Heritage & Culture
Ramadan is a special time of gathering, and there’s no better way to celebrate than at an iftar with family and friends. From a feast in the desert to a gathering with the family high above the city, try one of these unforgettable iftars in Dubai this year.
Dubai’s Iftars with a difference
A festive feast to break your fast
The holy month of Ramadan is marked by introspective spirituality, dawn to dusk fasting, and generosity. It is also the perfect time to unwind with friends and families around Iftar – a typically sumptuous feast which starts at sunset to break the day of fasting. For those looking for a truly memorable Ramadan experience this year, we’ve rounded up some of the Iftars not to be missed in Dubai.
A royal affair
This Ramadan, two distinct worlds come to mingle at the Queen Elizabeth 2, Dubai’s first and permanent floating hotel. Dine in the ship’s original Queens Room from the 1960s, which has transformed into the elaborate Majlis Al Malika for the month. Rich Arabian decor has introduced charming flair to this symbol of maritime excellence, where you will find an elaborate Iftar meal at sunset. Here, you can enjoy a delicious spread of traditional Arabic and international delicacies, set against a backdrop of Dubai’s glittering skyline.
Queen Elizabeth 2, Port Rashid, +971 4 526 8888
Dine at the home of glamorous ballets, award-winning plays and moving operas this Ramadan. Dubai Opera, the city’s world-class performance hub, has designed an unforgettable Iftar to treat your senses. Dive into a sumptuous feast which features a large selection of traditional Arabic cuisine and international dishes. Slow cooked lamb ouzi, hot and cold mezze and mixed grills – there’s something in store for everyone. Adding to the Iftar’s glamorous ambience is a musical trio on percussion, flute and the harp for classy live entertainment.
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, +971 4 440 8888
Journey through Lebanon’s diverse culinary landscape at an out-of-the-box Iftar experience by INKED. The cooks of Lebanon’s farmers market Souk El Tayab – also known as Tawlet – have returned to whip up a limited-time feast that beguiles each of your senses. Each day, INKED’s kitchen will welcome a new farmer, mother or chef from various regions of Lebanon to tell their story through home-cooked food, so no two days are the same. Break your fast with a buffet of mezze and tabkhats (main dishes) followed by a spread of delectable desserts, or join for the second dinner seating at 9:30pm.
INKED, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, +971 50 845 1359
Cuisine meets culture
Immerse yourself in the spirit of Ramadan at a traditional Iftar at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). The Iftar here is as authentic as they come, held in the courtyard of a windtower house in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Your Emirati hosts will talk you through the rituals that begin the breaking of the daily fast, including prayers and traditional foods served. Afterwards, you’re invited to visit the Diwan Masjid, before returning to SMCCU for desserts and tea.
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, +971 4 353 6666
Deep in the desert
Feel like royalty while you feast in an open desert at Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa. The hotel’s popular Al Hadheerah restaurant, home to authentic Arabic cuisine, is observing Ramadan with feasts under the starlit night sky. Along with a delicious selection of food highlighting local favourites, this Iftar destination features live performances by oud and kanun musicians, tanoura dancers and much more. Bring the whole family for this remarkable affair, which also offers activities to entertain little ones, from a bouncy castle to face painting.
Al Hadheerah, Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa, +971 4 809 6194
Travel in the footsteps of legendary Arab traveller Ibn Battuta on an immersive food journey at Al Bahou. This incomparable Iftar will take you through the ancient explorer’s dauntless tours through Italy, Morocco, India and across Asia. It’s a truly explorative dining experience, further elevated by an oud player performing traditional Arabic tunes through the night. The restaurant has put together a range of packages so you can select an evening that suits your preferences. Buckle up for an unforgettable culinary voyage.
Al Bahou, The Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, +971 4 444 5613
Located in the lively district of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), Al Maeda is known for its authentic Lebanese and Arabic cuisine. The restaurant’s talented chefs have put together a diverse buffet featuring kebabs, lamb mandi and more, so you can enjoy a laidback and ambient Iftar scene with friends and family. The chic vibe is tinged with the spirit of the season as a live oud player adds a dash of tradition to the ambience. Al Maeda is a fabulous spot to catch the sunset as you break your fast, offering clear views of a palm tree-filled poolside.
Al Maeda, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai JBR, +971 55 166 8092
Book the best Iftars and cultural activities during Ramadan in Dubai.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing