6 Things to Do in Abu Dhabi for Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is upon us. According to the Abu Dhabi Ramadan calendar for 2024, the first day of Ramadan will likely fall on 11 March.

Trivia: This is the first Ramadan in 24 years to start in winter.

This Ramadan, why not visit the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi? In particular, Yas Island Abu Dhabi can be an enchanting Ramadan destination.

We have many Ramadan activities lined up for you. Take up our Stay and Play - Free Iftar offer, and you won’t lack things to do in Ramadan.

Note: Is it OK to go to Abu Dhabi during Ramadan? Yes, it is. Timings may change – so check the opening hours of your target attractions before you schedule your trip – but popular Abu Dhabi tourist destinations and attractions typically remain open during Ramadan.


1. Enjoy Your Free Iftar

Get a free half-board upgrade when you book our Stay and Play - Free Iftar at one of the participating Yas Island hotels. Our Stay and Play packages usually come with complimentary breakfast. During Ramadan, it also comes with a free iftar upgrade.

Note: Iftar is the evening meal during Ramadan. After the iftar signal is given at sunset, Muslims typically break their fast with three dates and a glass of water before proceeding to the Maghrib prayer. Once that’s done, they sit down to enjoy a much bigger meal.

The second, larger meal is a full meal, like a typical dinner. It is what people mean when they invite people for an iftar meal or gathering.


2. Book an Iftar Buffet

Iftar is quite an event everywhere in the UAE, especially on Yas Island Abu Dhabi. It’s a whole social affair – comparable to evening brunch in scale, except the focus is on Arabic delicacies and typical Ramadan iftar fare. Therefore, during Ramadan on Yas, spend one or two nights sampling iftar options from the best restaurants on Yas Island. The following, available from 10 March to 8 April 2024, are strong contenders for the best iftar buffet in Abu Dhabi.

Some restaurants also offer suhoor. Suhoor is the meal eaten before dawn (i.e., before the day’s fasting begins).

Ask your hotel if they offer suhoor. You can also try Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island’s Ramadan Suhoor in Hilton, available from 10 March to 8 April 2024.


3. Visit the Yas Theme Parks

The Yas Island Stay and Play - Free Iftar package includes Yas Theme Park tickets for two adults for every night of stay. Two nights translate to two pairs of Yas Theme Park tickets, three nights mean three pairs of tickets, and so on – although some hotels might have a cap on the number of tickets you can avail.

You may use your one-day, general-admission tickets at any of the theme parks in Yas Island. Your choices include Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World™, and SeaWorld ®

Tip: Stay longer to get more Yas theme park tickets. Furthermore, confirm the theme parks’ operating hours during Ramadan. They may open later or close earlier than usual, so it’s best to check so you can plan better.

You should also make time for CLYMB Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. It’s well worth your time, as it has the world’s largest indoor skydiving flight chamber and the region’s tallest indoor climbing wall.

Note: “What if I get hungry while at a theme park? Can I eat in public during Ramadan in Abu Dhabi?” These questions have a nuanced answer.

It’s prohibited to eat and drink in public during Ramadan. However, most theme park restaurants are open to tourists. They simply screen off the dining area to obscure the guests from public view.


4. Experience a Ramadan Night Market

Drive to southern Yas Island for Yas Bay’s Waterfront Nights, a lively Ramadan night market in Abu Dhabi. It’s open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the open plaza in front of Etihad Arena. Shop for clothing, perfume and other items, fill up on Arabic street food, drinks and other treats, participate in night market activities, and enjoy live entertainment during your visit.


5. Watch Eid Al Fitr FireWorks

If you’re in Abu Dhabi on the eve of Eid Al Fitr, drive to Yas Bay. Yas Bay has some of the best Eid fireworks in Abu Dhabi. 

Note: Eid Al Fitr is the first day of Shawwal, which is the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a feast to mark the end of Ramadan.


6. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

While in Abu Dhabi during Ramadan, visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. You can time your visit so you can be at the Mosque when the cannon is fired to announce the beginning of Ramadan. On any other day, the cannon fires to announce iftar (Midfa Al Iftar).

One of the highlights of a Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Ramadan is the grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque iftar. Free iftar meals are a norm throughout the UAE, given out in mosques (also malls and other places). However, the iftar at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is at a different scale altogether.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the grandest mosque in the UAE, attracting many of the faithful and tourists during Ramadan. The Mosque welcomes everyone. The Armed Forces Officers Club sets up air-conditioned tents for the fasters and prepares tens of thousands of iftar meals every day.

In 2023, the Grand Mosque distributed approximately 1.5 million iftar meals throughout the holy month of Ramadan. The Grand Mosque iftar in 2024 is likely to be even bigger – a sight to behold, so make sure to visit.


Abu Dhabi During Ramadan

Ramadan is a lovely time to experience Abu Dhabi. You can join iftar buffets, explore the night market, enjoy the attractions at the Yas Theme Parks, watch the Eid Al Fitr fireworks, and visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Yas Island Abu Dhabi is one of the best places to experience Ramadan in Abu Dhabi. Check out our Yas Island offers, particularly the Stay and Play - Free Iftar package.