There are many wonderful things about living in Dubai. The beautiful juxtaposition of the city’s futuristic appeal with the traditional values and customs is certainly one of them. There is no time quite like Ramadan in Dubai when the city celebrates the spirit of giving. Despite some of the COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed, it seems like Ramadan 2021 in Dubai will still be noticeably different to the pre-pandemic norm.
Nevertheless, there are still so many things to do in Dubai during Ramadan! From trying out mouth-watering culinary feasts to exploring charming night markets, the beautiful city will celebrate the Holy Month safely and responsibly.
Read on for everything you need to know about Ramadan 2021 in Dubai – things to do, special events, etiquette, COVID-19 guidelines, FAQs and a whole lot more.
GUIDELINES FOR RAMADAN 2021
Before delving into the many Ramadan events and activities happening all over the city, let’s first take a look at the currently in-place COVID-19 related directives. The government has announced a set of nationwide guidelines and restriction for Dubai Ramadan 2021:
- It has advised avoiding social gatherings and the distribution or exchange of meals – except among family members living in the same house. Family visits must also be limited.
- It is prohibited to distribute food in front of mosques and homes. Those interested can send their donations and Zakat electronically to the charities. Eateries around the city are not allowed to distribute meals as well.
- There won’t be any Ramadan tents this year. Charities in Dubai are providing free meals and other Ramadan essentials during the month.
- Muslims can perform Tarawih prayers by putting appropriate preventive measures in place based on the UAE government’s guidelines. The maximum duration of prayer for Isha and Taraweeh is 30 minutes.
- Mosques are open only for prayers, while women’s prayer areas and other parts of the mosques will remain closed. Iftar meals are not allowed inside the premises of the mosques.
- No decision has been made yet regarding the last ten days of Ramadan. The government will update the measures as per the situation of the pandemic.
- Lectures and seminars in mosques will remain suspended until further notice. Worshippers are also encouraged to read the Quran through their smart devices.
- Restaurants neither need curtains or screens to serve customers during fasting hours nor require any special permits.
- Bars are also allowed to open but should avoid loud music or any other live entertainment.
RAMADAN 2021 IN DUBAI: EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO
If you’re a new resident or visiting Dubai during the Holy Month, you may be wondering, ‘What can you do in Dubai during Ramadan?’ You’ll be glad to know that there is plenty to do, as it’s a month dedicated to spending time with your loved ones. Read on for fun things to do and some great Ramadan events in Dubai 2021!
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
While some of Ramadan’s customs and events will be affected by the pandemic, many things will remain much the same. For instance, during Ramadan, the malls in Dubai stay open for longer than usual. So, visitors can indulge in some late-night mall shopping at these famed retail and entertainment destinations.
The shopping mall hours during Ramadan in Dubai 2021 are typically until 01:00 am on weekdays and until 02:00 am on weekends. However, it is best to call the malls ahead and confirm, or check their official websites for more details. You can also find out about the exciting Ramadan offers in Dubai on top brands of clothing, electronics and other items.
There are also special Ramadan sales in Dubai across supermarkets in the city. LuLu Group has launched their money-saving Ramadan kits worth AED 80 and AED 120. These boxes include Ramadan essentials like sugar, rice and much more.
Another popular name in the UAE, Al Maya Group, has offered up to 50 per cent on selected items during Ramadan. Similarly, Westzone Group, a famous supermarket chain, announced up to 70 per cent discounts on specific goods.
Dubai’s Global Village has changed its opening timings for the Holy Month. The park is open from 6 pm to 2 am, accommodating Suhoor and Iftar. Here, you can explore the traditions of various countries with respect to Ramadan, shop at the night market and enjoy scrumptious food. This year, the attraction also offers traditional Iftar canons and fireworks on all weekends.
VISIT THE WATERPARKS
Grab the chance to visit some of Dubai’s best theme parks during Ramadan! From Legoland in Dubai Parks and Resorts to Laguna Waterpark at La Mer, many theme parks will be having Ramadan offers in Dubai 2021. The queues at these Dubai theme parks will also be shorter during Ramadan, so you don’t need to worry about waiting time!
Take a look at some of the deals for the city’s theme parks below, one of the most fun things to do during Ramadan in Dubai for tourists:
- Location: Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Deal: AED 275 per person
- Contact: 800-2629464
- Location: Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Ticket: AED 275 per person
- Contact: 800-2629464
BOLLYWOOD PARKS DUBAI
- Location: Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Ticket: AED 275 per person
- Contact: 800-2629464
- Location: La Mer, Jumeirah 1
- Ticket: Starting from AED 99 per person
- Contact: 800-7699
Dubai Parks and Resorts also offers a ”Two Parks Pass” that includes full-day access at MOTIONGATE Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park or BOLLYWOOD PARKS Dubai. Note that LEGOLAND parks are only included from Thursday to Saturday. These are amazing fun offers, particularly for UAE residents. Check out their official website to get more details.
TRY AN IFTAR OR SUHOOR
Many hotels and restaurants host Iftar and Suhoor events in Dubai, which feature lavish spreads and feasts in elaborate settings. You haven’t experienced Ramadan 2021 in Dubai unless you’ve tried one of these spectacular meals.
Coming to some of the best places to eat in Dubai during Ramadan – Bab Al Mansour offers delectable dishes from the Moroccan cuisine at Suhoor. You can also try Ewaan Lounge Palace Downtown that provides an authentic Arabic buffet and stunning views of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. Similarly, Olea, The Bay and Tasca by José Avillez are some of the high-end restaurants in the city offering dine in Iftar in Dubai.
If you want to enjoy an iftar feast without breaking the bank, you will be glad to know that there are many options for budget-friendly iftar in Dubai. You can choose from Feta Restaurant, The Daily Restaurant at Rove Hotels, Shamiana and many more offering iftar for under AED 150.
VOLUNTEER OR DONATE
Above all, Ramadan is a time for reflection and introspection, and one of the key activities Muslims engage in during the month is charity. This year the charities in Dubai deliver meals at home rather than the Ramadan tents because of the Covid-related restrictions in the UAE.
Residents can also partake in the spirit of giving in Dubai during Ramadan by volunteering or making charitable donations. These charities in Dubai are doing some amazing and inspiring work.
WATCH THE FIRING OF THE RAMADAN CANNONS IN DUBAI
One of the unique things to do in Dubai during Ramadan is to watch the firing of the cannon at sunset. The firing of the Ramadan cannon is an old tradition that signifies the time to break the fast. This age-old tradition is truly a spectacular sight that you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting Dubai during Ramadan.
Although the UAE Ramadan cannons are not announced yet, it is expected they will take place in several of Dubai’s hotspots, such as Atlantis The Palm, Burj Khalifa, Al Khawaneej, and the Eid Prayer ground in Al Mankhool. Like last year, canon firing might not be held in front of a live audience. Yet, it will be telecast on TV so that you can enjoy this amazing tradition from the comfort of your home.
VISIT CULTURAL CENTRES AND MUSEUMS
Wondering what are the best places to visit in Dubai during Ramadan? Take the chance to explore the cultural attractions in Dubai, such as the Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Delve into the UAE’s history and beginnings at the Dubai Museum, which also happens to be the oldest building in the city! Meanwhile, roam the winding alleys between traditional wind towers in the Al Fahidi Historical District.
Situated along the famous Dubai Creek, this historic district is where visitors can get a glimpse of old Dubai. The neighbourhood also hosts several specialised Dubai museums, art exhibits and festivals, along with charming cafes and restaurants.
It’s also home to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). Head down here if you want to learn more about the local Emirati culture and traditions. One of their special Ramadan events in Dubai is a traditional Iftar where guests can feast on delicious Emirati dishes and ask questions to the Emirati presenters. The SMCCU’s Ramadan events in Dubai are a memorable experience that you’ll cherish as a tourist or resident.
Take a look at the details below for these Ramadan activities in Dubai:
- Location: Al Fahidi Area, Bur Dubai
- Price: AED 3 per person (adults), AED 1 per person (kids)
- Contact: 04-353-1862
SHEIKH MOHAMMED CENTRE FOR CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING
- Location: House 26, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Al Musallah Street, Bur Dubai
- Contact: 04-353-6666
STAY ACTIVE WITH FUN SPORTS EVENTS
If go-karting is your thing, you must watch out for the Dubai Kartdrome SWS Ramadan Challenge, which will occur in the Dubai Autodrome. Mark the Holy Month by choosing to race and win amazing prizes! All you need to do is register on the official website and pay online for the desired SWC race. Sodi Kart, helmet, racing suit and gloves will be provided to the participants.
You can also go for the “Arrive and Drive Karting”. The participants get to race with a fleet of leisure karts at the indoor and outdoor Dubai Kartdrome. Their “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” offer during Ramadan is something you must be aware of. These races and sessions are definitely some of the best things to do during Ramadan 2021 in Dubai. Here’s the details:
SWS RAMADAN CHALLENGE 2021
- Venue: Dubai Kartdrome Outdoor CIK Circuit
- Duration: 12th April to 3rd May 2021
- Price: AED 475 (for 15 years old and above) and AED 420 (for 7 to 14 years old)
RAMADAN 2 FOR 1: BUY 1 KARTING SESSION AND GET 1 FREE
- Duration: 12th April to 8th May (Sundays and Mondays only)
- Timing: 10:00 am to 1:00 am
Call 800-KARTING or visit the official website of Dubai Autodrome for booking information.
In addition to these, tourists visiting Dubai during Ramadan and residents can enjoy many other attractions in the city! Just bear in mind that timings for these attractions may differ during Ramadan, so do check beforehand to avoid any disappointments.
DO’S AND DON’TS DURING RAMADAN IN DUBAI
If you’re visiting Dubai during Ramadan or a new resident in the city, we’ve compiled a list of Ramadan etiquettes to follow, which will ensure your time in the city during this special month is a wonderful one! Take a look at some of the most important do’s and don’ts in Dubai during Ramadan below:
CAN YOU EAT IN DUBAI DURING RAMADAN?
Previously, it was prohibited to consume food in public during the daytime in Ramadan. However, this year the government has allowed restaurants to serve food without curtains, dividers or facade. This means non-Muslims can eat in public during the holy month.
CAN YOU SMOKE DURING RAMADAN IN DUBAI?
Do not smoke in public. It is a punishable offence with a fine amounting up to AED 2,500 and sometimes even harsher punishments.
WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR DURING RAMADAN IN DUBAI?
Dress conservatively and respect the cultural values of the country you are in. Be modest in public places as much as possible.
CAN YOU DRINK ALCOHOL DURING RAMADAN IN DUBAI?
Unlike previous years, certain licensed restaurants and bars in Dubai are allowed to serve alcohol during the day, provided they have a special permit. It’s best to check with the establishment beforehand if they do serve alcohol during the daytime. Otherwise, alcohol is typically served at bars and licensed restaurants after sunset.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER RAMADAN ETIQUETTES FOR TOURISTS IN DUBAI?
One of the rules of Ramadan in Dubai is not play loud music and disturb the peace around. Even bars which are open during Ramadan in Dubai refrain from playing music, so it’s advisable to follow that lead and reduce the volume even in the privacy of your homes and cars.
Also, please do refrain from any public displays of celebration, including dancing in public, during Ramadan in Dubai.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF RAMADAN?
For expats and tourists who are experiencing Ramadan in Dubai for the first time, it’s important to know what Ramadan is about and understanding the cultural nuances associated with the Holy Month. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the holiest month for Muslims as it is believed the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan.
Ramadan is an important time of tranquility and reflection, enabling followers of Islam the opportunity to experience abstinence and enhance their understanding of the people around them. It’s a time to come closer to God, reconnect with family and friends and extend the ideals of benevolence and peace with everyone you encounter.
HOW LONG DO MUSLIMS FAST DURING RAMADAN?
During the course of Ramadan, Muslims will fast during the day when the sun is up, abstaining from food, drink and other forms of pleasure. Two meals are allowed during the day: one before sunrise (known as Suhoor) and one after sunset (known as Iftar). Muslims will break the fast when the sun sets, at the time of the Maghrib prayer.
WHAT IS THE SIGHTING OF THE MOON FOR DURING RAMADAN?
The sighting of the moon is an important aspect of breaking the fast during Ramadan. Each day the correct time to break the fast is announced through public communication channels including the radio. The prayers at Iftar are followed by a sumptuous meal with friends and family, which is enjoyed not just by Muslims in Dubai, but other expat communities too. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day holiday, Eid Al Fitr.
IS DUBAI CLOSED DURING RAMADAN?
No, apart from a few places, many of the attractions in the city will remain open throughout the Holy Month. You can easily visit theme parks, museums and other tourist destination in the city.
And that wraps up MyBayut’s guide to Ramadan 2021 in Dubai. We hope your time in Dubai during Ramadan is a memorable and wonderful experience. Working hours are generally shortened by two hours across companies in Dubai, so if it’s your first Ramadan in Dubai, make the most of the many things this glorious city has to offer during the Holy Month.
For those looking to plan their daily schedule during the Holy Month, here’s the Ramadan prayer timings in Dubai. Stay tuned MyBayut for more updates and news about life in Dubai.
Disclaimer: Due to the pandemic, many events might be cancelled, changed or postponed. Please check the official websites and MyBayut for the latest updates.