The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai cancelled all permits for Ramadan tents in the emirate this year.
The department said the move aimed to prevent large gatherings and any possible breach of social distancing rules.
During the holy month, it is normal for mosques to host social gatherings for workers and provide them with free meals during iftar.
But the new measures have been put in place to protect public health and safety.
Ahmed Darwish Al Muhairi, executive director of the department's charitable sector, said people and organisations that liked to volunteer for distribution during Ramadan could only do so only in collaboration with charities and institutions approved and licensed by the department.
Mr Al Muhairi said the department would take "all necessary precautions" to ensure the holy month passed safely.
Muhammad Musabeh Dahi, director of the charitable institutions department at the IACAD, said the authority would continue to reach out to the needy through its digital Meals of Hope initiative during Ramadan.
The initiative, which beganin 2019, uses Zomato to provide meals to underprivileged people, enabling them to directly request food from a group of restaurants.