Business during Ramadan in the UAE

Business during Ramadan in the UAE

>> Ramada Working Hours: Doing Business and Supporting Employees during Ramadan

Business during Ramadan in the UAE

It is important to understand that Ramadan will have an impact on both business owners and expatriates living and working within the UAE. It is therefore imperative for companies and employers to be well informed on etiquette as well as potential opportunities and challenges during the month ahead.

For some businesses, Ramadan is anticipated to be a much busier month with retail sales peaking across most categories and in turn, some advertising spends reaching annual peak. For others, the month may be slightly slower for business with reduced working hours, particularly across the public sector.

Key considerations for the month of Ramadan

Business Working Hours The Federal Authority for Government Human Resource has announced that public sector employees will have their working hours reduced to five hours during Ramadan. Government workers at Ministries and Federal bodies will work between 9am and 2pm during the holy month, according to Article 116 of the Executive Regulations of the Human Resources Law. Private sector working hours are yet to be formally announced.

The Working Day and Considerations for Employers It is advisable for employers to adopt a Ramadan policy to consider consuming food and drinks in communal areas in offices as well as to schedule meetings in the morning to ensure fasting colleagues can attend. It should be ensured that all employees are dressed conservatively throughout Ramadan.

UAE Market Sales During Ramadan, friends and family connect and celebrate, going out to eat and shop during the evenings. Therefore, this month is peak for retailers with sales increasing across many categories including food and drink, clothing and apparel as well as gifts and homeware. Almost all shops will have extended opening hours in the evenings and restaurants are expected to be busy. There is a trend for new retail companies to open ahead of Ramadan so that they can benefit from the height of consumerism in the region.

Company CSR Campaigns Giving and charity is particularly important during Ramadan and therefore, many companies will launch specific CSR campaigns to support a variety of causes. This is a great opportunity to get involved and give back to the community.

Media Landscape Facebook research shows every day during Ramadan in MENA, people spend 1.92M incremental hours on Facebook with 86% of people in the Middle East celebrating Ramadan on the platform. This is a particularly important for companies to note for gifting and online shopping opportunities.

Mobile shopping significantly increases throughout the night with the usage of Facebook rising by 200% between 2am – 5am with 4.84% more conversions on mobile at 4am compared to non-Ramadan months.

Research shows social conversation around TV programs throughout the evenings, which offers marketing opportunities to tap into relevant cultural moments. Other areas of interest across social media channels are food, travel and fashion. It is therefore key for relevant businesses to plan their social media strategies to increase consideration and purchase intent.

This surge in media consumption online also opens doors for PR agencies as well as media agencies to win new business and further drive sales for clients across the month of Ramadan.

Further information - What is Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic year and it is observed for one lunar month. Ramadan begins when a new moon is sighted by Islamic scholars, and therefore, cannot be precisely dated in advance. Ramadan marks a period of fasting from sunrise to sunset and religious focus for millions of Muslims across the globe. Generosity and giving to good causes or neighbours is encouraged and the period is a time for reflection, self-restraint and generosity. The end of Ramadan is followed by Eid Al Fitr, a two-day celebration which denotes the beginning of a new month, marked as a national holiday in the UAE and all other Islamic countries.


James Swallow - PRO Partner GroupPRO Partner Group specialises in the formation of companies in the UAE. For further information on conducting business during Ramadan in the UAE, setting up a company in the UAE or any other querie, please contact James on or call a member of the team on:

+971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai) +971 (0)2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)


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