UAE announces Ramadan adjustments, Work hours, holidays, and parking updates

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, a sense of spirituality and tranquility envelops the UAE, marking a time of reverence and introspection for Muslims across the country.

With the anticipation of Ramadan, the traditional greeting of 'Ramadan Mubarak' reverberates throughout the Emirates, conveying blessings and well wishes for the sacred month ahead.

During the holy month of Ramadan, substantial modifications are made to the daily schedules of inhabitants, mirroring the distinctive ambiance of the fasting period. Ramadan is anticipated to begin on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in accordance with the Hijri calendar issued by the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), which corresponds to the lunar calendar.

In observance of Ramadan, both the public and private sectors in the UAE typically implement reduced working hours to accommodate the spiritual practices and cultural customs of fasting employees. While specific arrangements vary, most private sector employees enjoy a two-hour reduction in their workday, enabling them to participate in Ramadan's spiritual activities. Government offices also typically operate on reduced hours, with public sector employees working six-hour days instead of the usual eight.

Similarly, adjustments are made to school schedules during Ramadan to accommodate the observance of fasting and spiritual practices. Academic days are typically shortened to five hours, allowing students to partake in Ramadan-related activities. This year, many schools are expected to close during the first three weeks of Ramadan, coinciding with either the spring break or the end-of-term break.

In line with the observance of Ramadan, modifications are also made to parking regulations across the UAE. Paid parking hours are adjusted during the holy month, with specific details announced closer to the commencement of Ramadan.

Last year, Dubai implemented modified parking fees from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with two hours of free parking on weekdays. Similarly, Sharjah adjusted parking fees from 8 a.m. to midnight, Saturday to Thursday.

Despite these adjustments, restaurants and cafes in Dubai continue to operate as usual during Ramadan. While there is no obligation for non-Muslims to refrain from eating or drinking in public during fasting hours, out of respect for those observing the fast, some individuals may choose to do so discreetly.

Additionally, Iftar meals hold special significance during Ramadan, offering opportunities for family and friends to gather and share in the blessings of the month. Many hotels and restaurants in Dubai offer special Iftar menus and promotions to commemorate the occasion, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie during this auspicious time.

Read also: The UAE government warns of a fine of one million dirhams due to the high prices of some materials

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