Ramadan 2021: Sharjah restaurants to apply for permits to serve food to non-Muslims during fasting hours

To prevent overcrowding, restaurants should not display food on tables outside their premises

Restaurants and cafes in Sharjah need permits to sell food to non-Muslims during Ramadan. Courtesy: Leslie Pableo / The National
Restaurants and cafes in Sharjah need permits to sell food to non-Muslims during Ramadan. Courtesy: Leslie Pableo / The National

Restaurants and cafes in Sharjah are to apply for permits to sell food to non-Muslims during Ramadan.

“We have already started receiving applications from food outlets requesting permits to sell food during [the] daytime in Ramadan,” said Sheikha Shatha Al Mualla, assistant director general of Public Health and Central Laboratories at Sharjah Municipality.

Officers will inspect restaurants to ensure staff members do not flout the rules.

In addition, restaurants should not display food on tables outside their premises.

This is in line with Covid-19 precautionary measures to stop overcrowding during Ramadan.

“We are suspending this type of permit for the second year in a row to help stem the spread of Covid-19,” Ms Al Mualla said.

“A team of 45 inspectors will be conducting visits to ensure facilities adhere to regulations and refrain from displaying food during the holy month.”

She said 12,257 inspections were carried out last year.

“These resulted in [authorities] issuing 70 warnings over improper food storage,” she said.

Until several years ago, cafes, restaurants and bars throughout the UAE would be shut during the dayout of respect for Muslims who were fasting.

In recent years, such measures were increasingly relaxed.

Cafes and restaurants in malls and hotels were allowed to serve food with curtains or blinds drawn.

In 2016, Dubai relaxed Ramadan licensing rules, allowing hotels and restaurants to serve food and alcohol during the day.

Up until then it had been commonplace for bars and restaurants across the city to shut until 7pm.

Updated: April 7, 2021 03:32 PM

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