Ramadan Hours in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Ramadan (Ramadhan / Ramazan / Ramzan / Ramdam / Ramadaan) is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan time is an important period of religious significance for Muslims who observe the period with daytime fasting, worship and spiritual contemplation.  The exact timing is determined by the sighting of the moon and varies with the lunar calendar. Ramadan in UAE will be approximately from 10th July to 9th August in 2013. Marking the end of Ramadan is a public holiday for Eid Al Fitr. Ramadan is a time of prayer and Muslims spend more time praying than at other times.

For travelers, it is an interesting time to be in as hotel prices usually fall and it can be worth visiting the city during Ramadan. According to the Labour laws, all companies are obliged to shorten the working day by two hours in Ramadan time in UAE. Many businesses, schools and shops change their hours slightly. The city tends to be very quiet during the day and night-time activity increases during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi.

It is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours during the Ramadan time. The law also applies to everyone and it is not allowed to eat or drink while travelling in a car or bus. Cafes and restaurants are closed during the day. Even at hotel pools and beaches there won’t be any eating/smoking. Four and five star hotels usually have some restaurant facilities for non-fasting guests hidden from public view. Higher end hotels will have room service and possibly one or two outlets open during the day. It is possible to get meals delivered by room service. Supermarkets and service stations are open with food and drink available for purchase but don't consume in the place of purchase, in public, or in your car during the day.

Ramadan fasting begins everyday at the break of dawn, which is also the start of the Salat Al Fajr (morning prayer) time. Fasting ends at sunset or with the call of Salat Al Maghrib (prayer at sunset) time.  Rules of fasting include cultivating a good behavior, abstaining from food, liquids and sexual activity from dawn to sunset. Abu Dhabi hotels feature Ramadan tents where Iftar and Suhoor are served. Iftar is usually fixed price; Suhoor is from late in the evening and is with a minimum charge. Shisha (also called as nargile, hookah or water pipe) is also available in Ramadan tents. Iftar (the meal where the day fasting is broken) is a huge daily celebration in the evening. Diners sit at the table waiting for the call for prayer to announce that fasting is over. Typically someone who is fasting will sip water or juice and eat a couple of dates, then perform a short prayer before starting a big Iftar meal. Restaurants in Abu Dhabi city offer good value fixed-price Iftar buffets.  Alcohol is not available with Iftar buffets. There is no music or dancing allowed during Ramadan, so nightclubs are closed. Pubs and bars usually open from around 7:00 pm, but there is no live music. Many shops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai stay open until midnight and the city’s many shisha cafes and some restaurants stay open until the early hours.