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  • Nathan Hunt

Ramadan Permits no longer needed for Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Updated 4th February 2024

A significant change in Abu Dhabi's ever-evolving food and beverage scene has made it easier for restaurants to operate during Ramadan. Until 2019, F&B outlets wishing to serve food and beverages during daylight hours were obligated to undergo the annual ritual of securing a special Ramadan permit. Though not an arduous process, it added an extra layer of compliance and costs to the businesses. However, the Ramadan permit requirement was abolished in 2019, relieving food and beverage businesses of this administrative obligation. Effectively this means that restaurants and coffee shops can now seamlessly continue their operations throughout Ramadan, focusing on serving delicious food, without the burden of compliance logistics.

Ramadan screening no longer needed in Abu Dhabi

Restaurants and coffee shops operating during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi were also required to cover their windows and doors with curtains and erect screening to hide food courts in shopping malls, during fasting hours, to enable non-Muslims to discreetly eat and drink, hidden from public view. However, since 2019, the requirement for screening has been removed. This enables non-Muslims to eat and drink within restaurants and at mall food courts without the environment being impacted by unsightly screens.

What is the law about eating and drinking in public during Ramadan in the UAE?

Ramadan is the month when Muslims fast during daylight hours. Non-Muslims either visiting or living in the UAE are not required to fast during Ramadan. However, they are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public places during the fasting hours.

Can you eat and drink in restaurants during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi?

Non-Muslims purchasing food and drinks during fasting hours, can opt to take-away their purchase to consume in private, or dine-in at the premises of the restaurant or coffee shop, or in the designated food court area if they are at a shopping mall.

What are the penalties for eating and drinking in public during Ramadan in the UAE?

Under the UAE's Penal Code, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, the penalty for eating and drinking in public during Ramadan could have been either a fine of AED2,000 or up to one month in prison.

Ramadan permits and screens no longer needed for restaurants in Dubai

Since 2021, Ramadan permits to serve food and the requirement to erect screens to hide restaurants from public view in Dubai have been removed*.

Ready to start your dream restaurant in Abu Dhabi?

Let Gateway Group be your culinary compass.

Dreaming of turning your Abu Dhabi culinary vision into reality? Don't let the intricate legal and compliance process of setting up stall your creativity. Gateway Group, with over 25 years experience in the UAE's F&B scene, is your perfect partner to navigate the ins and outs of establishing your restaurant.

Stop stressing about:

  • Special approvals and licenses: We'll cut through the red tape, streamlining the process to get you serving ASAP.

  • Local regulations and compliance: Our expertise ensures your restaurant operates smoothly and safely.

  • Building your dream team: We connect you with top talents to turn your vision into delicious reality.

Instead, focus on what you love:

  • Crafting a unique menu that wows Abu Dhabi's food scene.

  • Designing a warm and inviting atmosphere for your guests.

  • Serving up exceptional experiences that keep them coming back for more.

QR code scan to contact me Awais Chughtai about opening your restaurant license in Abu Dhabi

Ready to get started? Let's discuss your vision and how we can make it a reality. Don't let the setup process be your recipe for disaster. Let Gateway Group arrange your Abu Dhabi company formation so you can savor the success of your restaurant!

Scan the QR code to send a Whatsapp message to Awais Chughtai, who is ready to help you.

Further Ramadan Reading:

  1. Mastering Ramadan: A Guide for Doing Business in the UAE in 2024

  2. 5 Ways To Help Your Business To Show Sensitivity And Cultural Respect During Ramadan

  3. Countdown to Ramadan: Q&A Guide to Timings in the UAE

  4. Preparing Your Business For Ramadan In The UAE This Year

  5. Ramadan Permits no longer needed for Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

  6. Abu Dhabi business during Ramadan - What you need to know

  7. Ramadan Timings Abu Dhabi: Useful changes you need to know.

  8. Business As Usual In Abu Dhabi During Ramadan (well almost)

  9. Working During Ramadan In Abu Dhabi - What To Expect

*Source: WAM

First published on 30th April 2019.

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Written by Nathan Hunt

Partner & CEO, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

UAE golden visa scan the QR code to start your application today with gateway group


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