How Ramadan will affect business in UAE

Ramadan in UAE

The Holy month of Ramadan begins with a new moon sighting and it is expected to occur on the evening of Friday 26th May, 2017 marking the start of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

Ramadan is a time of fasting, praying, charity and an occasion to connect with friends and families. Workers will work less, as the UAE government has shortened working hours in both public and private sectors.

According to the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, the working hours for the government employees will be from 9am until 2pm across the UAE.

For private sector employees, work timings have been shortened by two hours.

But does Ramadan have an impact on the business? The answer is YES.

There might be, in fact, a slight shift in business practices and a potential slowdown in some processes during Ramadan.

Some important decisions could be put on hold, while people will assume a calm and moderate approach to the work.

However, certain sectors thrive in UAE during Ramadan. For example, food and beverage or retail sectors usually witness an increase in sales over the holy month.

The demand for consumer goods, especially food, has been shown to boom throughout the month, as people buy more food to break their fast. Cafes are usually full during the evening, as they offer an occasion for Muslim consumers to gather and interact with the community.

Good news also for the retail sector. In fact, lots of Muslim consumers wait Ramadan to come in order to make some important purchases, as it is a traditional custom for all the retailers to unveil very advantageous offers and promotions during the holy month.

But it is also a good time for investing. Some free zones in UAE offer discount license packages or special promotions that you won’t find during the year.

For example, the free zone of Creative City in Fujairah offers the possibility to apply for license validity of two or three years at a time with a full license payment for the first year but with 1,000 AED discounted for the second and third year. It also offers the possibility to the licensed companies to avail one additional activity free of charge during license renewal process.

So, do not wait if you want to setup business in UAE! If you wish to receive more information about opening a company in UAE free zones, write to and we do it on your behalf.

UAEstablishment wishes Ramadan Kareem to all of you!


Mara Di Marco
General Manager, UAEstablishment