Ten to try: Unique iftars this Ramadan
What’s On celebrates Ramadan in Dubai with a list of the best iftars in Dubai, including cheap iftars, unique iftars, lavish iftars, family-friendly iftars.
All over Dubai throughout the holy month, hotels and restaurants are serving special Ramadan menus after the sun goes down. We’ve rounded up ten to try – from brand new buffets to quirky camel milk iftars.
New to town
Ghaf Kitchen’s Ramadan Garden
The surprise front-runner for this year’s best iftar is Ghaf Kitchen’s delightful offering at the A4 Gallery space in Alserkal Avenue. The already uber-cool location has been transformed into an charming urban oasis, with exceptional food delivered straight from Ghaf Kitchen’s infamous vintage Citroen H Van. With shrubbery aplenty, birdsong and fairy lights all around you’ll feel like you’re enjoying a British picnic on a summer day. But don’t expect soggy cheese sandwiches and dry scones – the Ghaf Kitchen culinary team know exactly what they are doing inside that van. With two set courses, guests can enjoy delicious mezze to start followed by a choice of lamb, a posh fish finger sandwich or perfectly roasted chicken and chips. The latter will leave you dreaming about it for days.
A4 Space, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai, daily from 7pm to 10pm, Dhs 95 per person including starters and mains. ghafkitchen.com
This is the Four Seasons Resort Dubai’s debut majlis and promises to be a spectacular new addition to Dubai. Built up on two levels the special Ramadan tent can fit over 300 guests with both dining and lounge seating available. The iftar banquet comes complete with Arabic delicacies as an Oud player entertains.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Jumeirah, daily sunset to 3am, Dhs260. Tel: (04) 2707777. fourseasons.com/dubaijb
Embrace Ramadan this season with Manzil Downtown Dubai and enjoy a truly authentic iftar within the stunning Arabian inspired outdoor garden, The Courtyard. Located in the heart of the boutique hotel, guests can tuck into a special menu.
Manzil Downtown Dubai, Downtown, daily sunset to 10pm, Dhs170. Tel: (04) 8883444
It’s been one of the most eagerly anticipated openings this year and while most of The InterContinental Dubai Marina’s nine venues won’t open until after the summer, Accents, its modern, international, all-day dining restaurant is welcoming guests for a special iftar. Diners can choose customised salad bowls, cold cuts or breaded and fried Arabic treats for starters, Asian specialities such a Singapore noodles and Thai green curry for mains, or simply make a beeline for the Arabic stations and tuck into the giant lamb ouzi and other traditional Arabic dishes. Save space for the two impressive dessert stations; the banana and Nutella crepe counter in particular is not to be missed. For such a new restaurant, the service is faultless and friendly and the oud background music combines to create a charming atmosphere.
The InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily from sunset, Dhs155 (children under 6 dine free). Tel: (04) 4466777. Metro: Damac. ihg.com
It may be a department store but this mall favourite puts on a great spread. Highlights include saj stations, sea bass tagine, pastas and biryani. You can also pick up a Ramadan hamper to eat at home.
Galeries Lafayette, Level 2, The Dubai Mall, sunset to 9:30pm, Dhs 155. Tel: (04) 3399353. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. gallerieslafayette-dubai.com
Tom & Serg
Cavernous Al Quoz cafe Tom & Serg is opening after dark for its popular Rule The Roast pop-up. The not so traditional spread serves up platefuls of roast meat, veg and all the trimmings served up canteen-style. This year, it promises to be even better, with a pop-up market by The Cornershop, so you can browse as you dine. A roast dinner costs Dhs100 (choose from Black Angus rib eye, chicken or Aussie lamb), with all the extras, and theres a vegetarian cannelloni too, plus sides and desserts. The family pack (Dhs300) feeds four, and everything is available for eat in or takeaway.
Sheikh Zayed Road, near Ace Hardware, Al Quoz, 7pm until late throughout Ramadan, Dhs100. Tel: (05) 64746812. Taxi: Ace Hardware. ruletheroastdubai.com
Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre for Understanding (SMCCU)
‘Open Doors, Open Minds’ is SMCCU’s motto and where better to get a true taste of Ramadan this Holy Month? Held in the courtyard of a wind tower in the Al Fahidi Historic District, your Emirati hosts will happily answer all your Ramadan questions once the fast is broken. A must-do for every Dubai resident.
SMAl Fahidi, Dubai, starts 15 minutes before thecalltoprayer, Dhs135. Tel: (04) 3536666. Metro: Al Fahidi. cultures.ae
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy healthy food options this Ramadan, Comptoir 102 is a great choice. Sourcing quality ingredients, Comptoir 102 is offering iftar meals that are organic and prepared using special methods for easy digestion. The team use special cooking methods which include pre-soaking, fermenting, low-temperature cooking, steaming and dehydrating so that all essential nutrients get absorbed properly into your body. Comptoir 102 also provides food options and deserts that you can enjoy sugar free.
102 Jumeirah Beach Road (opposite Beach Centre), Dubai, daily sunset to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3854555. comptoir102.com
La Serre Boulangerie
This popular Downtown haunt launches a cool pop-up concept this year called ‘The House’ where local art collective, ‘The Animation Chamber’ will be given the restaurant as a blank canvas to create a unique pop-up art experience for the month. Guests dining throughout the month can enjoy a combination of art and food, seated within the unique installation. Tables will be reconfigured for a more communal dining experience while guests can feast on a special iftar menu.
La Serre Boulangerie, Vida Hotel Downtown, sunset to 10.30pm, Dhs275. Tel: (04) 4286966. leserre.ae
A La Carte
One of the most exciting new restaurants to come to Dubai this year is this stunning Indian restaurant. The original New York outpost has had a Michelin star for four years and that level of expertise has not only transferred to Dubai’s regular dining options, but it’s apparent in its special iftar menu too. The special set menu includes delicious treats including crispy eggplant chaat, goat kebab, black dhal and tender chicken tikka. Be sure to save space for the extraordinary mango sago, a tapioca pudding with pistachio meringue and pomegranate.
Shangri-La, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai daily from sunset, Dhs220. Tel: (04) 4052716. Metro: Financial Cetre. junoonrestaurants.com