Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammed. Muslims observe Ramadan by fasting and prayer. A typical day for Muslims during Ramadan begins at dawn with the morning Call to Prayer and an early meal called ‘Suhoor.’ During the week, Suhoor is usually eaten at home, but on weekends, tents are often set up and restaurants will offer Suhoor. After sunrise, observant Muslims will not eat, drink, smoke, have bad thoughts, actions, or words. When the sun sets, many Muslims break the fast with a sip of water, then eating dates. A large feast called “Iftar” often follows. The fast, ‘Siyam’ begins again the following morning at sunrise.
If you are visiting Dubai during Ramadan, please know that many restaurants, stores, and attractions will be closed or have restricted hours. Visitors are also asked to show respect to their Muslim hosts by not eating, drinking, or smoking in public during Ramadan. Be advised that fines can be imposed on visitors who disrespect the tradition. There will still be restaurants open during the day to serve visitors and non-observers, but patrons will be served behind drawn drapes so that their activity is not visible from the street. Visitors are also cautioned regarding their dress during Ramadan. Women and men should ensure that their shoulders and legs (at least to the knees) are covered.
Ramadan ends with the Eid al-Fitr celebration, which will take place this year sometime between 14-17 June. The actual date is based on lunar sightings.
Ramadan is an interesting time to visit Dubai, as the city really comes alive during the evening hours. A list of Ramadan night-time activities is available at https://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/ramadan-festivities