During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to increase their level of spiritual and physical submission to God through fasting. This means that they must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and even intimate relations with their spouse from dawn until sunset.

In the UAE, official regulations are in place to ensure the solemnity of Ramadan celebrations and to allow Muslims to deepen their spiritual engagement. We have compiled a comprehensive list of these regulations that are currently in effect during Ramadan. Keep reading to learn more.

Ramadan 2024 rules in the UAE

During Ramadan, it is customary for residents and tourists in the UAE to demonstrate respect towards each other, particularly towards the Muslim community, which comprises the majority of the population. To ensure that the solemnity of Ramadan is upheld, the UAE government enforces strict regulations that apply during this period and takes action against those who show disrespect.

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Restrictions on eating and drinking in public

The essence of Ramadan fasting involves refraining from eating and drinking, so it is prohibited to consume food, drinks, or gum in public during this month. However, children are typically exempt from this rule. Individuals who are not fasting, such as non-Muslims, pregnant women, and elderly individuals, may eat and drink in indoor establishments like cafes, eateries, or restaurants.

Food and beverages can also be served within indoor establishments. In certain cities, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the use of screens and curtains is no longer mandatory. As long as the service takes place indoors, it will not be considered a violation of the rules.

Guidelines for malls and entertainment venues

Malls will remain open during the sacred month to meet essential shopping needs and to provide food and beverages for non-fasters. However, malls are not permitted to play loud music during this time.

Additionally, some licensed premises and bars are allowed to open during Ramadan, but with certain restrictions, such as no live music and minimal entertainment.

Working hours during Ramadan

Reduced work hours are implemented for both fasting and non-fasting employees, enabling them to engage in the spiritual activities and cultural rituals of the month. The UAE government regularly declares shortened working hours for both public and private sectors. Although certain roles may require extended hours, the majority of private sector employees benefit from a two-hour decrease in their daily workload. Public sector offices typically shut down early, with working hours reduced to six instead of the standard eight for government employees.

Check out our article below for more information about working hours during Ramadan in the UAE.

Ramadan 2024: The UAE’s Official Working Hours During the Holy Month


Paid parking during Ramadan

Paid parking hours are modified during Ramadan. These will be announced closer to the holy month. Last year, Dubai applied fees from 8am to 6pm; and 8pm to 12 midnight Monday to Saturday — giving residents free parking for two hours on weekdays. Sharjah applied fees from 8am to midnight Saturday to Thursday.



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