Insights on Ramadan in 2024_UAE

Ramadan, the month of a fast, is the holiest month on the Islamic calendar (Hijri Calendar). This month occurs immediately after Shaaban and is followed by Shawwal. Ramadan is also recognized for fasting, prayers, family gatherings, and charitable vibes. You will see Ramadan decorations, crescent moons, and lanterns on the streets around the UAE. Many restaurants also offer buffets for breaking the fast (Iftar) and pre-fasting meals (Suhur). 

Ramadan Overview in UAE:


Ramadan marks the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, and for the first time in decades, it coincides with the spring season this year. This brings about a more moderate climate, facilitating an easier fasting experience for Muslims compared to previous years. The fasting hours are shorter than those observed in Ramadan 2023 and preceding years, with a slight variance in day length due to shifts in sunrise and sunset times.


The timing of prayers during Ramadan varies daily and across different emirates. Notably, there is a gradual 10-minute time shift between the commencement and conclusion of Ramadan in Dubai. To illustrate, on the initial day of Ramadan 2024, the Fajr prayer and commencement of fasting are scheduled for 4:46 AM. The Iftar meal, marked by the Maghrib Prayer, will occur at 6:48 PM. Conversely, individuals will begin fasting at 4:31 AM and conclude at 6:58 PM on the concluding day. It's important to acknowledge that these timings may differ in other emirates.

2024 Ramadan Date


Ramadan in the UAE is expected to commence on March 11, 2024, marking the beginning of a month-long period of fasting, prayer, and self-discipline. During this time, the cities come alive with a unique Ramadan spirit, characterized by the greeting Ramadan Kareem, meaning Happy Ramadan.


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Ramadan Activities and Practices in UAE


A significant majority, approximately 75%, of residents in the UAE adhere to Islam, leading to a widespread observance of fasting during Ramadan across the Emirates. Religious practices mark this holy month in the UAE and offer a range of activities.

  • Fasting:

Fasting is a central practice during Ramadan, involving abstinence from eating, drinking, and smoking from dawn to dusk. As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting encourages spiritual discipline and reflection. Most of the UAE's population, consisting of locals and residents, actively participate in this sacred observance.

  • Prayer:

Prayer holds a special significance during Ramadan, with the Taraweeh Prayer becoming a distinctive feature. Conducted after Isha, this prayer can be performed individually or in a group at home or in a mosque. Consequently, mosque attendance in the UAE experiences a notable surge during Ramadan.

  • Reflection:

The detachment from material indulgences such as eating, drinking, and smoking provides individuals with an opportunity for introspection and spiritual reflection. This aspect of Ramadan cultivates a sense of calmness, spirituality, and compassion among Muslims in the UAE.

  • Community Work & Charity:

Community work and charity play pivotal roles in the observance of Ramadan in the UAE. Many individuals seize the month to engage in charitable endeavors, extending assistance to those in need. Various UAE charities actively contribute to distributing people's donations and contributions to the less fortunate during this holy period.

  • Bonding with Family:

Furthermore, Ramadan serves as a time for strengthening familial bonds. Muslim families unite to break their fast, share Suhoor, and engage in collective prayers. Family gatherings hold significant value during Ramadan, prompting the decoration of homes with cozy Ramadan-themed adornments to celebrate the month collectively.


Transformations During Ramadan in The UAE


Ramadan brings various religious and cultural transformations to the lives of people in the UAE, including Muslims and non-Muslims. The Muslim community undergoes subtle shifts in attitude and lifestyle during this sacred month, with notable alterations in formal governmental structures, particularly concerning working hours. Here are some key aspects to consider:

UAE Work Hours During Ramadan:


As Ramadan is characterized by active nights filled with prayers, gatherings, TV shows, and outdoor activities, there is a corresponding adjustment in working hours. Annually, the UAE government announces reduced working hours for both public and private sectors, except those with job requirements that necessitate longer hours. Many government offices close early, with working hours minimized to 6 instead of 8 hours a day during Ramadan.

  • UAE Ramadan Working Hours: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

UAE Restaurants:


Most restaurants and cafes across the UAE remain closed during the daytime, preparing for the evening opening at Iftar time. Many establishments offer buffets featuring a variety of pastries, salads, and soups, catering to the preferences of those observing a 10-hour fast alongside a range of main dishes.


Additionally, Iftar tents serve as popular dining destinations for Muslims and non-Muslims, providing opportunities to partake in Ramadan gatherings and activities. These tents open at sunset, offering lavish buffets for Iftar and Suhoor meals. Below are details of some renowned restaurants with buffet options:


Ramadan Majlis at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai:

  • Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai

  • Working Hours:

    • 7:00 PM – 2:00 AM (Sunday – Wednesday)

    • 7:00 PM – 3:00 AM (Thursday – Saturday)

The Abu Dhabi Edition:

  • Location: Marina, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi

  • Working Hours:

    • Iftar: Sunset – 9:30 PM (Daily)

    • Suhoor: From 10:30 PM (Daily)

Tamba Restaurant:

  • Location: Central Market Project, Abu Dhabi

  • Working Hours: 12:00 PM – 4:00 AM (Daily)


  • Location: Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi

  • Working Hours:

    • 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM (Sunday – Friday)

    • 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM (Saturday)


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Tips for Expats during Ramadan in UAE:

Experiencing Ramadan can be a culturally enriching opportunity for expatriates living in the UAE. Here are some tips:

  • Respect Traditions: Embrace and respect Ramadan's local customs and traditions.

  • Be Mindful of Fasting Hours: Be aware of the fasting hours and avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight.

  • Participate in Charity: Engage in charitable activities or volunteer for community initiatives to experience the true spirit of Ramadan.

  • Join Iftar Gatherings: Accept invitations to iftar gatherings, fostering connections with local communities.

  • Plan Leisure Activities: Be mindful of the adjusted operating hours and plan leisure activities accordingly.


Ramadan in the UAE is not merely a religious observance but a cultural celebration that brings people together in the spirit of compassion, generosity, and unity. As the country welcomes this sacred month, blending traditional practices and modern adaptations creates a unique and vibrant tapestry of experiences. Expatriates and locals find common ground in the shared values of family, community, and faith, making Ramadan in the UAE a genuinely enriching and unforgettable experience.


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