Dubai’s official human resources department has now officially announced the government’s working hours over Ramadan. Details here…

With only a few weeks until the holy month begins we’ve already established that all workers in the UAE (except for those working in DIFC) are legally entitled to shorter days in the office over Ramadan.

Well now the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAGHR) have announced the working hours for federal civil servants over the month – 9am to 2pm.

*ALSO: Fasting? Here’s what you need to know about daylight hours and more*

The month of fasting will begin in the first week of June, and the FAGHR’s announcement will mean that those at all ministries and federal agencies will work five hours a day during Ramadan. This also means that if you need to visit a ministry or official government office to get something done over Ramadan, you’ll need to do so within these shorter hours.

Meanwhile, those in the private sector will be legally entitled to only working six hours a day over Ramadan, so 9am to 3pm or 8am to 2pm for instance.

If your manager says that this isn’t the case, you can tell them that the UAE labour law clearly states that: “During the month of Ramadan, normal working hours shall be reduced by two hours.”

This is, of course, unless you work in DIFC, which is governed by a separate law and only gives shorter hours to those fasting.


This year, the holy month of Ramadan overlaps with the school year, with fasting due to start in early June and the school year ending in June 23.

This means that many students will be sitting exams and tests during Ramadan, but it also means shorter hours for students. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority has announced that school days should only be five hours long, that students who are fasting shouldn’t be required to do PE classes and that eating and drinking should only be permitted in designated areas of schools.

*PLUS: Restaurants open during the day this Ramadan*

Some general Ramadan Do’s and Don’ts

DO… make the most of the community spirit. Say ‘Ramadan Kareem’ to friends and colleagues, introduce yourself to those neighbours you’ve always meant to say hi to, organise an after-work iftar, and catch up with friends and family.

DO… become a night owl. Everything happens later during Ramadan. Malls are open past midnight and suhoors go into the early hours. Embrace the late nights and discover a side to the UAE you may not have seen before.

DO… your bit for a good cause. Ramadan is a good time to put your money where your mouth is. The UAE has a wide range of charitable and volunteering organisations.

DON’T… forget the rules. If you’re not a Muslim, you’re still expected to be respectful. It’s frowned upon to dress inappropriately, eat, drink or smoke during daylight, play loud music or swear in public. At the very least these things are frowned upon and will cause discomfort to others, and at worst you may find yourself in trouble with the police or fined.

DON’T… lose your patience. Working hours are likely to be shorter (and perhaps a little less productive), those who are fasting tend to be tired, and the UAE’s roads will be more hectic at times.

DON’T… miss it. Lots of expats tend to head out of town during Ramadan, but it’s one of the most vibrant times to live in the UAE. What better time to get involved in the local culture?

– For more about Dubai straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook.

Photos: Getty Images