wide. Eateries and restaurants compete with one another by offering special menus and prices guaranteed to satiate even the most famished. Iftar provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to brush shoulders with the locals and experience the liveliness and hospitality of Arab traditions.
Lastly, in place of alcohol and the pulsing nightlife, visitors may avail themselves of the Ramadan night markets. These night markets offer exotic traditional street foods and shopping experiences set in a bazaar-like setup.
Working hours during Ramadan in Dubai and the UAE
During Ramadan 2024 in the UAE, employees can expect a reduction in working hours. According to the UAE’s labor law, private sector employees are required to work eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, during Ramadan, employees will only be required to work six hours a day or 36 hours a week due to the two-hour reduction in working hours.
It’s worth noting that some types of workers may not be eligible for reduced working hours during Ramadan, as specified in the Executive Regulations of the Labor Code. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that commuting time from home to work will not be considered as work time, unless otherwise stated in the employment contract.
For more details on the working hours during Ramadan in Dubai and the UAE, please refer to our article below:
Fasting hours in Dubai and the UAE
Previous Ramadans have seen Emiratis fast for a little over 14 hours. However, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) states that the fasting hours will gradually increase over the days, fasting would last 13 hours and 40 minutes at the start of the month, and it would have increased to 14 hours and 20 minutes at the end of the month. Additionally, the average temperatures will range between 20°C and 27°C, and the maximum temperatures may reach 34.3°C.
Some rules to observe
Dubai is an international city and one that, to an extent, embraces multiculturalism. As such, non-Muslim visitors may go about their day without having to refrain from eating and drinking provided they do so privately. Eating or drinking in public, chewing gum and smoking are frowned upon, as well as intimate gestures between couples.
Also, it’s recommended to dress modestly when in public. Swimsuits and other summer outfits are fine and acceptable when in the hotel or by the pool, but when going shopping or visiting an attraction, please opt for modest and unassuming clothes.
Reduced school timings
Private schools across the UAE have been directed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to not hold classes for longer than five hours during Ramadan. The relevant authority has also urged schools to limit the amount of homework and assignments. The newly introduced timing is aimed to allow teachers, students, and parents to be able to spend more time praying with their families.
Iftar tents will be allowed
Iftar tents offering free meals will once again be allowed near mosques in Dubai and other emirates.
As per the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA), those looking to enter the iftar tents will be required to wear masks and produce their green pass. Iftar tents will only be opened two hours before the Iftar (Maghrib prayer) to avoid crowding.
Ramadan praying hours in UAE
Muslims living in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah will start observing Ramadan as per the Sehri time or Iftar time in Dubai. This is one of the main reasons why the starting date of Ramadan in UAE has great significance for them. Below is the complete timetable for Ramadan 2024 in Dubai and the UAE.