Dubai parts with curtain covers for restaurants in Ramadan

The move is the latest change aimed at boosting tourism.

Dubai is parting with a long-standing requirement that restaurants be covered by curtains in the daytime during Ramadan to shield the sight of food from people fasting.

The move, announced April 11 by the city-state’s Economic Development Department, is the latest change aimed at boosting tourism.

“Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers without putting in place curtains, dividers or facades as has been the mandatory practice previously,” the state-run WAM news agency said. “The new circular replaces circulars issued in previous years that have required restaurants to block dining areas from the sight of those who are fasting.”

The new rules also don’t require restaurants to obtain special permits to serve food during sunlight hours as well.

During Ramadan, Muslims observing the holy month abstain from food and drink — even water — during the day. Muslims traditionally break the day-long Ramadan fast with their first sips of water and evening meal, iftar.

Dubai, one of the seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates, long has been a tourism destination for those wanting beaches, shopping and partying in this skyscraper-studded city. However, Ramadan always represented a slower period due to its restrictions.

In recent years, hoping to boost tourism as Ramadan will be marked during its crucial winter months, Dubai has started to change. In 2016, Dubai loosened rules prohibiting daytime alcohol sales.

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