Tuesday 20 August 2019 (UAE)

Restaurants cafes open daytime Ramadan UAE

Restaurants, cafes, food and drink outlets open daytime during Ramadan UAE in 2019

List of cafes, coffee shops, restaurants open daytime during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE in 2019. Smoking and alcohol restrictions, eating and drinking rules, and other information.

Ramadan 2019 changes

Apart from earlier opening time for shopping mall food courts in Dubai (10am in 2019 vs 12pm in 2018), there don't appear to be any other significant changes to the daytime rules for eating and drinking in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and UAE for Ramadan 2019 compared to Ramandan in 2018 (or 2017 or 2016). Meaning that most places which were open for daytime dining in 2018 are open again for daytime dining in 2019. There seem to be more street entry cafes and restaurants in 2019 with daytime dine-in permitted. Alcohol is available during the day in those places which are normally licensed to offer that, unless the rules change suddenly as they did in 2016 when it became permitted, or unless the venue itself changes its alcohol policy during Ramadan (rare but we did encounter one or two in previous years).

Most larger shopping mall food courts will have an area to consume your takeaways from food court outlets (they don't serve "dine-in", they serve "takeaway" and you sit down somewhere behind a curtain or wall in the food court and eat your takeaway. If you're new to Dubai, don't panic, just go to a food court. It will be obvious how it works. The best ones are Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Mirdiff City Centre (less busy than the others), Deira City Centre (very busy), Dubai Festival City (less busy than the others), which just put a wall or curtain in front of the whole food court area. Other malls are more restrictive with dining space so you can end up with quite a crowded small room.

In Abu Dhabi, our favorite locations for daytime dining in food courts during Ramadan are Abu Dhabi Mall (but not Abu Dhabi Marina Mall which is mostly closed), The Galleria Mall on Maryah Island, WTC Mall, and Yas Mall.

More and more stand alone restaurants and cafes in shopping malls are open for daytime dining, including fast food and Starbucks etc. If you're not fussy about where you want to eat, go to a shopping mall, you'll find something, unless it's a small shopping mall, or you're not in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Or try a free zone for example Dubai Design District (D3), while it still has free parking. In the past, JLT and DIFC were good choices but parking has become expensive or difficult or both, so it's easier to just go to a shopping mall, and they are not too busy during the day. Except for MOE and Deira City Centre, and except on Fridays.

Also noticeable in 2019 is the number of standalone places outside shopping malls which are open for daytime dining, including a few roadside cafes which were only open for takeaways in 2018 and previously.

If you're looking for a favorite restaurant or cuisine, contact the restaurant directly, or for an area or cuisine, try one of the plethora of online guides to restaurants open during the day. The UAE newspapers usually have a list, as do Time Out and What's On magazines. Your favorite foodie blog is bound to have a list also. Don't depend 100% on what online guides say, in the past we've discovered many of them copy/paste from each other or from previous years, so it's hard to know which guides really do phone or visit establishments to confirm timings. There are many places to visit or phone. Each year we try and visit one or two shopping malls or areas every day (we get better information from a site visit than a phone call) and update this page, so we know how time-consuming it is to get accurate information.

Friday brunches sound like they'll continue almost as normal during Ramadan. Bars and pubs will continue to operate. Nightclubs probably not, or they'll be very quiet since loud music is not permitted during Ramadan.

Smoking areas for daytime puffing are harder to find during Ramadan since shopping malls and most cafes and restaurants don't permit smoking indoors at anytime. Bars and restaurants which normally have smoking areas, should still have those areas available if they are open during Ramadan daytime. Some hotels have secluded smoking areas behind the bike sheds, ask at reception. If you want to smoke and shop, try malls like Deira City Centre, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, and go to the attached hotel bar or restaurant which might have a smoking area. For example Apres and St Tropez in Mall of the Emirates (MOE). Also some Shakespeare Cafes have indoor smoking areas open daytime during Ramadan in 2019 (in Dubai, Ibn Battuta and Sheikh Zayed Rd Al Saqr Tower branches).

Food court timings in Dubai shopping malls Ramadan 2019

Update: Shopping mall food court opening times changed from 12pm to 10am for Ramadan 2019, at least in malls we visited so far. Original reference (visitdubai.com) still says from from 12pm. Seems like something changed during the first week of Ramadan.

Outside the Ramadan period, normal food court timings are 1000 until closing. During Ramadan, if a food court is open for daytime dining, the opening hours change to 1200 until closing according to the information from the Dubai government tourism authority. Their official tourism and visitor website says "Major malls including The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates will continue to operate their food courts during the month from 12pm to close, with these areas discreetly sectioned off for complete privacy." But ... just to confirm how often conflicting information is available in Dubai, at the first shopping mall we visited on the first day of Ramadan, they said the food court is open for dining on your takeaways in the partitioned area from ... 10am. Go figure.

Reference: www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/ramadan-shopping-mall-indoors-dubai (30 Apr 2019).

Ramadan daytime timings and opening hours by emirate or city

If shopping malls have a food court open for dine in, the timings are expected to be from 12pm. Other outlets with dine-in might be open earlier but note that most shopping malls in the UAE are not open before 10am. Some shopping mall supermarkets and some restaurants open 8am.

2018 changes (see 2017 listings, most outlets and malls have similar timings for 2018)

This section for additional outlets or significant changes from 2017

Abu Dhabi

Dubai best places to visit

Dubai changes for 2018

Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain

Ras Al Khaimah


Online references

2017 Ramadan dining outlets open daytime in UAE

TL;DR version for Abu Dhabi 2017:

TL;DR version for Dubai 2017:

General information about F&B consumption daytime in UAE

2017 updates for Dubai (updated 23 Jun 2017)

Ramadan 2016 forum dining topic. Reply there with updates, corrections, new information. Use for Dubai and all UAE locations. Yes we know it's the 2016 topic, it will do until we get it updated (and we'll shift any 2017 posts to the new one).

Daytime dine-in at Dubai shopping malls in Dubai
Daytime dine-in by area in Dubai
Daytime dine-in list by name (if more than one location).

Other UAE emirates 2017 updates

Abu Dhabi malls

Abu Dhabi hotels. No alcohol served before Iftar. Some hotel bars have smoking areas.

Abu Dhabi areas and other names or locations

Abu Dhabi outlet names


Sharjah - day time dine-in not possible anywhere except perhaps airport (airside), Sharjah Wanderers, maybe 4-5 star hotels.

2016 updates for Dubai

Archive page at: Ramadan in Dubai 2016.

General information (last update 2013 but mostly still valid)


Supermarkets, hotels, gas stations, shopping malls in Dubai and UAE during Ramadan

Individual hotels and outlets within hotels are not listed since most 4 and 5 star hotels in Dubai will have somewhere open during the day.

*[update needed] See also the coffee shops open Ramadan during the day in Dubai topic in the forum.

[Archive] List of cafes, coffee shops, restaurants open daytime during Ramadan in Dubai

Year of validity in brackets, will be updated if information supplied, don't count on outlets being open during current Ramadan even if they were previously.

Food and drink outlets open during the day during Ramadan will not always be obvious. This is to be discreet, not because it's illegal - a special licence is needed from the Dubai Municipality to operate for dine-in during daylight hours in Ramadan (costs about AED 5,000 or AED 10,000 in 2010?).

Some places (very few actually, we only found one or two) might let you consume takeaways on the premises even if closed for normal dine-in, but we don't want to name them specifically since we're not sure if that's legal or not.

[Changed in 2016] No alcoholic drinks served anywhere in Dubai before 8pm during Ramadan 2013 (except airside after customs and immigration at Dubai Airport).

Older and archive information

2016 updates for Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ajman, Fujairah, RAK, Sharjah, UAQ

2015 updates for Dubai and Abu Dhabi

2014 updates for Dubai and UAE

Removed from general list (establishments closed, information no longer valid, or needs update)

Abu Dhabi


Last update Monday 27-May-2019. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
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