Ramadan opening hours

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Ramadan is the time of year when the already strange shopping hours become well… stranger!

Outside of Ramadan, malls will be open in the morning from 9/9:30 until zuhr prayer (midday). The shops will then generally remain closed until after asr prayer (4pm). From 4pm everything will be open until about 11pm although shops and restaurants will close for half and hour for maghrib prayer and half an hour for ‘isha prayer. Supermarkets open all day with half hour breaks for prayer.

During Ramadan only the supermarkets are open in the morning and apart from prayer breaks, they will stay open until shortly before maghrib prayer only to open again at 9pm. The malls will open from 1pm until ‘asr and they won’t open again until after taraweeh prayer; about 9pm and they will stay open until maybe 2am.

So if you want to do some quick, trouble free shopping I highly recommend supermarket shopping in the morning or mall shopping after zuhr… The supermarkets at that time are virtually empty and the malls are ghost towns as all the clothes shops are closed. Even when they do open at 1pm, there are few people around… fab!

That little silhouetted figure is my 22 month old daughter. :)

Even in the evening after 9pm the malls are fairly quiet and won’t get busy until around 11pm. At the weekend we took the children out and decided to pray in the mall prayer room. My husband was able to join in the taraweeh prayer in the prayer room so he didn’t miss out. Once prayer was over and the shops started to open we took the children to the indoor fun fair at the mall which was devoid of people. At that time of the evening it is usually bustling.

The children shared the icerink with only four other children:

See how empty the place was:

It was only as we were leaving, at 11pm, that the mall was beginning to get busy. The no longer empty carpark was turning into the usual obstacle course of impatient drivers not looking where they’re going etc. It seems that in Saudi Arabia, during the holy month of Ramadan day turns to night and people only venture out to go shopping or to eat in the restaurants after taraweeh prayer. The volume of traffic on the roads at midnight and into the early hours of the morning is quite amazing!

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24 responses »

  1. mashaallah crowd free fun , great bennifits of ramadan hey! ukti i am looking for an article you posted about jinn and a link to a forum where a sister exorised it, please let me have the link and ost sister.

  2. Here in Egypt the shops don’t close for prayer, but I know what you mean about the night hours. The problem though it is like that all year, not just in Ramadan, and especially in summer of course. You can go to Pizza Hut and find it packed well after 1 or 2 am! Even the kids in my hallway outside my flat are playing and screaming until 3 am. People are crazy!

  3. Assalaamu alaikum,

    Here it is Rainbow. :)

    UmmTravis: Oh yeah… crazy here all through the year, probably moreso usually – a lot of the Saudis have left Riyadh until after Ramadan because the local school are closed.

  4. When I lived in Riyadh, I used to shop during the least crowded times, Ramadan or no. My only concern was that male prowlers were also out, looking for marks. So do be careful!

  5. It’s just so good have the mall almost to myself Marahm. One thing I don’t understand is ‘marks’… is that an Americanism or am I being really slow?? Anyway, I have only been out with my husband this month so far. :)

  6. salam

    jazakllah for ur comments
    u no ur lyk da oppsoit of me cz i h8 it wen i hav to go thru loadsa pges t get to the first post
    on my site ive got a calendar and things lyk that on the side so u can clic for dates be4 n go forward, also im not sure if u watch like tv and stuff cuz the hal786.wordpress.com site of mine, is one that has things bout tv, entertainmet 2, but if u dnt want that then go to :islam786.wordpress.com, and if u want an evn quicka site to load up, :englishmuslim.wordpress.com
    it has even less stuff cuz its got mor classic nasheeds on it(sum ppl dnt lisen to islamic songs with music in then englishmuslim wud b g8 for u)
    they r all my blogs, inshallah hope dat helps

  7. Tell me about it Umm Ibrahim! I REALLY try not to go out at night in Ramadan. So I’m waiting for the weekend to try and get some shopping done in the day in sha Allah. I DO NOT want to leave any Eid shopping for the last 10 days (actually nights!)

  8. Subhanallah! It seems like we keep blogging about related subjects. I just did a blog today on Saudi Time and then I checked my blog surfer and found you did a similar one!

    Great minds think a like :)

  9. Oh wow that sure is deserted. I miss those days. My last Ramadan in Saudi was spent doing last minute wedding shopping as I got married a day after Eid-ul-fitr! It was fun going out shopping at night after taraweh and coming home and then sleeping only after eating suhoor and praying fajr. And we’d wake at zuhr and then start the day…Ahhh… good old days..

  10. Oops! I try to avoid American slang, not only on the blogs but in my everyday speech. Sometimes I word slips out.

    A “mark” is a potential victim, someone who is chosen by a criminal because she appears weak or otherwise suseptible to harrassement, thievery, or worse.

  11. Assalaamu alaikum,

    hal786: Jazakillahu khair. :)

    Seekingtaqwa: Yeah, if only! Wouldn’t that be a sight!

    UmmHibaat: Eek the last 10 nights… :shock:

    UmmAdam: LOL, I checked out your blog this morning at suhoor time!

    Nabbu: So beautiful how and where you got married, masha’Allah. :)

    Marahm: OK thanks. Guessed it must be something along those lines. :) I guess I’m the same with British slang slipping out!

  12. salamz sister,

    i m really surprised to see these places in riyadh , actuly i dont knw whre these palces are!!

    aftr i came to riyadh , ‘m quiet fed up wid this place . i lived almost 3 yrs in singapore bfre i came to riyadh…

    thanks for posting the pictures of these places :-)

  13. Assalaamu alaikum Niyaz,

    Are you single in Riyadh? If so, I think that is more difficult. When my husband first came he was alone here for two or three months and he found it very boring too. :?

    The photos I posted were taken at Hayat Mall (Danube supermarket is inside) which is next to Sahara Mall.

  14. I would have loved to be a child again and have all that play area virtually to myself! lol
    Guess i’m a big kid at heart :)

  15. yes sister i m a bachelor only , life here is so boring & feeling very bad :-(

    i hve been to hyatt mall but not been to the places u hve posted..coz tight security only they allow families i guess….

  16. I figure in the next year or so, Jordan will follow suit and close school during Ramadan. I hope it will be next year, but I won’t bet on it. Especially since I am not a better! ;) Once it happens though, it will be the night life scene here as well. God help us. I plan on hiding inside! I am not a night owl anyway.

  17. Assalaamu alaikum,

    Br Niyaz; I really feel for you. I know what a pain it can be for single guys especially on the weekend when they want to go to the mall. :(

    Um Omar: Well yes, Ramadan will soon be falling during the school holidays so they will be all closed. LOL @ hiding inside!

  18. Salaam.. It was good to read ur blog on Riyadh. It was nice reading it , though i have seen all this in riyadh. I stay in riyadh and still i dont know the name of any street, except for the names of malls. It is a real pleasure reading ur posts and i look forward to see more of them.
    By the way, near which street, beside which signal, next to which store ….. opposite to which hotel .. …… next to which buliding do u stay… !!!!!I stay near Chamber of commerce, behind ministry of defence, lane opposite to panda, and the lane next street to Al Arz Bakery…. lol…..

  19. Assalaamu alaikum Anjum;

    I have been here well over 4 years and am still not good on road names! I only know the main ones like Olaya, King Abdullah, King Fahd… other than that I am lost!

    I live in the extreme north of Riyadh, past the Diplomatic Quarter and near to Old Dir’iyyah – no landmarks as there are no shops near to us! :)

  20. another thing is tht some shops open after isha prayers n some after taraweeh prayers. n the time on which the prayers finish is left to the shopkeepers. sometimes they open when the prayers in the closest mosque are finishd n sometimes they dont open cuz they can hear the salah from some far away mosque.

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