Ramadan is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar; in 2013 Ramadan falls between July 10 and August 9. Throughout the month of Ramadan in Dubai and the rest of the UAE Muslims enter a period of spiritual contemplation and reflection on their faith in Allah. In fact, Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.
As you certainly know, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are a Muslim country and the socially accepted laws and regulations are governed by the tenants of Islam. To have a safe and enjoyable time when Ramadan is in Dubai, there are some things you should keep in mind.
During Ramadan, Muslims are prohibited from eating or drinking during the day. This fast is just one of the forms of moderation that Muslims assume during Ramadan. Not only do they refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, but they also refrain from smoking, gossiping and cursing. If you visit UAE during Ramadan, you should know that it is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public during the day. From sunrise to sunset during Ramadan in Dubai and in the UAE in general, all cafes and restaurants are closed. However, food and drink can be served in hotels during Ramadan, but even this is done discreetly.
Music is also prohibited by law during the daylight hours of Ramadan fasting, with the exception of some traditional oud music. Therefore, you cannot attend concerts or listen to music in bars and restaurants. Dubai nightclubs will be closed during Ramadan. Modest clothing is also recommended during Ramadan.
In general, the atmosphere during the day is more moderate and people take it easy until nightfall. People tend to work less hours and you will find some attractions closed or with less open hours. Once you hear the call to prayer that means the end of fasting, you will feel a distinctive change in the atmosphere in Dubai. Muslims break the fast with iftar food and some restaurants and coffee shops even open during the night hours. Restaurants are usually open from 7 pm during Ramadan in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. People eat, drink and spend time with their families during the night during Ramadan.
At the end of the month of Ramadan the Eid-Al-Fitr holiday is celebrated, which is a great celebration and during the next three days there is a party atmosphere in Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates.
So, if you visit Dubai or United Arab Emirates during Ramadan, remember:
- Do not eat, drink, smoke or curse in public during the day.
- Music is not allowed.
- Dress modestly with shoulders, neckline and covered knees.
- Shorter work hours and shorter schedules.
- When the sun goes down and you hear the call to prayer that means the end of fasting, you can eat and drink in public, but still maintain a high sense of decorum according to the ideals of Ramadan.
- The days following the month of fasting are a great celebration and an interesting time to visit Dubai.
There is no problem to travel to Dubai during Ramadan, you will still have an excellent vacation, but it is important to respect the religious beliefs of your host country.