The best ways to rediscover Ramadan in Abu Dhabi
Sponsored: There’s a world of Holy Month wonder to explore in Abu Dhabi…
From once-in-a-lifetime iftar experiences to unique heritage insights, gatherings under the stars and great value stays, adventures and thrills, relaxation and chills, there really is nowhere quite like Abu Dhabi in Ramadan.
We’ve collected some of our favourite Holy Month activities that you can try right now in the always classy emirate of Abu Dhabi.
A thousand and one iftar nights
Whether it’s performed at home or elsewhere, the ritual of breaking fast is a very special one. And this year Abu Dhabi is offering you the opportunity to pair those memorable moments with exceptional backdrops.
Embrace your wild side through Al Ain Safari’s iftar with the lions (Dhs840). A little too wild? Emirates Park Zoo is inviting guests to enjoy iftars with elephants (Dhs250) and giraffes (Dhs1,785 for five).
There are two opportunities to break fast under the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s charismatic dome, throughout the Holy Month. There’s a three-course Emirati-French at Fouquet’s (Dhs390) and a specially curated Ramadan a la carte menu available at Art Lounge.
Experience a stunning suhoor in the starlit shadow of Abu Dhabi’s highest peak at the Hafit Foothills Lounge by Pura. Stays in one of their glamourous bubble or dome tents with iftar and suhour included start at Dhs1,095.
Or take to the water with an Iftar Cruise Along the Corniche, courtesy of the Royal Yacht Restaurant available at just Dhs100.
The World’s First Warner Bros. Hotel on Yas Island is a strong choice for families breaking their fast this year. They’re proposing an opportunity to meet with a cast of colourful characters from the extensive back catalog of Warner Bros. entertainment history.
A cultural immersion
Ramadan is the perfect time to turn our eyes to the past and celebrate the heritage and history that helped shape this rich and storied nation. And you don’t have to go too far to uncover Abu Dhabi’s cultural bones — the emirate is an awe-inspiring treasure trove of impressive forts, world-class museums, epic monuments, ancient heritage sites, unique archaeological excavations, globally relevant galleries, esteemed religious architecture, craft communes, giant sculptures, art installations from world-renowned artists and diverse cultural districts.
At the art of it all
The Holy Month marks a perfect opportunity to explore the emirate’s collection of expert-curated artefacts and artworks. You can, for example, meander through the myriad stories and international exhibitions at museums and galleries including the universally-famous Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warehouse421 and the Etihad Modern Art Gallery.
And especially for Ramadan, you’ll find limited-time pop-ups, and exciting activations — so when families come together at this special time of year, those moments become all the more memorable. In addition to its exciting preview of Abu Dhabi’s upcoming Natural History Museum (with a 66 million-year-old T-Rex skeleton, and six billion-year-old space rock), Manarat al Saadiyat is also currently home to the Ramadan Arcade, offering daily art and music encounters, video games, board games, food trucks, chill spaces and a casual bit of moon sighting.
If it’s a deep dive into the heart of heritage that interests you most, there’s plenty to uncover at Qasr Al Hosn, constructed in the 1790s it’s the emirate’s oldest standing building, seat of the National Archive and home to a collection of exhibits that date back as far as 6,000BCE. And for the Holy Month there’s a full schedule of fun family activities, with iftar opportunities at some hugely popular restaurant pop-ups.
You can also find daily Ramadan activities on offer at the amazing Abu Dhabi Children’s Library in the Cultural Foundation.
Qasr Al Watan — the Presidential Palace of the Nation, is an engineering marvel in its own right and offers invaluable insights into the UAE’s past; the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques, a simply incredible work of architectural beauty, with space for 40,000 worshipers, there are 82 white marble domes — one of which features beautiful gold leaf calligraphy of Quranic text on the interior, the mosque also houses the world’s largest hand-woven carpet.
Into the past
In Al Ain, the verdant, nautural-canopy shaded ‘Garden City’, you can step into the past with tours of forts, forests and UNESCO Wolrd Heritage sites — Al Jahili, Al Ain Oasis and the Al Ain Palace Museum, are wise first choices for any itinerary; or journey yet further along the timeline at the ancient, up to 5,000 years old archaeological sites in the shadowy foothills of Abu Dhabi’s highest peak — Jebel Hafit. And there are more neolithic tales available to view at the engaging excavation sites of Hili Archeological Park.
And right now, there’s a special ‘Cultural Pass’ to help you do it all for even less. Unlock 13 cultural sites across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and more than 50 cultural activities, for just Dhs50.
Images: ©Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi