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Rules of Conduct in the UAE during Ramadan 2024

Material updated: 6.03.2024

Ramadan is a highly significant period of time for Muslims all around the world. This is due to the fact that during this month, the first parts of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Although non-Muslims don’t have to fast during Ramadan, they are expected to honour the traditions and customs of the sacred month. The UAE government has introduced an array of regulations for non-Muslims to follow, which we will review in the article below.

About Ramadan in the UAE in 2024

In 2024, the holy month of Ramadan will take place from 11 March to 9 April. Muslims spend this entire period praying and observing a strict fast — it is forbidden to eat or drink after sunset or before sunrise.

NBD! You are welcome to take a look at this article if you are interested in learning about various holidays in the UAE, from Flag Day and Islamic New Year to Commemoration Day and Arafat Day.

Rules for non-Muslims

During fasting hours, the UAE government prohibits non-Muslims from eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public, including cars. One is also expected to avoid manifesting any kind of aggressive behaviour, playing loud music, wearing revealing clothing and using vulgar language. At the same time, non-Muslims are encouraged to accept Iftar events to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan. Bars, which are open during Ramadan in Dubai, also refrain from playing loud music, and it is recommended that individuals not display any kind of celebrations in public, including dancing.

NBD! Please note that restrictions on eating and drinking in public places in the UAE do not apply to children. This means that you can freely feed a toddler or a young child when needed.

Other Things You Should Take into Account during Ramadan

When spending Ramadan in the UAE, you should remember the following:

  1. It is advised to avoid public displays of affection, including hand-holding between adults.
  2. One hour or so before sunset and Iftar, you may experience erratic driving, as Muslims may be in a rush to break their fast with their friends and families. Try not to react to these inconveniences with shouting, rude words or vulgar gestures.
  3. Stores may have different opening days/hours, with the majority closed for an entire day and open for most of the night. Large supermarkets and malls can stay open for up to 24 hours a day.
  1. Many tourist attractions will adjust their hours during the Holy Month, so it is recommended that you check business opening hours beforehand on the official website of the place you intend to visit.
  2. Select malls keep their dining venues open for non-Muslims, children and the elderly as an exception.
  3. In 2022, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) mandated all schools in Dubai to hold classes for no longer than 5 hours per day during Ramadan. According to Arabian Business, it is expected that the same directive will be announced this year as well.

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