Hours of Operation

Most government offices are open 8 am–3 pm on weekdays and remain closed all day Friday and Saturday. Shopping malls stay open throughout the day all year round, opening at 10 am and closing at 10 pm (some close at midnight on Friday and Saturday). Some more traditional shops in Old Dubai and the souks open at 8 am and close at 9 pm with a break for lunch from 1 to 4 pm. During Ramadan shops outside the malls may only open after sunset. Malls do not close for major religious festivals but smaller stores may.

Museums and attractions are open daily but a few may be closed in the afternoon and also have shorter working hours on Friday and during Ramadan. It's best to check timings online before visiting.

Most restaurants are open for lunch (noon–2 pm) and dinner service (7–10 pm). Some fine-dining restaurants are only open for dinner, especially during the summer months. Cafés open around 10 am along with mall stores, others for the school mums or office run at 7 or 8 am. Most hotel bars stay open throughout the day, but some open around 4 pm. They stay open until around 1 am, but those that operate as nightclubs will likely stay open until 3 am. During Ramadan, most restaurants will remain closed until sunset, and even those that are permitted to open also tend to keep the alcohol service limited to that time.


Dubai has only two fixed national holidays, New Year's Day (January 1), and National Day (December 2). All other holidays (except for Martyr's day, which precedes National Day but is often altered to accommodate a long weekend) are set by the Islamic lunar calendar, which is approximately 10 days shorter than Western calendars. In 2016, Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year) fell in October, Mouloud or Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet) in December, and Israa and Miaraj Night (Ascension of the Prophet) was in May. The major holidays of Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) were in July and September.

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