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Ramadan in The UAE in 2023 , Social Life During Ramadan , Operation of Banks and Shops , Operation of Food Courts, Cafes & Restaurants , Sales During Ramadan

Ramadan is a sacred time for Muslims all around the world as the month is accompanied by prayer and fasting for all believers. The Ramadan period has a direct impact on the lives of UAE citizens and affects residents and tourists. During this time, the operation of government institutions, entertainment venues and shopping malls change, and restrictions on the intake of water/drinks and food in public places are introduced.

The exact dates of Ramadan depend on the lunar phases. In 2023, the Holy Month will begin on March 23 and the Festival of Eid al-Fitr (Uraza Bayram), presumably falls on April 21. It is expected that April 21–24 will be declared public holidays in the UAE.

Believers during Ramadan should pray and fast, which means you cannot eat and drink shortly before sunrise and before sunset. The morning meal, before the start of the hour of fasting, is called Suhoor, and the evening meal; food for breaking the fast, is called Iftar.

Important information: The schedule of prayer times will be published on the website of the General Directorate of Islamic Affairs and Donations — https://www.awqaf.gov.ae/en

Fasting is optional for non-Muslims, pregnant and lactating women, people suffering from various serious illnesses and children under the age of 6 years.

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During Ramadan, non-Muslim residents and tourists can lead their normal lives, but with some restrictions. In public places, consuming food and drinks are not allowed, as well as chewing anything, smoking and openly showing any public display of affection. Within your own home or within a hotel, these rules do not apply. During Ramadan, you should also aim to wear more modest clothing that covers your shoulders, knees, and decollete.

Note: Visiting the UAE during Ramadan is the perfect time to get acquainted with the culture and traditions of the country and join the celebration during traditional Suhoor and Iftar.

During Ramadan, the working hours of government institutions, banks, shops, shopping centres, cafes and restaurants change. At the same time, you can enjoy going shopping, as many boutiques offer discounts on various products, from food to clothing.

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Government agencies, including banks, are expected to serve customers during Ramadan from Monday to Thursday from 9am. to 2:30pm. On Friday, these opening hours are reduced even further to 9am to 12pm.

Large shopping centers are often open to visitors until late at night, until 1am or 2am. Some smaller, local shops prefer to close during the day and reopen after sunset.

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Many F&B establishments operate as usual during Ramadan, but following special rules: for people who want to eat after sunrise and before sunset, there are special areas that are segregated from the rest of the hall, and in some establishments the windows may be blacked out. At the same time, there are cafes and restaurants in Dubai that only open during the evening, which must be taken into account before you reach your destination.

Many restaurants offer a special menu for visitors during Ramadan. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the culture of the Emirates in the themed iftar tents with cuisines from different Muslim countries.

Note: To clarify the opening hours of shopping centres, shops, cafes, restaurants and other entertainment venues, please check the information on their official websites.

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Many shopping malls and stores have great deals during Ramadan, including promotional prices on clothing, furniture, appliances and food and large supermarket chains offer discounts of up to 75% on selected product categories. Shopping malls attract shoppers with special offers and capsule collections, which makes it possible to purchase gifts for the whole family.

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