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Do’s & Don’ts of Visiting Dubai During Ramadan

Visiting Dubai during Ramadan offers a unique experience filled with fewer crowds, a slower pace of life, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant decorations. 

It’s a time when the city takes on a different vibe, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions. 

Some people may be hesitant about traveling during this time.

But understanding the significance of Ramadan and the adjustments to be made can help you.

You can enjoy a memorable and respectful visit to Dubai during this holy month with proper etiquette and awareness. 

In this guide, you’ll discover the do’s and don’ts to ensure a fulfilling and unforgettable experience in Dubai during Ramadan while respecting local customs.

Do’s During Ramadan in Dubai

Here are some things you can and must do on your visit to Dubai during Ramadan:

Respectful Greetings

Greet others, especially those fasting, with ‘Ramadan Kareem’ or ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ as a sign of respect and goodwill.

Have Patience and Understanding

Exercise patience and understanding towards those fasting.

The summer heat can make fasting challenging and decrease productivity and energy levels.

Community Engagement

Participate in charitable community initiatives during Ramadan, such as volunteering time or contributing efforts, to symbolize the spirit of compassion prevalent in the city.

Restaurant Reservations

Make reservations in advance if planning to enjoy iftar at a restaurant, as they tend to be busy during this time.

Traffic Awareness

Expect increased traffic on the roads just before iftar, and practice patience while navigating the crowds of people returning from mosques or communal iftars.

Attend a Traditional Iftar Feast

Attend a traditional iftar feast, where lavish spreads are offered after the final prayer, often with special offers at restaurants across the city.

Be respectful and let the fasters eat first if invited to an iftar celebration, as it’s a chance to immerse oneself in Emirati culture.

Watch the Nightly Cannon Firing

Witness the nightly cannon firing, a longstanding tradition in Dubai.

Five cannons are fired across the city to mark sunset and the end of the day’s fast.

Catch the cannon firing at locations like Burj Park, Dubai City Walk, Madinat Jumeirah, or the Eid prayer grounds for a memorable experience.

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Don’ts During Ramadan in Dubai

Here are some things you can and must not do on your visit to Dubai during Ramadan:

Avoid Erratic Driving

When on the roads during Ramadan, be cautious of erratic maneuvers due to fasting drivers eager to get home for iftar celebrations.

Traffic Avoidance

It’s advisable to avoid driving altogether around sunrise and sunset, as congestion and questionable driving behavior can make navigating the roads challenging.

Public Music Etiquette

Refrain from playing loud music in public spaces during Ramadan, as music is generally turned off; listening with headphones is acceptable.

Respectful Behavior

Avoid engaging in public displays of affection, such as hugs, kisses, or holding hands, as these are frowned upon during Ramadan.

Modest Dressing

Dress modestly by avoiding skimpy clothing like plunging necklines, mini-skirts, or tank tops to respect local customs and traditions.

Recommended Reading: How should tourists dress in Dubai: 101 styling guide

Avoid Public Intoxication

Refrain from public intoxication, as drunken behavior is not tolerated in Dubai, especially during Ramadan.

Photography Etiquette

Obtain permission before photographing iftar traditions or individuals, as photographing people in Dubai requires their advance consent.

Respect Prayer Time

To show respect for their religious practices, avoid speaking to or walking in front of somebody while they are praying.

Maintain Peaceful Behavior

Refrain from engaging in debates, arguments, or picking fights during Ramadan, as it is a month of peace and serenity. 

Avoid swearing in public, as it is considered offensive.

Plan Dinner Reservations

Don’t leave dinner reservations until the last minute, as restaurants across Dubai can become much busier during Ramadan as families gather to break the fast together.

Are you planning to visit Dubai during Ramadan? Here are some helpful guides for you:

FAQs

  1. What are the guidelines for tourists in Dubai during Ramadan?

    When visiting Dubai during Ramadan, show respect by refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. 

    These actions should be avoided out of consideration for those who are fasting. 
    However, you can enjoy these activities in your hotel. 

    Tourists should avoid engaging in aggressive behavior, playing loud music in public, wearing inappropriate clothing, swearing, or refusing invitations to join someone for Iftar.

  2. Can tourists drink alcohol in Dubai during Ramadan?

    During Ramadan, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol in public places, as this is not permitted during the holy month in Dubai. 

    Hotels and resorts may serve alcohol after 7 pm, but only one outlet in each hotel can do so. 

    It’s also prohibited to eat or drink in public during fasting hours.

  3. Are shops open in Dubai during Ramadan?

    Yes, shops in Dubai are open during Ramadan, but their operating hours may differ. 

    Typically, shops are open from 10 am to midnight from Monday to Thursday and from 10 am to 1 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

    Restaurants and cafes also serve diners from 10 am to 2 am daily during Ramadan.

  4. Is it worth visiting Dubai during Ramadan?

    Despite some adjustments to daily life, Dubai remains open for business during Ramadan, offering unique opportunities for tourists. 

    Many popular attractions are less crowded, and upscale hotels often host special events for Iftar, making it an ideal time to plan a visit to Dubai.

  5. Do hotels in Dubai serve food during Ramadan?

    Yes, many hotels and resorts in Dubai host elaborate feasts during Ramadan, inviting guests to join in the festivities. 

    These Iftar meals feature delicious dishes from the Middle East and beyond, providing a memorable dining experience for visitors.

  6. Where to go at night in Dubai during Ramadan?

    For a nostalgic experience, visitors can explore the Al Rigga Night Market in Old Dubai, which offers a variety of shopping and dining options.
     
    This free-to-enter market is a great place to sample Asian street food and shop for Ramadan essentials.

  7. Can I go to the beach in Dubai during Ramadan?

    Yes, beaches in Dubai are open during Ramadan, and swimwear is accepted. 

    However, visitors should be mindful of covering up as they leave the beach to maintain modesty in public areas.

  8. What clothes do you wear in Dubai during Ramadan?

    It’s recommended to dress modestly in loose-fitting clothing that covers the shoulders and knees, especially during Ramadan. 

    This shows respect for local customs and traditions during the holy month.

  9. Are malls closed during Ramadan in Dubai?

    No, malls in Dubai remain open during Ramadan, with extended operating hours. 

    Visitors can enjoy shopping and dining past midnight, and suhoor, meals before dawn, are available into the early morning hours.

  10. Is it possible to go on a desert safari during Ramadan?

    Yes, desert safaris are available during Ramadan.

    This allows tourists to experience the beauty of the desert landscape and enjoy traditional activities.

  11. What is the best thing about Ramadan in UAE?

    One of the unique aspects of Ramadan in the UAE is the Taraweeh prayers, which are special night prayers held throughout the month. 

    These prayers allow the community to unite, recite the Quran, and reflect on their faith.

  12. Does Ramadan affect Dubai hotels?

    Local laws regarding hotel services have been relaxed during Ramadan to accommodate non-Muslim guests. 

    Hotels continue to serve food and drinks throughout the day, allowing guests to enjoy their stay without disrupting.

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