Explore Ramadan in Dubai, from iftars in a private jet to intimate mosque tours
The sky is the limit when it comes to celebrating Ramadan in Dubai. From breaking the daily fast with the locals to an iftar on a private jet, the options are amazing. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to abstain from food and water during the day in order to better appreciate the plight of the less fortunate; give to charity; to prayer and come closer to Allah. Lasting 30 days, it is also an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends with the breaking of the night fast, a meal called “iftar”. Non-Muslims in Dubai can learn a lot about local customs during Ramadan and participate in iftars – everyone is welcome.
Meet the people of Dubai
With the motto “open doors, open minds”, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) has been breaking cultural barriers from its historic home in Al Fahidi since 1998.
Cultural presenter Meera Al Falasi volunteers at the center, organizing programs and guests keen to learn more about her Emirati heritage.
“We have different programs, including cultural meal programs,” Meera explains. “In all of these programs, we focus on open conversation. We know that a lot of people have different questions for Emiratis, and we try to create a very open environment where everyone can ask their questions.
During Ramadan, SMCCU hosts special iftar programs, giving guests a guided tour of a neighborhood mosque and sharing a traditional domestic iftar.
Enjoy a classic Dubai iftar
Iftars in hotels and restaurants can be rather lavish affairs – like Christmas dinner for Christians. Iraqi Samad Al, in the heart of Jumeirah, is a particularly popular iftar location for Muslim and non-Muslim families.
Her classic Dubai iftar starts with dates – a quick source of energy, ideal as a trace back to the end of the daily fast. The centerpiece of the banquet is the lamb, representing the slaughtered sacrificial animal in place of the son of the prophet Abraham after offering the child to Allah – the ultimate sacrifice. Another Middle Eastern classic, kunafa – layers of crispy pastry soaked in syrup and stringy cheese – tops the most popular desserts.
The food is delicious, but that’s not the only goal, says Moe Alhaj, restaurant partner: “Spending time with the people you love and breaking the fast with your family and friends – taking this trip every day for 30 days – it’s very special in today’s world. , how busy we are. It’s something that brings us all together.
Try an iftar in the sky
Those looking for non-traditional iftars will find that Dubai can suit all tastes; voltigeurs can even break their fast in the clouds. Hosted by a private jet terminal Jetex, ‘Iftar in the Sky’ allows passengers to break their fast by flying over the United Arab Emirates in a private plane.
“This is the first global experience of its kind for Ramadan,” says Oleg Kafarov of Jetex, who developed the experience for those who have never flown in a private jet before and for those who, due to the pandemic , fail to fly.
“We invite our passengers – up to six passengers – to join us on a flight across the country where we see the monuments of the seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates,” Oleg said. “At sunset, it’s the best light. We have fantastic cuisine; we have a chef on board and our crew takes care of the passengers. It is a joyful experience for those who miss traveling.
The luxurious airport also offers its guests personalized coffee, a free caviar bar and piano shows on arrival. Iftar in the Sky costs 66,000 AED (15,100 €) for six people and 10% of the cost goes to the local charity Dubai Cares.