A neighbourhood guide to Ramadan
It’s one week into Ramadan. You’ve already hit up the Asateer tent three times, and it’s time for something new. Here’s a guide to what’s on and what’s good during the coming weeks, in Dubai’s main residential zones.
China Grill, The Westin Mina Seyahi
This Ramadan, those who have dinner at China Grill for Dhs799 automatically receive a complimentary night’s stay at the Westin. So effectively, 800 dirhams for a swanky room in a five star hotel and dinner for two thrown in. Bookings must be made in advance, but we’d advise considerable haste as it’s proving to be one of the more popular Ramadan offers.
Sloane’s, Grosvenor House
If you want a bit of variety when you break your fast, Sloane’s iftar boasts a decent mix of sushi, grilled cuts of meat, curries and local cuisine, running from sunset to 8.30pm, with the usual dinner service commencing afterwards.
Dhs280 per person, sloanes-dubai.com
El Sur, The Westin Mina Seyahi
Not an iftar per se, but this stylish spot remains one of the region’s few go-to establishments for a post-sunset tapas fix. Open on Saturday to Wednesday from 8pm to 10.45pm and 8pm to 11.45pm on Thursday and Friday.
Jumeirah Beach Residence
Cavalli Café Iftar, The Walk
Cavalli Cafe’s first iftar offering doesn’t veer too far from its roots, serving a five-course feast of staple Italian dishes with a few subtle Arabic twists. Think traditional local appetisers like dried figs, nuts and Laban, coupled with a strong support act of antipasti platters. The fish, chicken and lamb mains are equally tasty and only marginally outshone by an excellent desert selection.
Dhs 140 per person,
Talk restaurant at the Mövenpick has been transformed into a Ramadan tent this month, with plenty of offerings alongside the food. Live oud music and henna painting are available to go with those classic views over the Arabian Gulf.
Dhs139 per person, moevenpick-hotels.com/jumeirah-beach/overview
RWAQ Ramadan on the Walk, The Walk
From June 18th to July 25th (7pm to 2am) RWAQ is designed to engage the local and expatriate communities of Dubai with the spirit of the Islamic Holy Month. Food, retail, art exhibitions and installations all play a part, with each being curated by a local ‘Ramadan ambassador’.
Stereo Arcade, The Doubletree by Hilton
How do come up with an original club concept in Dubai? Make it even more exclusive? Employ even surlier door staff? Or how about coming up with something that actually breaks the mould, such as Stereo Arcade which opens this week. Featuring arcade machines from the 80s and 90s – Pacman, woo hoo! – this should be a fun, unpretentious venue that totally works and not just in an ironic way.
Experiential Cinema Club, Claw Restaurant, Souk Al Bahar
Not localised specifically to Ramadan but every fortnight until August, eternally popular BBQ shack, Claw will be screening classic films at its new Barn bar for Dhs300 a person. This includes your cinema ticket, popcorn, candy floss should you need it, and picks from Claw’s typically moreish movie menu. Sunday started with Cocktail, but if you missed it, fear not – there’s still perennial classics like Top Gun, Feris Bueler’s Day Off and, err..Sex and the City still to come. To read Esquire’s full review go here
The History and Art of Arabic Calligraphy, the Dubai Mall
From June 22nd to July 6th, The Dubai Mall hosts a celebration of the history, formats and techniques of beautiful Arabic calligraphy. Putting a modern twist on things, the works of art that are on display are presented through more updated media, including sculptures and large wall panels.
Ramadan Night Market, Sheikh Rashid Hall, World Trade Centre
The Ramadan Night Market returns for 2015 bigger than ever before, showcasing local brands and products, with a variety of food options available near the grand majlis area. A kids’ zone will give you a break while you battle through your post-iftar slump. The night market will be open from July 2nd to 11th, 8pm to 2am.
For Non-Muslims, the only local restaurant that made the World’s Top 100 restaurant list is open during Ramadan, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm most days, continuing to serve up its award winning cuisine.
Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre
Running from June 21st to August 29th, the fifth iteration of Dubai Sports World is back at the UAE’s largest indoor sports venue. Catering for all range of talents (so don’t be shy), this summer will see some of the UAE’s biggest sporting stars knocking about in this space. The unique facilities include a parkour area, a state-of-the-art gym, skate park and calisthenics area, alongside the more classic running tracks, five-a-side pitches and basketball courts.
Book at dubaisportsworld.ae, 043064000
Riva Beach Club
Popular Palm hangout Riva is offering guests a day pass for its private beach at special rate of Dhs100 this summer, even better considering it’s redeemable against food and drink.
Asateer, Atlantis the Palm
Open from 11am to 2am, the Asateer tent is perhaps the most famous iftar offering, and certainly the largest, in Dubai. Yes, we mentioned it in the opening, but if you haven’t been it, it’s definitely one you have to visit.
Dhs300 for two people.
Ramadan Garden by Ghaf Kitchen and A4 Space, Al Serkal, Al Quoz
Alserkal Avenue’s trendy hotspots Ghaf Kitchen and A4 Space are launching a ‘Pop-Up’ iftar of sorts this month; an indoor urban oasis complete with hanging plants, fairy lights and wall -to-wall terracotta plants called the Ramadan Garden. The menu features starters, mains and desert (the latter costing an extra but worthwhile Dhs25) with Arabic dishes acting as a precursor to the tasty mains, the best of which can be found in the rotisserie corn-fed chicken with homemade piri piri sauce or roast leg of lamb with salsa verde.
Cravin Cajun, Novotel Al Barsha
The creole hot spot remains open this month with an iftar menu served from 7pm to 11pm every day. The live music won’t be available, but the food should more than make up for it.
Dhs120, Dhs60 for children under 10
Local and Regional Designers Pop-Up, Harvey Nichols Dubai, Mall of the Emirates
Running from July 1-15th, Harvey Nichols Dubai will be casting the spotlight on home-grown designers with a Ramadan pop-up space to showcase their wares.
Shop the Night, Ramadan Delight, Tom & Serg, Al Quoz
Until July 17th, from 7pm to 10pm every night, locally based hipsters/restaurateurs, Tom & Serg, along with the Corner Shop will be devoting evenings to different brands, including Remy Rue, 2Birds and Object and Elements. The ‘Rule the Roast’ Ramadan menu will also be on offer throughout.
Wild Wadi Waterpark, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
A charitable initiative sees free entry offered on Mondays for guests who donate over three items of clothing on arrival. All items go to the Beit Al Kheir Society.
Eventra Ramadan Fair, Sunset Mall
From June 24th to June 28th local and international designers will be on display at the Sunset Mall on Jumeirah Beach Road. Open from 8pm to 1am daily, the featured designers include Meena Rose, The Fashion Vault, Dina Zaki and Zeena Zaki.
Ostensibly one of the biggest Ramadan tents in the city, the Majlis at the Four Seasons is a beautiful glass-walled, two-storied structure overlooking Jumeirah Beach. The iftar buffet features a typical array of Arabic delicacies, executed in quite excellent fashion.
Comptoir 102, 102 Jumeirah Beach Road
One of the healthier ways in which to break your fast, Comptoir 102 is offering iftar meals that are organic and prepared using a range of methods we couldn’t even begin to understand. But we’re told they utilise all the nutrients the body needs. Worth a try eh? Available from sunset to 11pm