Saudi Arabia denies restaurants will serve food during Ramadan fasting hours

Council of Saudi Chambers says letter being circulated online is fake

FILE PHOTO: Women sit among men in a newly opened cafe in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, August 2, 2019. REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo
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Saudi Arabia has denied restaurants will be open to serve food for foreigners or tourists during daytime hours in the month of Ramadan.

The Council of Saudi Chambers said a letter being circulated online containing the claim was fake.

The letter, attributed to the council, said restaurants would be allowed to serve food during Ramadan fasting hours if curtains or covers were installed. Ramadan is expected to begin in early April.

The Council on Wednesday said the letter was not authentic and that any decisions would be made public on its official website and social media accounts.

Saudi Arabia typically allows restaurants to open later in the day during Ramadan to serve takeaway food hours before the iftar meal that breaks the daily fast.

Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic - or Hijri - calendar. It is also believed to be the month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day of the month, which is typically either 29 or 30 days.

Several other Gulf states have moved to allow restaurants and cafes to serve food and drink so long as they block the view through windows with curtains or other screens.

Last year, restaurants in Dubai were allowed to serve customers during Ramadan fasting hours without screening them from the public.

Updated: March 17, 2022, 2:44 PM