Ramadan 2018 iftar guide: 15 to try in Dubai

From the city’s first floating iftar to traditional tents, communal tents and old favourites, here’s what on offer this Ramadan

Iftar spread at Sofitel JBR
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The Queen Elizabeth 2 at Port Rashid will open her doors for Dubai's first-ever floating iftar, while the spreads at the city's various five-star hotels and local eateries promise to put you in a stupor - here are some iftars we can't wait to sample in Dubai.

3 in 1

What: In keeping with its name, the restaurant will have a three-day rotation iftar menu, with mains switching out each day to include some combination of lamb ouzi, kofta khashkhash, chicken shish taouk, chicken mloukhieh, lamb kofta, dajaj mashwi, fish harra, and lamb Dawood bahsa. In addition to Iftar favourite Umm Ali, desserts also feature a karak chai pannacotta and baklava crème brûlée.

When: From 7pm to 10pm

How much: Dh180 per adult and Dh90 for children between 6 and 12 years; kids below 6 eat free.

Where: Vida Downtown

Contact: Call 04 888 3444 or email dine@emaar.com


Asateer Tent

What: The Ramadan tent at Atlantis, the Palm, will showcase dishes created by the kitchens of celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay (Bread Street Kitchen) and Giogio Locatelli (Ronda Locatelli), who will pay homage to traditional Emirati cuisine, with executive oriental head chef Ali El Bourji of Ayamna overlooking the proceedings. The two restaurants will also serve their signature dishes, including Ramsay's shepherd's pie and Locatelli's porcini mushroom risotto. The tent will also feature 10 dessert stations, including a live Arabic sweet-making counter.

When: From 7pm to 9.30pm, but guests can stay until 3am

How much: Dh220 per adult and Dh110 for children between 3 and 12

Where: Atlantis, the Palm

Contact: Call 04 426 2626 or email restaurantreservations@atlantisthepalm.com


Queen Elizabeth 2

Floating iftar aboard the QE2

What: Dubai's first floating iftar will be held in a purpose-built majlis on the ship's largest deck. It includes live cooking stations, traditional Emirati dishes, fresh salads, hot and cold mezze, desserts and a selection of Arabic juices and coffee.

When: From 7pm to 9pm

How much: Dh250 per adult and Dh85 for children between 4 and 12; kids below 4 eat free

Where: Port Rashid

Contact: Call 04 526 8888 or email dining@qe2.com


Sikka Café

Lamb mahbos at Sikka Cafe

What: An iftar buffet with hot and cold mezze, such as beetroot salad, tabbouleh, falafel, chicken liver and onion pakora; main courses including the restaurant's signature lamb machbous and shrimp salona, plus biryani, butter chicken, lamb ouzi and fish harra; and traditional desserts including legemat, baklava, and kunafa.

When: 7pm to 9pm

How much: Dh129 per person

Where: City Walk

Contact: Call 04 385 6524


Al Nafoorah

This picture of food from the iftar at Al Nafoorah is an example of how many options there are in many of the UAE's buffet spreads.

What: One of Dubai's most popular Lebanese restaurants has an iftar buffet with a selection of mezze, salads, main courses and desserts, including its kofta bel seney, djej bil senyeh, kebbeh bil laben, mixed grill and shish barak.

When: From 7pm to 8.30pm

How much: Dh195 per adult and Dh95 for children between 6 and 12 years; kids under 5 eat free

Where: Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Contact: Call 04 319 8760


Barbecue Delights

What: A good option for those who want to sample Indian and Pakistani cuisines and want a choice between a buffet and à la carte. On the menu are all manner of kebabs, including the creamy reshmi hebab and spicy Afghani tikka, plus mutton ribs, mutton karahi, fish tikka, biryani and pulao. Vegetarians can choose from palak paneer, khattay baingan (tangy eggplant) and aloo zeera (sautéed potatoes with cumin seeds). Desserts include gu; ab jamun, jalebi, custard and shahi tukre.

When: From 7pm

How much: Dh59 on weekdays and Dh69 on weekends at the Motor City and Dragon Mart branches; Dh69 or Dh79 at the Lamcy Plaza and Dubai Parks branches; and Dh79 or Dh89 at the Downtown, JBR and Ibn Battuta branches.

Where: Various venues across Dubai

Contact: Call 800 22283


Boulevard Ballroom

What: This iftar is served at a communal table to further the Ramadan spirit of unity and sharing, and features traditional dishes as well as an oud player.

When: From 7pm to 9pm

How much: Dh195 per person

Where: Address Boulevard

Contact: Call 04 561 8888 or email dine.aboh@addresshotels.com


Homestead Restaurant & Bakery

Kanaad at Homestead 

What: A set iftar menu featuring local, sustainably sourced and organic ingredients. Dishes include hot and cold mezze, such as loubieh bil zeit (green beans in oil) and red lentil purée with toasted Arabic bread; a choice of one main from among kannad machboos (fried kingfish with traditional Emirati spiced rice); butter chicken; grilled chicken marinated in local spices on a bed of freekeh; and mixed grill with chicken kebab and kebab Emirati. Desserts include kunafa, qatayef and sliced watermelon.

When: From 7pm to 9pm

How much: Dh105 per person

Where: The Yard

Contact: Call 800 466 383 230


Karam Beirut

Fresh breads at Karam Beirut 

What: A traditional Arabic futoor experience with staples such as lentil soup, hummus, fattoush, tabbouleh and an assortment of sambousek for appetisers; all manner of mixed grills for mains; and a live dessert station with kellaj Ramadan, baklava, kunafa, Umm Ali, and dates and dry fruits.

When: From 7pm to 10pm

How much: Dh145 per person

Where: Karam Beirut branches at Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall and Emirates Hills

Contact: Call 04 339 9789


Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach

What: An Iftar buffet that combines Arabic, Moroccan and Turkish staples, and has a santoor player. Dishes include hot and cold mezze (hummus, sambousek, fatayer and tabbouleh with Arabic bread); plus lamb ouzi, mixed grill, and a shawarma station. For desserts, sample the kunafa, Umm Ali and baklava, as well as crêpes with various fillings.

When: From 7pm to 10pm

How much: Dh150 per adult and Dh75 for children between 7 and 12 years; children under 6 eat free, while two kids eat free per paying couple.

Where: The Walk on JBR

Contact: Call 04 448 4848 or email restaurants.dubaijbr@sofitel.com


The H Dubai

Mezze at H Hotel

What: An iftar Eat & Meat buffet, which includes traditional Ramadan delicacies with a focus on meats, plus salads, juices and live cooking stations.

When: From 7pm

How much: Dh160 per adult and Dh80 for children between 6 and 12 years; kids under 5 eat free

Where: One Sheikh Zayed Road

Contact: Call 04 501 8623 or email eatandnneat@h-hotel.com


Amaseena Tent

What: An Ottoman-styled majlis that includes multiple cuisines, from Morocco and Lebanon to Peruvian and Italian, plus oud and violin music. Dishes include a mandi-cooked salmon and tagine cooked in an authentic clay pot.

When: From 7pm to 8.30pm

How much: Dh225 per adult and Dh112 for children between 6 and 12 years; kids under 5 eat free

Where: Ritz-Carlton Dubai

Contact: Call 04 318 6150 or email dine.dubai@ritzcarlton.com



Mountains of sweet treats at Yalumba 

What: Iftar buffet that includes mixed grills, manakeesh, ouzi, pide and shawarma stations, plus the usual cold mezze platters.

When: From 7pm

How much: Dh169 per adult and Dh70 per child

Where: Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

Contact: Call 04 702 2328 or email yalumba.lmdubai@lemeridien.com


The Courtyard

What: A set menu that starts with cold mezze and soup, followed by hot mezze and a sharing menu with four live stations, including ouzi, shawarma, saj & falafel. Then, two main courses and four skewers of grills served directly to the table, and finally kunafa and a fruit platter, plus traditional juices.

When: From 7pm to 9pm

How much: Dh195 per adult and Dh100 for children between 6 and 12 years; kids under 6 eat free; plus Dh175 per adult for a group of 10

Where: Manzil Downtown

Contact: Call 04 888 3444 or email connect.downtown@vida-hotels.com



Spread at Palazzo Versace.

What: The jungle-themed restaurant will offer an iftar buffet with both international and Middle Eastern dishes, the latter including ouzi, harira soup, harees, sayadia fish, kousa mahshi, and kunafa, baklava and Umm Ali, among others.

When: From 7pm

How much: Dh230 per person

Where: Palazzo Versace hotel

Contact: Call 04 556 8888


Read more for Ramadan:

Ramadan 2018 iftar guide: 10 to try in Abu Dhabi

10 modest fashion forward collections

FAQs: all you need to know about the holy month in the UAE