Ramadan Etiquette

Learn more about this special time in the Islamic calendar

Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Muslims, and is marked by peaceful self-reflection and increased devotion. Here’s a handy guide to cultural etiquette during Ramadan in Dubai.


Take part in an iftar

A significant part of Ramadan is the daily fast, with followers abstaining from all food and beverage during daylight hours. The start of iftar, the meal that marks the end of the fast, is signalled once the sun has set. Many of Dubai's restaurants will offer online Ramadan menus during the holy month, highlighting traditional dishes that are deeply nourishing.

Share a Ramadan greeting

Greet people with seasonal salutations: Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak! Those who take part in the holy month are open about their beliefs and happy to answer polite questions about what the period means to them.

Dress appropriately

Guidelines for dressing in public areas are well established. Try to be especially considerate and respectful during Ramadan, and cover your shoulders and knees in loose-fitting clothing. For visitors, Ramadan is an ideal time to immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture. Explore Dubai's many e-commerce platforms or boutique websites to get yourself some local attire, including embroidered abayas and hand-tailored kanduras.

Be charitable

A pillar of Ramadan is practising acts of kindness and grace. Join in and contribute towards fundraisers and charities throughout the month. Many stores and restaurants offer the opportunity to add a small amount to your receipt, with all proceeds going directly to a government-approved and licensed charity.

Learn about local culture

If you're in Dubai during Ramadan, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the city’s traditions and customs. For example, read about Dubai's history or look up landmarks like Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to better understand the nation’s roots.

Ramadan in Dubai

Eating in public

All visitors and residents are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and chewing gum in public during the day, though pregnant women and young children are exempt. If you’re not fasting, look up home delivery options.

Smoking in public

Just like eating and drinking, you are expected to refrain from smoking in public during the fasting hours.

Loud music

If you happen to listen to music, use headphones and keep the volume low. Some lyrics may not be appropriate and may disturb those who are fasting. In public areas, avoid music being played during daylight hours.