Everything you need to know about eating in Dubai during Ramadan
If you happen to visit Dubai during Ramadan, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the city in one of its most reflective and peaceful states. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for 29 or 30 days. Visitors are asked to respect this time and refrain from eating or drinking in public – but the city also caters well to those who are not fasting. Here’s what you need to know.
What do I need to know about eating in Ramadan?
Eating, drinking (including water), smoking and listening to music are not allowed in public during the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset. However, a number of dining spots remain open and discreetly serve food to non-Muslims, particularly in shopping malls and hotels, as well as a handful of independent eateries. These venues are curtained off and obstructed from public view. Scroll down to see some options.
Can I drink water?
To be respectful to those who are fasting, you are expected to refrain from drinking water in public. The same applies for chewing gum. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those suffering from illness are exempt from observing the fast, but it is recommended to consume food and drink in private.
When does everybody eat?
During the month, Muslims eat between the hours of sunset and sunrise, so it’s OK to enjoy a meal in public during this time. Every evening, Muslims break their fast with family and friends over a meal known as Iftar. There are a host of Iftar tents set up throughout the city and everyone is welcome to join the community and participate in this aspect of the local culture – including non-Muslims. This is followed up in the very early hours of the morning with Suhoor. During the day, however, there are plenty of options for non-Muslims to enjoy a bite to eat.
Where can I eat during the day?
1. Shopping malls
Many of Dubai’s biggest malls cater to non-Muslims during Ramadan, with food courts concealed from the view of passers-by but still serving food to those not fasting. During Ramadan, many of the shopping malls such as Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and more also extend their opening hours to accommodate different eating times. Check out their websites for updated timings.
Located in Dubai’s upmarket art and financial district, this newly-opened DIFC restaurant is offering a French and Italian-inspired Ramadan menu for lunch and dinner.
Open 12pm-3pm; 7pm to 11pm. +971 4 372 2444
3. Bistro Des Artes
Overlooking the sparkling marina, this Parisian bistro in The Address Hotel Dubai Marina is open all day during Ramadan serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Open 7.30am to 11pm daily. +971 4 551 1576
Expect all-day dining and a special Arabic-inspired Ramadan set menu at this contemporary Indian restaurant in DIFC.
Open 12pm until late daily. +971 4 706 0900
This mountain chalet-inspired spot in Souk Madinat Jumeirah will serve food all day during the month.
Open 12pm to 2am (weekdays); 12pm to 3am (weekends). +971 4 430 8550
Boasting locations on both sides of the city, this healthy spot is serving organic, vegan and gluten-free dishes all day during Ramadan.
Emaar Square, Downtown Dubai: open 7am to 4pm (closed Friday and Saturday). +971 4 420 4572
Dubai Marina: open 7am to 5pm daily.