Ramadan is not only an important occasion for all Muslims, but also a great opportunity for tourists to learn more about the traditions and customs of the UAE. All museums, parks, amusement centres and other attractions will remain open despite the holy fasting period. There are often major sales and discounts during Ramadan and many restaurants offer a wide selection of traditional foods, with plenty of choice for everyone, whether you are Muslim or not.
Things to do in Abu Dhabi during Ramadan
A visit to Abu Dhabi during Ramadan is a fantastic time to discover the emirate's extraordinary traditions, go shopping and try the national foods at a Suhoor or an Iftar.
During the holy month, almost all Abu Dhabi shopping centres and retailers offer 50-70% discounts. Promotions are not just for clothes and shoes, but also for accessories, jewellery, electronics and homeware.
Noon is introducing a system of promo codes that enables you to acquire electronic gadgets at discounted prices, from 20–75% off.
20-75% off is available at H&M.
Bloomingdale's is offering discounts of up to 70% on furniture.
West Elm is offering 5% discounts on home decor, handmade furniture, crockery and cutlery.
Careem Food offers fast food delivery with up to 50% off.
NBD! Exclusive collections from many popular brands, such as Max Mara, Tory Burch, Sisley, D&G Beauty, Guerlain and Jswair, are specially created for Ramadan, and can be found in large shopping malls.
Most online retailers also offer attractive promotions and discounts. Often sellers offer limited edition products and promotions for a restricted amount of time. The popular online shopping website, Amazon offers 10–60% off on smartphones, TVs, small appliances and large home appliances.
Grocery shops also follow traditional Ramadan trends with promotions. From 21st February, Majid Al Futtaim-owned Carrefour, which is one of the largest retailers in the region, launched discounts of up to 50%, covering more than 6,000 items. The promotion will run for 6 weeks and includes additional discounts on bulk purchases, exclusive offers on international brands and special promotions on locally made goods.
Despite the restrictions imposed in Abu Dhabi during previous Ramadan’s, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the capital's cultural and entertainment attractions continue to operate as usual. One of the most prominent venues in the emirate during Ramadan is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and the eighth largest in the world.
NBD! The mosque will be open to tourists, except during the prayer times for worshippers.
Visitors to the capital with children can visit the theme parks; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, which will be open as usual. One of the advantages of visiting these types of attractions during Ramadan is the low number of tourists and moderate queues. More information on Yas Island attractions can be found here.
One can also visit Ramadan Village at Abu Dhabi Mall, which is a Ramadan-themed exhibition. It offers a variety of regular family-friendly workshops and entertainment activities.
Cafés and Restaurants
During Ramadan, worshippers can have just 2 meals a day:
Suhur traditionally includes water and dates, which are served before sunrise.
Iftar is a meal after evening prayer, which consists of dates, yoghurt, water, oriental meats and sweets.
In most cases, Muslim-oriented cafes and restaurants switch to evening hours and are open from 6pm–9pm and 10pm–2am. Select establishments that cater to foreigners may stay open throughout the day.
Suhoor and iftar can be attended not only by Muslims, but also by tourists. Some of the most popular restaurants serving traditional foods include:
Bab Al Qasr serves international, Middle Eastern and pan-Asian cuisine. It is open after sunset until 9pm. Bab Al Qasr is located on the W Corniche Rd — Al Bateen — Abu Dhabi — United Arab Emirates. The average bill totals AED 125 (USD 34) per person.
Cyan Brasserie is a French-Arabic restaurant with a wide range of both classic and fusion signature dishes. It is located in Andaz Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre — Abu Dhabi — United Arab Emirates. The venue is open from 6.30pm to 10pm. An average bill amounts to AED 195 (USD 53) per person.
Silk And Spice is an award-winning Thai restaurant. Here you can enjoy classic Asian dishes, as well as family-style Middle Eastern food during Ramadan. It is open from 7pm to 11pm. The address is Sofitel Abu Dhabi — W Corniche Rd — Abu Dhabi — United Arab Emirates. An average bill stands at AED 195 (USD 53) per person.
NBD! The number of people in cafés and restaurants increases significantly in the evening, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance.
If you are interested in establishments open to foreigners during the day, you can visit the following venues:
Loca is a Mexican restaurant located in The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. Opening hours are from 12pm to 2am. The average bill is AED 99 (USD 27) per person.
Cafe Milano is an authentic Italian restaurant offering an extensive a la carte selection and business lunches. Its address is The Galleria Level 1, Four Seasons Hotel — Al Maryah Island — Abu Dhabi — United Arab Emirates. The venue is open from 12pm to 12am, whilst the bill averages at AED 220-250 (USD 60-68) per person.
Alba Terrace is famed for its mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant offers an extensive breakfast, an afternoon lunch and a selection of coffee. It is situated in The Abu Dhabi EDITION — Al Bateen — Abu Dhabi — United Arab Emirates. The restaurant is open from 12pm to 11pm. The average bill constitutes AED 125 (USD 34) per person.
A visit to Abu Dhabi during Ramadan offers you not only the unique opportunity to explore local traditions, but also a chance to buy real estate. During the holy months, many real estate developers offer discounts and special offers. If you decide to move to Abu Dhabi with your family after visiting the emirate, Metropolitan Capital Real Estate can help you buy or rent a property at an attractive price.
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