After 2021, to provide support for the lockdown-hit tourism industry, Dubai created a less restrictive environment for non-fasting guests during Ramadan. This means restaurants that operate during fasting hours, can remove the screens and partitions around tables that were originally installed by law. Bars were also allowed to open, but the ban on loud music is to remain.
Each day of Ramadan, immediately after sunset and the call to evening prayer, the breaking of the fast begins - Iftar (literal translation means "breaking fast"). This is a time to meet with family and friends, and non-Muslims can also take part in the ceremony. Many restaurants and hotels in the UAE offer a variety of Iftar menus from traditional oriental dishes to european and national cuisine.
Traditionally, during Iftar, large tables and tents with treats for the poor are set up next to mosques.
During Ramadan, the working day is usually shortened whilst still maintaining full wages. This applies to non-Muslim employees as well. In 2023, government agencies will work during Ramadan from 9 am to 2:30 pm. And in the private sector, the working day during the periods of fasting will be reduced by 2 hours.
Ramadan ends with one of the largest public holidays in the UAE – Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated the next day after the appearance of the crescent moon in the sky, and is the beginning of the tenth month in the Islamic calendar – Shawwal. Usually, the authorities announce several days off in honour of this event with transport and shopping centers extending their working hours. On this holiday, Muslims attend mosques for Eid prayer. Sometimes prayers are held in the streets, sports arenas or other places that can accommodate large numbers of workshippers.
Local communities often arrange shared meals and children's parties, while Muslims give each other gifts and give to charity for those in need. On Eid al-Fitr holidays, fireworks, shows, dance performances, concerts and other festive events take place in Dubai and other emirates around the country.
In addition, on the eve of the holiday, sales are held in shopping centers. Water parks and other entertainment venues often offer discounts to mark the occasion as well.