Saturday, September 18, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in United Arab Emirates

AsiaUnited Arab EmiratesFestivals & Holidays in United Arab Emirates

Weekends in the UAE last from Friday to Saturday for most government and public services as well as businesses; for many, Thursday can be a half day (although they usually work all day Saturday). In almost all cities, there is little commercial activity on Friday morning, but after midday services in the mosques, most shops open and there may be crowds on Friday evening.

The main exception is the fasting month of Ramadan, when the rhythm of life changes radically. Restaurants (apart from tourist hotels) remain closed during the day, and although most offices and shops are open in the morning from about 8am to 2pm, they usually close in the afternoon while people wait (or sleep) for the last hours of the fast. After sunset, people gather to break their fast with a meal called iftar, often eaten in tents outside (often with air conditioning), which traditionally starts with dates and a sweet drink. Some offices do not open until after 8pm and stay open until well after midnight, as many people stay up into the morning. Just before sunrise, a meal called sohoor is taken and then the cycle repeats.