DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dubai, a global icon of multiculturalism that is also known for its iconic landmarks, dazzling skyscrapers, bustling city life, and incredible hospitality, is shining a light on the month of Ramadan by providing an array of unique experiences for residents and visitors from different cultural backgrounds.
Ramadan is a time for reflection and spiritual renewal, but it is also a time to come together with friends and family to celebrate. In Dubai, this celebration takes on a new level of energy and excitement. From the stunning decorations and lights that adorn the city’s buildings to the vibrant street markets selling traditional food and crafts, there is a tangible sense of excitement in the air.
Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has curated a list of some of the best ways to observe the holy month of Ramadan with family and friends.
GLOBAL GASTRONOMY HUB:
One of the key reasons that Dubai is a quintessential destination to celebrate the month of Ramadan is its unmatched culinary offering. Food is an essential part of Ramadan, and Dubai offers an abundance of delicious options to break ones fast. From traditional Middle Eastern delicacies such as dates, hummus, and kebabs, to some of the finest dishes from Middle Eastern cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate. Additionally, many hotels and restaurants offer special Ramadan Iftar buffets, allowing guests to indulge in all the flavours of the season.
This Ramadan, indulge in the true spirit of Arabian hospitality at The Majlis in World Trade Centre. Offering a scrumptious menu with live cooking, dessert and ice-cream stations, the DWTC Ramadan Majlis, one of Dubai’s longest-running Ramadan venues, hosts an eclectic mix of visitors from VIP guests to business delegations to families looking to get together at Iftar and Suhour.
For a traditional Iftar experience, guests can head to Asateer at Atlantis, The Palm, hailed as one of Dubai’s best tents during Ramadan, this stunningly decorated tent, opulently laid out in Arabian style, offers guests an unforgettable experience. Friends and families can also opt for Al Majlis at Madinat Jumeirah, an extremely popular Iftar destination located in Madinat Arena, offering a unique setting surrounded by traditional architecture. Visitors can relish authentic delicacies from the buffet and live cooking stations, then head to the nearby souks for a bit of evening shopping.
For an alternative experience, visitors can enjoy unique dining destinations to break their fast, such as Time Out Market Dubai, which celebrates the season with a series of Ramadan-inspired dishes. Local burger joint Pickl has created a purple Vimto milkshake and Vimto flavoured ice-cream.
To mark this time of year, people can head to Jumeirah Emirates Towers for a truly special Iftar experience, with opulent views overlooking the iconic Museum of the Future and glittering Dubai skyline. Their majlis terrace will provide guests with an elegant, elevated iftar buffet. The luxurious spread will include classic Ramadan dishes, as well as fresh shawarma, grilled fish, shish taouk, kofta, marinated prawns, and traditional Arabic sweets.
Visitors and residents can also head to one of Dubai’s most notable hotels and landmarks, the Armani Hotel, for a decadent Iftar buffet including traditional dishes and seasonal favourites from across the hotels popular restaurants. This tranquil, up-scale celebratory meal will provide guests with a relaxed atmosphere and rich oud aroma, accompanied by authentic table musicians playing throughout.
The Iftar at Dubai Opera is a unique dining experience that takes place in one of the most iconic cultural venues in Dubai. The elegant setting of the Dubai Opera provides a stunning backdrop for the Iftar, which features a traditional Arabic buffet with a modern twist. The Iftar at Dubai Opera also includes live entertainment, such as traditional Arabic music and dance performances, creating a festive atmosphere for guests. With its exquisite setting, delicious food, and lively entertainment, the Iftar at Dubai Opera is a truly memorable way to celebrate Ramadan in Dubai.
ARABIAN HOSPITALITY & CULTURE:
Dubai is an ideal destination to celebrate the Holy Month due to its world-renowned culture of hospitality. Visitors are welcomed with open arms and invited to share in the festivities, and from hotels to cultural centres, tourists and residents alike are readily welcomed to Ramadan celebrations.
The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding is a must-visit destination during Ramadan in Dubai. This unique centre provides visitors with a chance to experience the traditional Ramadan practices of Dubai, such as Iftar and Suhour, in a welcoming and informative setting. The centre’s knowledgeable staff guide visitors through the customs and traditions of Ramadan, offering a unique perspective on the holiday that is both educational and enlightening. Additionally, the centre offers a variety of events and activities during Ramadan, such as guided mosque tours, Islamic calligraphy classes, and traditional Arabic coffee and dates, providing a rich cultural experience for visitors of all ages.
This year at Expo City Dubai, there will be a unique and special celebration of the month of Ramadan, with their 50-day long exhibition, Hai Ramadan. The immersive event will take visitors on an epic journey through the Islamic world, beginning in with a trip through traditional Emirati neighbourhoods, through the Levant region, and then on to North Africa, South Asia and the contemporary Arabian Gulf. The exhibition showcases international to regional Ramadan cuisine, with flavoursome street food, to traditional sharing style dishes, allowing all visitors to break their fast together, learn about the importance of Ramadan and experience a sense of community.
Dedicated to the history of the United Arab Emirates, The Etihad Museum offers a unique cultural experience for visitors during Ramadan, featuring interactive exhibits and multimedia displays. During Ramadan, the museum also offers special events and activities that celebrate Emirati culture and traditions.
Visitors and residents can delve into the culture and history of the city with a photo session led by Gulf Photo Plus. This will take guests on an explorative journey of the buzzing and bustling back streets of Karama, one of Dubai’s most historic neighbourhoods. The tours are lead by photography experts, who provide useful tips on how to get the best shots, as well as a historical insight into the destination. This is the ideal way for families and friends to spend an evening during Ramadan, whilst capturing those truly unforgettable moments.
FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES:
Dubai is known for its world-class attractions and entertainment, and during Ramadan, the city offers a wealth of family-friendly activities. From interactive exhibits and hands-on workshops to outdoor activities and games, there is something for everyone during this special time of the year. Many of Dubai’s attractions, such as theme parks, shopping centres, and museums, offer special Ramadan packages and deals, making it easy and affordable to keep the whole family entertained. With so many exciting and interactive options available, Dubai remains a top destination for families during Ramadan.
The city offers a variety of outdoor activities that are perfect for families, including evening desert safaris, twilight dhow cruises, and camel rides. With so many options to choose from, families can create unforgettable memories during Ramadan while exploring the city’s stunning natural beauty.
There are also a number of open-till-late theme parks, including IMG Worlds of Adventure, and Dubai Parks and Resorts. With a variety of rides and attractions to choose from, these parks provide endless entertainment for families of all ages.
Dubai’s world-famous shopping malls are a destination in and of themselves, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for families during Ramadan. From Dubai Mall, to Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Hills Mall and many more, all of these destinations are equipped with an array of fun-filled activities, incredible retail deals, state-of-the- art cinematic experiences, impeccable dining options, with cuisines from around the world and much more.
Located in the heart of Dubai, The Aya Universe in Dubai is a stunning and immersive experience that features a range of activities and installations that are perfect for those seeking to immerse themselves in digital displays of stars, blooming gardens and more.
The Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) M2L Market is a unique destination for visitors looking for an authentic Ramadan experience in Dubai. Located in the heart of the financial district, the market offers a range of traditional Arabic food, sweets, and beverages that are perfect for Iftar and Suhoor. In addition to the food, visitors can browse through stalls selling local handicrafts, souvenirs, and gifts. The market also features traditional Ramadan activities such as henna art and falconry shows. What sets the M2L Market apart is its focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, with a commitment to reducing waste and promoting eco-friendly practices
Global Village Dubai is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike during the holy month of Ramadan. This multicultural festival park brings together the best of the world’s cultures, with pavilions representing different countries and regions. During Ramadan, Global Village offers visitors an immersive experience of the holy month, with a variety of activities and events that celebrate the traditions and culture of the UAE and the wider Arab world. These include Iftars, live cultural performances, and religious activities such as Quranic recitations and lectures. The park also features a range of shopping options, selling everything from local handicrafts to international brands.
Families can participate in a variety of cultural activities throughout the city during this special month. These include visiting some of Dubai’s iconic souks, where people can enjoy festive food, sweets, and decorations. The city also hosts several events and festivals during Ramadan, such as the Ramadan Night Market, which showcases the best of local arts and crafts. Children, parents and friends can participate in various educational and thrilling activities such as henna painting, calligraphy workshops, and Islamic arts and crafts. Overall, Ramadan in Dubai offers a unique and culturally rich experience for families to come together and celebrate the spirit of this special time.