While the throngs of people flocking to hotel buffets across Dubai as the canons sound is somewhat intimidating, it’s also a quintessential Dubai experience.
Here’s our pick for the best places to sample the hallowed iftar at the city’s best hotels, new and old, a la carte and buffet.
1. The Address Montgomerie
A glass tent overlooking a championship golf course, The Address Montgomerie is a unique iftar buffet venue. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the lakes, starry night sky and the fairway as you settle in to a multi-course set menu.
The Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs200, Dhs100 under-11s, under-fives free. Tel: (04) 3905600. Taxi: Emirates Hills. mydubairamadan.com
Luxurious Indian restaurant Ananta has long been a favourite in Dubai. This year, it presents a special Dehlvi Iftar set menu, served to your table.
The Oberoi, Dubai, Business Bay, from sunset, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 4441407. Metro: Business Bay. oberoihotels.com
3. Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Take in the sunset views over the sea before tucking into a buffet of Middle Eastern and international dishes at Crescendo.
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, sunset to 10.30pm, Dhs185. Tel: (04) 5678304. Taxi: Anantara, The Palm, East Crescent. anantara.com
We know, it’s not exactly a hotel, but how could you go past an iftar at the world’s highest restaurant? You’ll get a four-course menu of contemporary European delicacies served to your table, including a selection of hot and cold appetizers, mains, and dessert, as you sample the views over Dubai from its most well-known landmark.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm, Dhs475. Tel: (04) 888 3828. Taxi: Burj Khalifa. atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
5. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Travel to the desert for a traditional iftar in this five-star resort. Eat Arabic delicacies at Al Hadheerah, while enjoying tanoura dancing and live table and oud music. The best part is the live camel caravan and horse show on the surrounding dunes.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, near Endurance City, Dubai, sunset to 11.30pm, Sun to Wed Dhs250, Thur to Sat Dhs270. Tel: (04) 8096194. Taxi: Bab Al Shams. meydanhotels.com
Coya’s food continues to impress, especially during Ramadan when its Latin American fare meets Arabian flair. Think Peruvian bean soups, succulent salmon fillet, spicy beef and date cakes.
Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 8pm, Dhs270. Tel: (04) 3169600. Taxi: Four Seasons. coyarestaurant.com
Iftar and suhoor will be held in this new British hotel’s signature restaurant GBR. Expect traditional Arabic favourites plus a wide selection of international dishes, with five different iftar menus rotated every five days. A live oud player will add to the atmosphere.
Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs175, or Dhs145 for groups of ten or more. Tel: (04) 4551111.Taxi: Dukes Dubai, near West 14th. dukesdubai.com
8. Fairmont The Palm
Iftar and suhoor will be served buffet style in the beautiful Fairuz tent at this beachside destination.
Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs175. Tel: (04) 4573388. Taxi: Fairmont Palm Jumeirah. fairmont.com
9. Firebird Diner
The fine-dining US diner Firebird is bringing big sharing dishes to the table, with a focus on its classic American favourites.
Four Seasons Hotel DIFC, Gate Village 9, Dubai, daily sunset to 1am, Dhs185, Dhs50 for unlimited shakes and mocktails. Tel: (04) 5060000. Taxi: Four Seasons DIFC. fourseasons.com
10. Grand Hyatt Dubai
Pulling out all the stops, the Grand Hyatt is transforming Baniyas Ballroom into a stunning iftar venue with an array of regional and international cuisine from live cooking stations. They will also be flying in chefs from renowned restaurants around the world, including a Syrian chef whipping up fresh manakish, and a Jordanian drinks master.
Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs199, Dhs95 under-12s. Tel: (04) 3172222. Taxi: Grand Hyatt. dubai.grand.hyatt.com
11. Hyatt Regency Dubai
The revolving rooftop restaurant, Al Dawaar, is the unique setting for iftar at Hyatt Regency Dubai. The spread includes traditional Arabic dishes.
Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira, Dubai, daily sunset to 10pm, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 2096887. Taxi: Hyatt Regency Dubai. dubai.regency.hyatt.com
12. InterContinental Dubai Marina
A traditional buffet at the airy Accents restaurant, featuring a selection of live cooking stations, and sharing platters served to the table along with a choice of fresh juices, mocktails and smoothies.
InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs165. Tel: (04) 4466669. Taxi: InterContinental Dubai Marina. icmarinadining.com
13. Jumeirah Al Naseem
Jumeirah’s newest hotel is hosting an iftar of Arabic cuisine in its signature all-day dining restaurant, The Palmery, named for the 1,000 palm trees located in and around the hotel.
Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 4323232. Taxi: Jumeirah Al Naseem. jumeirah.com
14. Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Authentic Arabic cuisine and live oud make for a special evening inside the Majlis Godolphin.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs205. Tel: (04) 4323232. Taxi: Jumeirah Emirates Towers. jumeirah.com
15. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Set within the hotel on The Palm, Al Nafoorah has a traditional Arabic iftar set menu of mezze, main courses and desserts served until 9pm. There is also shisha available for an extra charge.
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs195, under-12s half price. Tel: (04) 4530444. Taxi: The Palm, West Crescent. jumeirah.com
16. JW Marriott Marquis
The hotel’s exquisite iftar takes place at Dubai Ballroom, which will be transformed into the white and gold Al Fanous Lounge, serving an international buffet. Definitely try the Levantine-style chicken molokhia (it’s delicious, and healthy). Iftar will be followed by suhoor, from 9pm to 3am, which has a minimum spend of Dhs150 per person, and it only opens to guests aged 21 and older.
JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs199. Tel: (04) 4143000. Metro: Business Bay. marriott.com
17. La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk
Located in Jumeirah, this boutique hotel is the perfect place for a laidback iftar. A buffet of Arabic and international dishes are served at Chival, as a live oud player sets the mood. Afterwards, head to the hotel courtyard for shisha.
La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk, City Walk, Al Safa, Jumeirah, daily, from sunset, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 4033111. Taxi: City Walk. livelaville.com
18. Madinat Jumeirah
One of Dubai’s best Ramadan venues, the Madinat Arena’s Al Majlis returns this year, with an Arabic buffet serving hundreds of guests each night.
Al Sufouh, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs210. Tel: (04) 3668888. Taxi: Souk Madinat. jumeirah.com
19. Manzil Downtown Dubai
The courtyard in this downtown hotel is one of the best spots in the city for a Ramadan feast. After the iftar, stick around for a serene suhoor that includes classic Ramadan dishes, traditional games, shisha and live performances from 10pm to 6am.
Manzil Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 4238899. Taxi: Manzil Hotel. vida-hotels.com
The special Ramadan tent at Meydan features interactive cooking stations, including a manakeesh baking spot, a Chinese live wok and a sushi counter. Food wise, there will be something for everyone.
Meydan Hotel, Meydan Road, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.45pm, Dhs190. Tel: (04) 3813111. More info on website.
21. Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate
Celebrate iftar below Al Bahou’s 88 Arabic lanterns or in an elegant Ramadan Tent. Inspired by Ibn Battuta’s travels through India, Italy, Morocco and Asia, and accompanied by the soothing sounds of the traditional oud, this is an iftar not to miss.
Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, near Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs185. Tel: (04) 4440000. Metro: Ibn Battuta. movenpick-hotels.com
22.One & Only The Palm
Guests can sample a variety of delicious Arabic and continental dishes in stunning surroundings, accompanied by a live oud performance.
One & Only The Palm, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 0440301. Taxi: One & Only The Palm. oneandonlythepalm.com
23. The Palace Downtown Dubai
Relax in the beautiful Ewaan Ramadan tent, a recreation of a traditional Arabic tent, which spills out onto the Palace gardens. Linger after your meal to experience suhoor (10am to 1am, Dhs170) over a relaxing shisha.
The Palace Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs255. Tel: (04) 4287951. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. theaddress.com
24. Park Hyatt Dubai
Café Arabesque serves a grand buffet of traditional Arabic cuisine, including live cooking stations.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Dubai Creek Club Street, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs210. Tel: (04) 6021814. Taxi: Park Hyatt Dubai. dubai.park.hyatt.com
25. Ritz-Carlton DIFC
Break your fast with a traditional iftar buffet inside the specially constructed Ramadan majlis. There’s an exclusive buy-one-get-one free weekend offer. Look out for the falafel waffle station – you won’t regret it.
Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs215, Dhs107 under-12s. Tel: (04) 3722323. Metro: Financial Centre. ritzcarlton.com
26. Rixos The Palm
Turkey meets the Middle East for this buffet, held in A La Turca restaurant. Highlights include iskender kebab, lahana samasi, Uzbek pilav, lamb shank trim, and Sultan rice platter.
Rixos The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily sunset to 10pm, Dhs199, Dhs99.5 under-12s. Tel (04) 4575454. Taxi: Rixos The Palm. thepalmdubai.rixos.com
27. Shangri-La Hotel Dubai
From sunset, guests can indulge in Middle Eastern specialities and beverages, including traditional Arabic cuisine from all over the region, as well as a variety of Arabic sweets and desserts at Dunes Café.
Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs175. Tel: (04) 4052703. Metro: Financial Centre. shangri-la.com
28. St Regis Dubai
At the new luxury St Regis hotel, you’ll find a traditional Arabic spread including juices, soups, mezze and grilled meats in a majlis in the beautiful Le Patio courtyard.
St Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily sunset to 8.30pm, Dhs225. Tel: (04) 4355555. Taxi: St Regis. stregisdubai.com
29. Vida Hotel Downtown Dubai
Chef James Knight-Pacheo serves Arabian-inspired dishes at 3in1. There’s a live saj and salad station and a pizza oven where guests can customise their own pizza pies.
Vida Hotel Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily sunset to 9pm, Dhs170, Dhs85 under-12s. Tel: (04) 4238899. Taxi: Vida Hotel. vida-hotels.com
30. W Dubai
Level 7 is hosting iftar for large groups of 20 people and above. The food promises to be a modern Mediterranean spin on a traditional spread.
W Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, from sunset, Dhs165. Tel: (04) 4355577. Taxi: St Regis. wdubaialhabtoorcity.com
31. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Waldorf Astoria is hosting iftar in the all-day restaurant Mezzerie. Expect a casual international buffet spread.
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 8:30pm, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 8182222. Taxi: Palm Jumeirah, East Crescent. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com