Dubai Ramadan tingz…

The Holy month of Ramadan is upon us and what a wonderful time it is. A time for self-reflection, personal growth, celebration, giving back, gratitude, festivity and family. It’s also a time for Iftar previews, hot and cold mezze, literal artillery going off to signal Iftar and many more quintessentially Dubai Ramadan experiences. Whether you fast during Ramadan or not, we know you feel these too. Here’s to sharing the Dubai life.

(Sometimes overpriced) Iftar previews/menus


Iftar previews and menus begin coming in before Ramadan even begins itself. These menus generally have on them anything ranging from hot and cold mezze to traditional Arabian delicacies, continental options, international bits and much more. There may or may not the light strumming of an oud in the background, either pre-recorded or live. Jalabiyas are everywhere. It’s a wholesome affair, and a great way to have people who don’t fast try the Iftar experience.

Rivers of Vimto/Rooh Afza flow


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We’re not entirely sure how Vimto became an Iftar staple, but here we are and Vimto is staying. The British drink is a regular in many an Iftar spread, perhaps because it’s fruity and refreshing and considered to quench thirst. Water may be too boring, soda too much, but Vimto? Vimto is just the right amount of party and plain to make the cut. Alongside that is the Rooh Afza – similar vibes, different colours. Rooh Afza comes from Pakistan and is concerningly sweet but that isn’t stopping anyone.

Those cannons we forget about that go off at Iftar time

expo city dubai ramadan cannons

This is an annual thing – cannons are fired to signal Iftar every Ramadan and the best part is, you can even go check them out. The longstanding tradition is called midfa al iftar, the responsibility of which has been entrusted to the Dubai Police to be carried out ever since the 1960s. The cannons use blank cartridges so it’s safe if you want to witness the process, though you may want to cover your ears to protect those ear drums. This year, there will be stationary Ramadan cannons in 7 locations, as well as a mobile cannon that will visit to 13 different locations throughout the month of Ramadan. Find out all the locations here.

Festive fun at Ramadan markets

Hai Ramadan Night Market Expo City Dubai

We love a good festive market in Dubai. Ramadan is a time for celebration, and what better way to invite the people to do just that than by setting up a wholesome Ramadan market. Ramadan markets in Dubai are an evening affair, for obvious reasons, and are perfect for families and friends to do something fun with their time after Iftar. Here you’ll find food and beverage vendors, kiosks from homegrown to regional and international brands, cafes, pop-ups, henna design stations, arts and crafts, games and more. There are a number of Ramadan markets open this year. Find out more here.

A hike in date sales

This may be true to cities all around, but the dates are in demand during Ramadan. Typically because breaking your fast with dates first thing holds religious significance for Muslims, being a habit or sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). As such, dates are all the rage and even more so in this part of the world, where they already are a major part of the cuisine and lifestyle. We also often see dates being distributed on the streets or in mosques as a sign of togetherness and charity.

Reduced hours but no reduced traffic


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And that’s on living in Dubai. The current status of traffic in the city is such that there is only traffic, everywhere, every day, all the time. You would imagine reduced hours for a part of the workforce would mean that the volume of traffic would be dispersed over the day, but you would imagine wrong. The only way to avoid the traffic is to never leave the house, and there’s no way we’re going back to that again, so we’ll pray for patience as we set off on our daily journeys. May the forces be in our favour.

Sweet displays of solidarity

Perhaps the best thing of them all – during this month, it’s not just the Muslims that fast. A large number of non-Muslims also actively participate, choosing to fast to give company to their Muslim friends, peers or colleagues. It creates a wonderful atmosphere of togetherness and just goes to show that Dubai is an incredible melting pot of cultures, where we all learn from one another and engage in each other’s traditions. That’s what brings us together and that’s what makes this city great.


Images: Supplied/ Getty/Socials