Glowing streets, kindness on every corner and festivities galore, Ramadan is without a doubt, the most celebratory time in Dubai. The holy month of Ramadan is the Islamic Calender's most significant, with Muslims dedicating themselves to fasting and prayer, starting their fast at sunrise with Suhoor and ending it at sunset with Iftar.
Find everything you need to know about Visiting Dubai in Ramadan here - from rules & reguations to best iftars to celebrating Eid!
Visiting Dubai in Ramadan
Ramadan is the best time of the year to experience Emarati Culture at its finest- cultural activities are amped up across the country, with celebrations & cultural performances happening at every corner.
Crowds also tend to be lower during the day, making it easier to visit popular tourist attractions like adventure parks, shopping malls & souks.
Ramadan Dubai 2019 Dates
Ramadan begins upon the sigthing of the moon at the end of the month of Sha'aban due to which the dates vary every year. This year, Ramadan in Dubai is predicted to begin on May 6th.
Due to it's large population of Muslims, UAE laws modify during Ramadan to help make this holy month as effortless as possible for the fasting.
These are the things to remember to make sure your Ramadan visit to UAE goes without a hitch:
Though Ramadan Greetings are not mandatory in any way, they are a nice touch and will help you blend in with the Emerati traditions, making your experience even more culturally rich.
Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak are the most commonly used greetings during the holy month. Try wishing a local, you'll be surprisingly delighted with their elated response!
Eating & Drinking in Public
In consideration of those fasting, eating, drinking, smoking & chewing gum in public spaces before dusk during Ramadan is restricted.
Most restaurants remain closed before sunset, however, now there are increasing number of restaurants that keep their doors open for diners all day, but keep in mind that Alfresco dining is not allowed during this time.
There are designated eating areas in public spaces like Malls, Cinemas & Theme parks that are covered so that you can enjoy your meal at ease.
In-terms of alcohol consupmtion, bars that serve drinks will continue to do so during the day, considering their opening time. But again, don't forget to completely refrain from drinking outside the designated areas.
Etiquettes during Ramadan
Alongside food & drink restrictions, you must also abstain from public smoking, use of foul language and public display of affection.
Also remember to keep your volume in check as loud music is not allowed in public during the holy month, though your headphones are completely acceptable.
Lastly, be patient and kind towards others - it's supportive of those fasting and will be very well received.
Check the opening hours
Opening hours tend to significanty differ during ramadan, with most places opening their doors late during the day and staying open late after midnight.
To ensure that your plans don't get messed up, always check the opening hours of any venue you decide to visit.
The Ramadan timings of some of the most popular Dubai tourist destinations are as follows:
- Dubai International Airport: 24 hours
- Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa: 10:00am-2:00am
- IMG Worlds of Adventure: 11:00am-7:00pm (Sunday-Wednesday), 11:00am-10:00pm (Thursday-Saturday)
- Legoland Dubai: 4:00pm-12:00am (Adventure Park), 10:00am-7:00pm (Waterpark)
Travel & Transport
If you're planning to drive around the city, make sure to avoid the heavy traffic timings. The roads tend to be empty around the day but get heavily crowded closer to sunset. Try to avoid driving between 5:30pm-7:00pm as this is the peak traffic time.
Cabs are available across the city throughout the day. Metro operates from 5:30am-12:00 midnight (Saturday-Wednesday), 5:30am-1:00am (Thursday) & 10:00am-1:00am (Friday). Trams operate from 6:30am-1:00am (Saturday-Thursday) & 9:00am-1:00am (Friday).
What happens if your Break the Rules?
Engaging in any prohibited activities during the holy month of Ramadan can lead to a month in jail or a hefty fine of upto AED 2000. This applies to anyone in the country, whether they are locals or tourists.
Enjoying Ramadan like a Local
Now that we've gone over the rules, find out how you can enjoy Ramadan in Dubai to the fullest!
Iftar & Suhoor
Iftar is the meal with which Muslims break their fast at sunset and it's easily the highlight of the day during the holy month.
Iftar in Dubai is a very grand and festive event - with unique iftar experiences that will blow you away like Ramadan Tents and feasts with traditional dishes like Luqaimat & delicious dates that will keep you coming back for more.
Suhoor is the meal with which Muslims begin their fast at sunrise. Even though it happens just before the crack of dawn, it's still a grand affair.
Restaurants across the city hold Suhoor events that are equally as amazing as Iftars. There is an exciting hustle & bustle that you would never see in a city at 4:00am.
If you want to experience the best of Ramadan & Dubai culture, make sure to visit a few Iftars & Suhoors during your stay.
We've found the Best Iftar & Suhoor options around the city to help you choose -
Believe us, you haven't truly experienced Ramadan in Dubai without visiting a Ramadan tent, they are a very cultural Emarati experience. Hotels & restaurants across the city set up spectacular & large tents dedicated just to Iftar & Suhoor.
Large feasts are served to diners with delicious arabian food that will satisfy all your cravings.
Here are some of the Best Ramadan Tents in town:
- Asateer Ramadan Tent @ Atlantis The Palm
- Al Falak Ballroom @ Burj Al Arab
- Fairuz Ramadan Tent @ Fairmont The Palm
- Le Patio's Ramadan Tent @ St Regis Dubai
- Amaseena Majlis @ The Ritz Carlton JBR
Best Iftars in Dubai:
Dubai is home to some of the Best Iftars in the world, from dining in the tallest tower in the world to grand buffets. No matter what your taste, Dubai has something for everyone
Here are some of the Best Iftars in town:
- A La Turca
- Armani Hotel
- Em Sherif
Affordable Iftar Deals & Discounts:
Since Ramadan is the month of giving, many restaurants offer discounts and deals to make sure you can enjoy your meal without having to pay a fortune.
Here are some of the Best Ramadan Offers in Dubai:
- Sho Cho
- Bombay Bungalow
- Marina Social
- Aprons and Hammers
- Farzi Cafe
Best Suhoors in Dubai:
Though it may seem like too much of an effort, waking up for Suhoor is totally worth it with these amazing options. Check out these Suhoor offers by restaurants and you won't be able to fall asleep!
Here are some of the Best Suhoors in Dubai:
- Cafe Society
- The Marketplace
- Flow Kitchen
Discounts, Deals & Sales
Ramadan is also a great time in Dubai for shoppers.
Malls and shops are open till late night and are relatively empty during the day. Ramadan offers are everywhere - from clothes to accessories to electronics. Retail brands across the city take part in Ramadan & Eid Sales and you can snab products at a very low price and go back with bags full of Dubai shopping and gifts!
Ramadan Timings for Malls in Dubai:
- Dubai Mall: 10:00am-2:00am
- Dubai Marina Mall: 10:00am-1:00am
- Mall of the Emirates: 10:00am-1:00am
- Mirdiff City Centre/Deira City Centre: 10:00am-1:00am
Eid-ul-Fitr in Dubai
Eid-ul-Fitr, meaning the festival of breaking the fast is celebrated when the sighting of the moon marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The festival of Eid is all about togetherness, Muslims celebrate with their friends & families in a grand manner.
Eid is an exciting time in Dubai as the city lights up with many activities, cultural performances and grand feasts.
Opening hours of Malls, Tourist Attractions & Restaurants may vary during Eid and some might even be closed for the day, so make sure to check the opening hours if you make any plans for Eid.
Keep in mind that it's a national holiday so the streets and places will likely be very crowded.
Want to know more about Ramadan 2019 in Dubai? Keep an eye on our blog as we keep updating with new offers!