Exploring the Traditions and Spirit of Ramadan in the UAE
By Marcus Richard
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and spiritual meditation, is meaningful to Muslims worldwide. Ramadan takes on a distinctive character in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), merging centuries-old traditions with the country's modernity and cosmopolitan characteristics. This article encourages you to explore the rich tapestry of Ramadan in UAE, learning about its cultural importance, beloved customs, and the profound atmosphere that pervades the country during this auspicious season.
Are you planning a trip to the UAE during Ramadan? Awesome! You're in for a memorable and one-of-a-kind experience. The Holy Month of Ramadan in UAE is honored gravely by Muslims, and it is crucial to understand how to respect local customs and traditions.
But before you get started, here are a few Ramadan guidelines and things to know to make the most of your trip and have a good time in the UAE during the year's holiest month!
Discovering Ramadan in UAE is an activity to do for tourists
What is Ramadan in the UAE?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar calendar and begins with hilal, the Arabic term for crescent or "new moon." There are no specific dates for Ramadan. Every year, a moon sighting committee in the UAE meets to determine the true start date of Ramadan.
During Ramadan in UAE, Muslims will abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dark, as fasting is one of Islam's five pillars. They only break their fast at sundown (iftar) and pre-dawn (suhoor). Dates dipped in milk or combined with yogurt are a classic iftar treat since it is reported that this is how the prophet Muhammad broke his fast.
When Will Ramadan (Holy Month) Start in The UAE in 2024?
Ramadan is predicted to commence on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, and extend for 29 days until Tuesday, April 9, 2024, adhering to the Islamic calendar. This variation in dates is due to the lunar nature of the Islamic calendar, which diverges from the fixed dates of the Gregorian calendar.
Traditionally, Ramadan progresses by approximately 10 days each year. Notably, in 2023, Ramadan was initiated on Thursday, March 23. Following Eid Al Fitr, the Islamic holiday, the first day will unfold on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
Visiting Dubai during Ramadan? Everything you need to know
If you want to visit Dubai between March and August, your trip will almost certainly overlap with the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a religiously significant month for Muslims in Dubai and across the world, culminating in the Eid-Al-Fitr festival. Ramadan is set to begin on March 11, 2024.
Although the actual start of Ramadan might vary based on the dates of the lunar Islamic calendar (where it is always the ninth month), it's worth noting that staying in Dubai during Ramadan can differ from staying outside Ramadan.
A considerable number of expatriates and citizens of different nations and religions live in Dubai. It is impossible to stress the significance of being aware of and respecting local culture and diversity.
Is It Good to Visit Dubai During Ramadan?
If you want to visit Dubai during Ramadan, you need to have a basic awareness of proper behavior and the regulations that are expressed and unsaid in Dubai during Ramadan. That is why, whether you are a visitor or relocating to Dubai, we have created this guide to assist you in understanding what to expect.
Visiting Dubai during Ramadan is one of the best things to do for tourists
Ramadan in Dubai: What to expect?
During Ramadan, Dubai may appear to be slower than usual since work schedules often adjust to suit fasting hours. Fasting is difficult in Dubai at this time of year due to the high heat.
If you're visiting Dubai for business and must work during Ramadan, be aware that shorter working hours and mid-day breaks are frequent. Because many workplaces close at 2:45 p.m., it's preferable to plan your meetings in the late morning. It is a time of prayer and family time for most fasting Muslims.
As the sun sets in the evening, you may hear cannons booming across Dubai to signal the fasting day's conclusion and the iftar's commencement.
Food and drink during Ramadan in UAE & Dubai
It is illegal to eat, drink, or smoke in public during Ramadan? This is a significant consideration for non-Muslims visiting Dubai during Ramadan. If you are not a Muslim and reside in Dubai or are visiting, you are permitted to eat and drink during the day. However, you are supposed to do it in the privacy of your (hotel) room, a public bathroom, or your home or apartment.
During Ramadan, many eateries remain closed during the day. The food courts and restaurants of Dubai's largest shopping malls, such as the Dubai Mall, may be open during the day. Typically, they are covered with enormous screens at the entrance so that Muslims who observe Ramadan cannot peek inside and see others eating. If you're seeking meals during Ramadan, you can head to numerous roadside restaurants, which are normally only open throughout Ramadan. Supermarkets are also open every day, so you can get your groceries and drinks there.
Tasting food & drink during Ramadan in UAE & Dubai
Iftar in Dubai during Ramadan
When the sun sets, all restaurants in Dubai reopen, and all Muslims can eat and drink. You can eat and drink in public after sunset as a non-Muslim. Please keep in mind that some restaurants only open an hour after sundown to give the employees time to eat.
What Should Travelers Eat During Iftar in UAE?
Iftar in UAE is another name for the supper eaten after sunset. During Ramadan, several eateries provide a special Iftar meal. If you are in Dubai during Ramadan, we recommend that you purchase an Iftar meal. Iftar meals are frequently served like a buffet, allowing you to select the foods you want to eat.
Dubai's pubs and clubs are normally open during the fixed month, although the music is usually quieter. During Ramadan, performances by musicians and DJs, as well as live music in pubs and clubs, are severely curtailed.
What Things to Do During Iftar in UAE?
Iftar is a Ramadan ritual in Dubai that is definitely worth experiencing.
- Traditional tents are put up across the city;
- Delicious meals are served to everyone, whether Muslims are fasting or not.
- Before proceeding with the rest of the meal, fasting Muslims traditionally break their fast with a drink of water and dates.
- After sunset, practically all restaurants, regardless of cuisine, provide an interesting Iftar. Iftar is often served as a buffet of appetizers, side dishes, main courses, and desserts at a fair price.
- It is normal to get Iftar invites from friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Be courteous and accept when possible.
After all, it's a terrific chance to learn about a significant local custom. Please dress modestly if you are attending an Iftar.
Eating & drinking after sunset is called Iftar in Ramadan
Is it legal to drink alcohol in Dubai during Ramadan?
In recent years, Dubai's restrictions for residents and visitors who do not fast during Ramadan have gotten even more relaxed. For example, 10 years ago, you couldn't find a bar open during Ramadan.
But everything has changed now. Are there any bars operating in Dubai during Ramadan? The short answer is yes once more. There are a handful of pubs in Dubai that serve alcohol after sundown, so it is feasible to go out during Ramadan. They are generally seen at hotels since they have the necessary special permissions to operate throughout Ramadan.
Dubai's Nightlife during Ramadan
Nightlife in Dubai is significantly calmer during Ramadan, and there are no parties, ladies' evenings, or nightclubs open, even though the offer is changing.
This is not to say that Dubai goes to bed early during Ramadan; far from it. After the fast is broken, the city takes on a celebratory air, and you'll find people in the city's night marketplaces and retail centers.
Which Places to Visit in Dubai During Ramadan at Night?
Fasting Muslims and other nationalities in Dubai can be spotted wandering through the night markets after Iftar, drinking tea, munching, buying, and so on. It's a terrific reason to explore Dubai's nightlife in a new way.
Many commercial malls also stay open late, offering a fantastic opportunity to do some shopping.
What should you wear in Dubai during Ramadan?
Ramadan in Dubai is a time of prayer and humility. In public places such as shopping malls, workplaces, theaters, and parks, men and women are recommended to cover their shoulders and knees. Wear a jacket or scarf over sleeveless or tank shirts. Long skirts, dresses, and slacks are preferable to knee-length clothing and shorts this month.
Some tips for tourists when taking part in Ramadan in Dubai
Should I visit Dubai during Ramadan? Some information you need to know
Tips for tourists when visiting Dubai during Ramadan
Despite the fact that many Dubai residents leave the city during Ramadan. If you prefer the concept of fewer crowds and reduced hotel costs, Ramadan is a fantastic time to visit Dubai. Ramadan normally occurs in the summer or early summer, and because the seasons aren't precisely the same, it's a nice time to take a vacation. The low tourist season is the best time to visit Dubai.
If you prefer a more tranquil atmosphere, Ramadan is a great time to visit Dubai. The benefit is that popular and otherwise busy destinations such as the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa will be less crowded.
Who doesn't like a bit more relaxed shopping and sightseeing? There are also fantastic bargains and discounts available.
The United Arab Emirates e-visa for international tourists
Finally, visitors should check that they have all the essential documentation and visas to enter the UAE. Most visitors from other nations need a visa to enter the UAE. Travelers can apply for a UAE visa online on the UAE Visa Services website to expedite the procedure and avoid visiting an embassy or consulate. Your traveling experience to discover Ramadan in UAE would be more fantastic and ensured if you have UAE travel health insurance. Visitors may make the most of their journey to the greatest natural sites in the UAE by following these guidelines and being prepared.