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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

Ramadan Timings Abu Dhabi: Useful changes you need to know

Updated: 12th February 2024

Whether you are working and living in Abu Dhabi or just visiting during Ramadan, this updated blog offers insights into the Ramadan timings which impact daily life in the city.


Typically, government departments issue circulars leading up to Ramadan outlining any changes to timings or conditions that must be adhered to. For example, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) announces alternations to Ramadan working hours for employees in mainland companies.

Government, businesses and school timings during Ramadan

Ramadan working hours in Abu Dhabi

During Ramadan, working hours are reduced by two hours per day for both Muslims and non-Muslims.


Ministries and government departments in Abu Dhabi typically operate on reduced hours from 9am - 2pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am-11:30am on Fridays.


Private sector businesses typically adjust their opening hours from 9am – 3pm.


Ramadan school hours in Abu Dhabi

School timings are also reduced during Ramadan in line with official announcements made by the government in the lead up to the Holy Month. Lunch-time finishes can be expected Monday to Thursday, and even earlier finishes on Fridays to accommodate Friday Prayers.


Shopping and restaurant timings during Ramadan

Shopping mall timings during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi

Shopping malls extend their opening hours into the night and sometimes early mornings, with midnight and 1am closing times. Timings vary between malls.


Restaurant timings during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi

While restaurants are permitted to open during the day in Abu Dhabi, some will stay closed, using the time to prepare lavish Iftar buffets. Iftar, the sunset meal when Muslims break their fast, is the busiest time of the day for restaurants during the Holy month. Some may extend their closing times, particularly those located in shopping malls, to align with their special Ramadan timings, and those which offer Suhoor dining.  Suhoor is the meal that Muslims have before starting their fast each day and it can be eaten at any time before dawn.


An important note is some restaurants and fast food outlets may opt to close for a short period at sunset to allow their employees time to break their fasts.


Grocery stores and supermarket timings during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi

Most grocery stores and supermarkets maintain standard opening hours during Ramdan. However, some small grocery shops, called Baqala in Abu Dhabi, may close briefly at sunset, reopening after Iftar.


Grocery and food delivery delays during Iftar

Food delivery apps encourage early ordering to avoid delivery delays during Iftar, the busiest time of the day. Some apps may pause processing orders during Iftar to allow delivery riders to break their own fasts. Grocery deliveries directly from a local Baqala may take longer than usual at sunset, especially if they close for 30 minutes during Iftar.


Travelling, Parking and Transport Timings During Ramadan

Ramadan Paid Parking Times in Abu Dhabi

Sometimes the timings for on-street, paid parking in are updated in Abu Dhabi for the month of Ramadan. Interestingly, in 2023 the paid parking times didn’t change. For confirmation, check for announcements at the time in the local media, or with official sources, such as the Integrated Transport Centre.

Paid Parking Timings: On-street, paid parking times may be updated for Ramadan. Check for any special Ramadan rules relating to parking in the city with MAWAQif, which manages Abu Dhabi’s parking spaces. For reference, the standard paid parking times in Abu Dhabi are from 8am – 12 midnight, Monday to Saturday. It’s free on Sundays and public holidays.

DARB Toll Gate Timings: Abu Dhabi's DARB system charges traffic passing through the toll gates during peak hours. Given the changes to working hours during Ramadan, it is likely that DARB’s peak hours are adapted. Check for special Ramadan timings with DARB. For reference, in 2023, DARB timings changed to 8am – 10am and 2pm – 4pm during Ramadan. The standard timings are 7am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm, Monday to Saturday. It's free on Sundays and public holidays.

Public Transport Timings: Any changes to Abu Dhabi’s public bus timetables and Automated Rapid Transit (ART) schedule during Ramadan will be announced by the Integrated Transport Centre at the time.

Road Safety During Ramadan

Exercise caution and patience on the roads in the late afternoons/early evenings in the lead up to sunset. At this time, roads across Abu Dhabi will be at their busiest, with all traffic in a rush to reach their destination before Iftar. Be especially mindful of delivery riders on bikes also rushing to get food orders delivered before Iftar.


Setting up your business in Abu Dhabi during Ramadan

Let Gateway Group guide you through the cultural nuances of Ramadan as your set up your business in Abu Dhabi. Leverage our decades of experience and cultural expertise to:

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  • Streamline your company formation: We handle the setup process. You focus on your business.

  • Embrace cultural sensitivities: Ensure your messaging and operations resonate seamlessly during Ramadan.

  • Personalized Guidance: Gain expert insights to benefit your business.

Set up for success. Gateway Group's streamlined Abu Dhabi business setup service removes the anxiety of the unfamiliar.

Scan the QR code to send a Whatsapp message to Awais Chughtai, he's ready to help you get started.


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


First published on 27th May 2017 under the title Ramadan 2017 in Abu Dhabi.

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Written by Jenny Hunt

Founder, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East

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