12 places to iftar in the UAE
During Ramadan, you wait all day to break your fast, so when you do, do it right. Here are 12 Esquire-approved places to consider:
This massive, but very posh, tent, will host iftar and suhour, with views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Head Chef Ayoub Makdissi — a Syrian native with over 20 years of culinary experience, specialising in Arabic cuisine — will prepare a high-end feast, and afterwards there’s traditional entertainment and shisha. The Majlis Lounge is available for up to eight guests at Dhs1,500 minimum spend.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, 6.45pm to 9.30pm, from Dhs195, +971 2 654 3238
Al Majlis is a great spot for anyone enjoying their first iftar. It might seat 1,000 guests, but cosy booths dotted around the perimeter can be booked to ensure you still have an intimate experience. Also, as a little treat, guest can also stay a night at Mina A’Salam for just Dhs850.
The Madinat Arena Conference Centre, Dhs210, Sunset to late, +9714 366 6730
One&Only Royal Mirage
No one does discreet Arabian tradition like the Royal Mirage, and this Ramadan all its key venues will serve iftar in the hotel’s various garden and courtyard spaces. Tagine and The Rotisserie lead the way for iftar, and then suhour will go on later into the evening at the serene Courtyard and Peregrine Garden. Private banquet settings and options are also available on request.
Various venues, Sunset to late, from Dhs220, +971 4 399 9999
Named after the traditional Arabian marketplace, the Suq indoor restaurant area and tented lounge offers traditional iftar dishes and other global specialities. Highlights include the Kishek Manakish served piping hot from the stone pizza oven and oozing with black truffle and Arabic cheeses. And to round things off, Arabic Chef Yahya will prepare osmalieh cannoli, topped off with homemade ice cream and a light whipped date cream.
Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, 7pm to 2am, Dhs245, +971 4 270 7777
For a Peruvian-inspired iftar feast, this four-course menu offers healthy and unusual flavours, and is a refreshing twist on the more staid buffets on offer throughout Ramadan.
City Walk, Dubai, 7.30pm to 8.30pm, Dhs195, 800 5462
A set menu is a tribute to the flavours from the days of the Royal Moghul Empire, featuring classic Indian delicacies with a Middle Eastern twist. Highlights include naan nakarkhani, a flaky and layered leavened tandoor baked bread, and kebab baida murg – egg kebab with minced chicken.
Taj Dubai, Sunset to 11.30pm, Dhs225, +971 4 438 3222
Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar
Atul Kochhar’s highbrow restaurant will serve 11 dishes celebrating the heritage of Indian cuisine infused with a modern touch. It will be epic, as you’d expect. And for later in the evening there are suhour a la carte options.
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Sunset to 8pm, Dhs325, +971 4 414 3000
There are four venues here serving iftar and suhour: Amal, the Deli, Ristorante and Mediterraneo, each serving its own take on iftar. Alternatively, the contemporary setting of the ballroom, will change its menu daily and have traditional live entertainment.
Various venues, Sunset to late, from Dhs235, +971 4 888 3666
WITH A VIEWS
Expect high-quality Arabic and continental dishes, accompanied by a live oud performance. But the real draw here, as always, is the setting, which is truly one of the best in the city.
One&Only, The Palm, Dubai, Sunset to late, Dhs250 per person, +971 4 044 0301
iftar in the Clouds
Unsurprisingly, the world’s highest suspended suite, at 220 metres high, has the best view you’ll get across the UAE capital. The food is pretty decadent too.
St Regis Abu Dhabi, Sunset to 11pm, Thursday to Saturday, Dhs250, +971 2 694 4444
Billed as “the healthiest iftar in town”, a broad menu of wholesome options includes quinoa, sesame seed and dried apricot salads, along with lentil soups and mixed grills.
Rove Downtown, Dubai, 6.30pm to 9.30pm, Dhs99
This low-key, but thoroughly modern, urban hotel is a discreet haven amid the bustle of City Walk. There’s a traditional buffet, a separate menu, and there’s an oud player and shisha in the courtyard.
Iftar, sunset-9.30pm, suhour, City Walk, Dubai, 9.30pm to 2.30am, Dhs175, +971 4 403 3111
Offering fabulous sunset views across the water, and with live kanoun entertainment, the extensive buffet has all the traditional dishes, but served in a contemporary setting.
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Sunset to 10.30pm, Dhs185, +971 4 567 8304