However, many shops, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stay open all day. Most shopping centres are open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m – frequently later.
Some supermarkets are open for 24 hours. Although shops and shopping centres are fully air conditioned, the cool of the evening is a favourite time for shopping. Shopping centres and most shops are open on Friday, the Islamic day of rest, but they all close for Juma (Friday) prayers from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. All shops are required to close at prayer times in Ra’s al-Khaimah.
Government Offices Timings
Government offices open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 3.00 p.m. but you would be wise to visit in the morning. Private offices tend to keep longer hours, coming back to work in the evening after an extended mid-day break.
Some private businesses open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All government offices close for the weekend at mid-day on Thursday and do not open again until Saturday morning. Some offices outside the public sector are open on Thursday and close on Friday and Saturday.
The precise dates are not announced until a day or so before they occur.Since Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of phases of the moon, the dates outlined change for Islamic religious holidays.
If a public holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is usually taken at the beginning of the next working week. A three-day mourning period is usually announced when a member of the ruling families or a government minister or the head of a neighbouring state expires. Government offices and some private companies will remain closed during that period.