Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Muslims. While Dubai is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, Islam is its official religion, meaning the place transforms during Ramadan. However, it’s a great time to visit and get once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences, but it helps to know a few things first.
An etiquette guide to enjoy Ramadan in Dubai
Your guide to enjoying Ramadan in Dubai
Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Muslims. It’s a time for reflection and increased devotion. Since Islam is Dubai’s official religion, the city transforms during the season, giving visitors a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience. However, make sure to follow these handy tips during your stay in the emirate.
Accept invitations for Iftar
If you are invited by an Emirati to dine at their home for an Iftar (the evening meal after sunset), it’s polite to accept and a wonderful way to experience authentic Emirati culture. Be sure to take a box of dates.
Share a Ramadan greeting
Greet people with Ramadan salutations: Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak!
Guidelines for dressing in public areas are well established. Try to be especially considerate during Ramadan, and cover your shoulders and knees in loose-fitting clothing.
Join in and contribute towards the many fundraising and charitable events, including Iftar meal drives, that are organised during the month.
Be patient and respectful
Practising patience and kindness is a way of supporting those who are fasting, and will be well received.
Check business hours
Most restaurants, shops and government agencies in the city have different working hours during Ramadan, so be sure to call ahead before you venture out.
Eat or drink in public
People are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and chewing gum in public. However, several restaurants are open during the day with discreet dining areas for those who are not fasting.
Turn up your stereo
If you happen to listen to music, use headphones and keep the volume low. Some lyrics may not be appropriate for people fasting and may interrupt or disturb their state of mind.
Smoke in public areas
Just like eating and drinking, you are expected to refrain from smoking in public during the fasting hours.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing