Global: Offices to shorten business hours, slow processing during Ramadan

What does the change mean? Companies and individuals should expect delays and plan to file time-sensitive applications as soon as possible.ramadan-eng

  • Implementation time frame: Approximately June 6 through July 7. Some countries also begin to slow down one week before Ramadan.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas and work permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants should expect reduced business hours, especially on Fridays, and delays in processing. The Eid al-Fitr holiday immediately following Ramadan will close offices for three to 10 days, depending on the country.
  • Business impact: Delays may affect start dates and business schedules.

Background: Countries across the Muslim world will observe the month of Ramadan, expected to begin around June 6 or 7 and end around July 5 or 6. Exact dates are confirmed closer to the start of the lunar month. During the month, Muslims increase self-reflection and fast during daylight hours. As such, many countries with majority Muslim populations limit business hours.

In the United Arab Emirates, government offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the private sector will generally conduct business from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on the office.

The Eid al-Fitr holiday, immediately following Ramadan, will close offices for three or more days in countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.