Dubai's top 10 Iftars this Ramadan
The definitive guide to where you should break your fast during the Holy month.June 25, 2014
When you talk about Ramadan in the UAE two things will always spring to people’s minds: fasting, and Iftars.
The Holy month is of course about more than just that.Most of all it stands for being generous, with the traditional greeting ‘Ramadan Kareem’ translating as ‘Ramadan is generous’. But whether you are part of the Muslim faith or not, Iftars are an occasion you should not miss out on and you should certainly not settle for anything less than the best.
Here’s our roundup of the UAE’s top 10 Iftars; expect moutabel and shawarma aplenty.
Nine7One, The Oberoi
An Iftar held at an Indian hotel conjures up images of an abundance of delicious food laid out on mass in a colour-filled room, and The Oberoi does that picture justice. Held at the hotel’s Nine7One restaurant, Iftar guests will be treated to cuisine from nine Arabic countries while live cooking stations offer a variety of grilled dishes made fresh to order. Post-Iftar there is the option to sample one of the restaurant’s 37 flavours of shisha in the Courtyard, including some rather unusual varieties: cardamom or guava anyone? Details: The Oberoi, Business Bay. Sunset - 1.30am.
Ewaan, The Palace
At a venue that sounds as grand as ‘The Palace’ you would expect an Iftar of royal proportions, and that’s exactly what you get. The hotel’s Ewaan restaurant hosts a Ramadan tent where guests are treated to the sounds of a live Oud player, as well as traditional Arabic food. It is the hotel’s Suhoor though later in the evenings that may attract the larger crows. Ewaan’s lounge cabanas will be turned into lakeside Suhoor tents, the ideal place to smoke a shisha and watch Burj Khalifa’s fountains. Details: The Palace, Downtown. Sunset – 9pm. Suhoor 10pm – 2am
You won’t usually find us directing you to restaurants at Atlantis. We have nothing against the iconic hotel, but we prefer our venues to be a bit more independent and free of the tourist clamour. But it’s impossible to argue that the Iftar at the hotel’s Asateer marquee tent is anything but extraordinary. Aside from traditional food options including ouzi, kebbeh bil laban and fish sayadiyha, diners will be treated to card games, chess, backgammon, oud players and an Arabic monochord artist – a true Arabian Nights experience. Details: Asateer, Atlantis The Palm. Sunset - 8.30pm. Suhoor is served from 9.30pm to 2.30am.
The Farm, Al Barari
The Farm promises to approach its Iftar slightly differently than most. Rather than the gluttonous affair the meal can be, Al Barari’s eco-conscious restaurant will offer nutritious dishes as well as classic Arabic fare. Instead of hummus, try some griller tiger prawns with mango. Bored of vine leaves? Opt for grilled eggplant rolls. Main dishes include chicken apricot tagine and dukka crust fish fillet, all enjoyed in the lush green surroundings of Al Barari. Proof if ever some was needed that the best food isn’t necessarily in the midst of the city’s hives. Details: The Farm, Al Barari. Sunset - 1.30am.
Given it is renown for its steakhouse charm and South American feel it’s not entirely surprising that Gaucho’s Iftar offering comes with several twists on the traditional concept. The DIFC restaurant will serve diners at their tables – a break from the usual Iftar buffet experience – with foods including chilli calamari, braised beef short ribs, grilled monkfish and chorizo and even the traditional Gaucho burger. The restaurant’s also offering a special Ramadan breakfast option for the non-fasters among you, which has so many options it’s pretty much the size of an Iftar spread on its own. Not one for the traditional Iftar connoisseurs it’s fair to say, but only a fool would turn their nose up at such delicious food. Details: Gaucho, DIFC. Breakfast 9am – 11am. Iftar sunset onwards.
Golf clubs – Dubai Creek & Emirates
Not just places to practice your 7-iron approach shot this summer, both Dubai Creek Golf Club and Emirates Golf Club have Iftars good enough to rival the high-end hotels. The dedicated Ramadan tent at the Creek offers traditional Middle Eastern cuisine but it is the views looking along the Creek’s skyline that offer a unique touch. Emirates Golf Club is hosting its Iftar offering at its M’s restaurant, again offering everything you would expect from a Mediterranean-Arabic themed venue in the Holy month. Details: Dubai Creek Golf Club, Emirates Golf Club. Sunset – 9pm.
Tom & Serg
Another Iftar that doesn’t stick to the traditional offerings, and another one you will regret not going to. ‘Rule the Roast’ at Tom & Serg promises the best roasted meat and fish with Angus rib-eye, organic chicken, Australian leg of lamb and hammour fillet on the menu. It also boasts that each option comes with all the trimmings, including (take a breath) roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, Yorkshire puds, cauliflower cheese, roast garlic with shallots, green peas, ‘proper’ gravy, gremolata and spicy mojo sauce. Think English Sunday roast meets Iftar. Details: Tom & Serg, Al-Joud Center, Al Quoz. 7pm – late.
The normally eye-catching interior of Anise will be turned up a notch for Ramadan, with live entertainment on show as well as traditional Arabic food. Shisha is available on the terrace from the start, so make the most of the dying sun before it goes completely dark. Details: Anise, Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City. Sunset-10pm.
Oasi, Armani Hotel
If this list proves one thing, it’s that Iftars are not a unique concept. So if you want one that stands out before you even get there, you go to the world’s tallest building. Situated on the third floor, Armani Hotel’s Oasi restaurant offers prime viewing of the Dubai fountains whilst you enjoy Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine. The hotel’s ballroom is also available for Iftar for groups of 50 guests and more. Details: Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa. Sunset - onwards.
MusicHall, Zabeel Saray
Jumeirah’s Zabeel Saray hotel really pushes the boat out this Ramadan with five of its outlets offering Iftar. Sultans Lounge, Imperium, Al Nafoorah and Lalezar will hold traditional offerings from sunset onwards, but it is MusicHall’s Masrah Ramadan - traditionally where people could come together and listen to traditional songs – that has caught our eye the most. The venue, which normally has a touch of debauchery in the air, will serve an à la carte Suhoor menu amid live performances showcasing the Arab world. Details: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah. Iftars sunset – onwards. Masrah Ramadan 9pm – 2am.