During Ramadan, the nights come alive – not just because of iftars and suhoors, but also because some of the UAE's best attractions offer great deals on tickets.
Here are just a few of our top picks of post-iftar activities this month.
The theme of the holy month at Alserkal Avenue is Maintenance, and the area's Ramadan programme includes quirky iftar and suhoor experiences, art and self-care workshops, thought-provoking discussions, exhibition openings, guided tours, film screenings and more. From old-school board game nights in A4 Space to majlis storytelling at The Yard, plus a special edition of Alserkal Lates, there's enough going on to make sure you go back night after night. Check out the full programme here.
Dubai Parks and Resorts
There are two deals worth shouting about at the theme park complex this Ramadan. Firstly, enjoy an iftar buffet at the Mughal-e-Azam Ramadan tent in Bollywood Parks for just Dh50, which includes access to the park and new shows at Rajmahal Theatre. Guests who want to have a go on the rides can pay Dh10 per attraction. Alternatively, pay Dh99 to get access to all the rides and attractions at the park, as well as the shows and the iftar buffet.
At Motiongate Dubai, you can join everyone’s favourite ogre couple, Shrek and Fiona, for an iftar at Candy Apple restaurant, and get access to the park and its rides, for Dh260.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
The world’s biggest indoor theme park is offering three packages this month, with general admission priced at Dh99 (compared to the usual Dh300). If you add on an iftar buffet, entry is Dh135. Meanwhile, park admission with iftar buffet and a cinema ticket costs Dh149. The offers are valid for UAE residents, and the park is open from 3pm to 9pm. These deals are available until May 30.
This home-grown, healthy eatery at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard is offering a series of talks throughout Ramadan. Every Wednesday from 8pm, Emirati experts are sharing their knowledge on topics such as health, poetry, arts and culture, with a view of promoting conversation and debate, while guests enjoy healthy eats. Iftar costs Dh98 per person, and the talks are free.
On May 15, artist, designer and illustrator Khalid Mezaina is discussing his work and inspirations while on May 22, author and artist Jalal Luqman will be talking about his achievements as the UAE's first digital artist. He recently published his first book, The Armagondas, an epic fantasy graphic novel inspired by true events. Finally, on May 29, Eman Al Mughairy, who works as an Abu Dhabi Youth Hub project manager, will be discussing cultural diplomacy, the Year of Tolerance and "connecting for positive change".
For every Dh200 you spend at indoor activity centre Hub Zero, which is based in Dubai’s City Walk, throughout Ramadan, you’ll get the opportunity to win a bunch of prizes. This includes an iPhone XR, an Apple Watch Series 4 and an annual pass to the park. Entry is free, and you pay as you go.
Hub Zero features 18 rides, virtual reality attractions, arcade games, a laser experience, plus karaoke rooms, pool tables and places to eat. It’s open until midnight.
The Smash Room
Smash glasses, TVs, computers – basically whatever you can find – well into the early hours of the morning at The Smash Room this Ramadan, as it’s open until 2am throughout the holy month. The Al Quoz-based attraction claims a typical 30-minute session can help burn 400 calories, so it’s a great post-iftar workout that’ll also let you de-stress.
There’s also an Eid package that’s been set up for families, starting from Dh200 for two adults and two children. It includes 40 glasses and two electronic items to smash, so you can get destructive together.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Every Friday and Saturday throughout Ramadan, a series of short, looped film screenings, curated by artist Rinku Awtani, are taking place at the capital’s museum. Heartwarming tales from around the world with the theme of multiculturalism will be told, highlighting values of empathy, courage and exploration in both documentary and animation format. Entrance to the screening is included in the museum’s general admission ticket, which costs Dh63. Admission is free for children under 13.
Between May 15 and 17, the museum will also be open until midnight, and on May 18 opening hours will extend to 1am.
Finally, towards the end of the holy month, on May 24 and 25, a weekend of free activities will take place, from 2pm to 6pm, which aim to celebrate Islamic art.
All month, the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum Cafe is offering a set menu for iftar for Dh120.
Manarat Al Saadiyat
Catch the last weekend of Manarat Al Saadiyat's Ramadan Arcade, which takes place from May 15 to 18. A series of activities is spread across five main zones, covering games, art and photography workshops, performances, retail, learning, food and more. The arcade and gaming zones are home to modern and retro games, as well as karom tournaments and traditional Emirati games.
Outside, food trucks will be serving all sorts of cuisines, while pop-up vendors sell everything from clothes to jewellery and crafts. These are all run by Mirbad, a non-profit organisation founded by young Emirati women. On top of all that, there are workshops and talks on topics as diverse as majlis traditions and astrophotography, as well as nightly performances and poetry readings.
The Ramadan Arcade is open from 9pm to 2am.
The Cultural Foundation
A special programme of activities has been devised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi at the Cultural Foundation, led by a group of speakers, writers and artists from across the UAE. For instance, cultural expert Ali Al Saloom will lead a series of iftar events on May 18 and 25, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, clarifying cultural dos and don’ts, helping residents with any social challenges they might be facing, and demonstrating ways to embrace the holy month.
Emirati singers Abdullah Al Qasmy, Ali Bobar and Ammar Bobar will be performing anasheed, a type of Islamic chanting, on May 17 and 24, from 10pm to midnight.
On May 15 and 22, from 10pm to midnight, The Cultural Foundation’s Writing Society will host workshops. Emirati author and scriptwriter Amal Al Duwaila has curated a series called Writing to Allah, where she will teach writers how to enhance their creativity, build methods of storytelling, improve their technical skills and hone their personal style.
Finally, on May 16 and 23, between 10pm and midnight, Emirati artist and architect Abdalla Al Mulla will be teaching people how to create Ramadan lanterns using a range of materials.
Yas Island theme parks
There are three theme parks on Yas Island, and each of them are offering great Ramadan deals this year. At Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, where you'll find the world's fastest roller coaster, park guests get free entry on weekend evenings (6pm to 10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday), and can enjoy the rides and attractions on a pay-as-you-go basis. Tickets for one ride cost Dh60, while you can get unlimited access for just Dh100 (this excludes Karting Academy, Simulators and Driving Experience).
Yas Waterworld is offering 50 per cent off its standard annual passes, which give families unlimited access to the waterpark. The offer is available until the last day of Ramadan, and costs Dh495 for adult and junior passes (it's valid for 12 months from the date you buy it). Also, if you buy a single day ticket (which are half price in Ramadan) you can get that discounted off the price of your annual pass (final price will depend on the price of the ticket you bought).
Meanwhile, at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, every Thursday and Friday, guests visiting the park after 6pm can get access to the rides, as well as an iftar buffet at the Hollywood Trattoria. It costs Dh249 for adults and Dh199 for children. The park is open until 10pm on Thursdays and Fridays all month. Kids under four enter for free.