Ramadan is always a wonderful way of connecting with others, spending quality time with loved ones, particularly in the evenings around the dinner table. To help make the holy month even more special, this year, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi has created a host of unique experiences for iftar and suhoor.
For animal lovers, fans of architecture or those simply looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, there is something for everyone.
Iftar with lions at Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is offering a unique opportunity to enjoy iftar alongside its lions. The evening starts at 5.30pm with a sunset tour by Al Ain Safari that takes visitors around the zoo before delivering guests to the iftar, set up next to the lions enclosure. A set menu is on offer and available to those over the age of 12, and for groups of four to 12 people. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
The evening wraps at 8pm and is priced at Dh840 ($228).
More information is available at www.alainzoo.ae
Iftar with giraffes and elephants at Emirates Park Zoo
If lions sound too ferocious, why not enjoy an evening with giraffes instead, thanks to Emirates Park Zoo. It is offering a two-hour iftar experience from 6.30pm, giving visitors the opportunity to not only admire these creatures up close, but also feed the gentle herbivores.
It's open to groups of up to five people and it also grants full-day access to the zoo, for those who want to make a day of it, as well as a complimentary environmental tour guide and an African drumming experience.
There's also the option to break your fast with elephants instead. At 6.30pm every evening, there is a set menu iftar available in the elephant area. The experience comes with an educational talk about these fascinating pachyderms, and even a chance to interact with, and feed, them.
Up to 12 people can get involved and, as with the giraffe experience, the ticket also provides full-day access to the zoo and an African drumming session.
Iftar with giraffes costs Dh1,785 per group of five people, while iftar with elephants can be enjoyed for Dh250 per person, for a maximum of 12 people.
More information is available at www.emiratesparkzooandresort.com
Iftar at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Art lovers will relish the chance to dine at this prestigious museum and under Jean Nouvel’s beautiful dome, as two venues have opened their doors for iftar.
Fouquet's Abu Dhabi is offering a three-course Emirati and French meal, while Art Lounge is offering lighter bites at its rooftop site. It's open from sunset until 10pm.
Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi costs Dh390 per person, and Art Lounge is a la carte.
More information is available at www.louvreabudhabi.ae
Iftar and suhoor at Jebel Hafit Desert Park
Enjoy eating under the stars at Jebel Hafit Desert Park, from 7pm throughout Ramadan, at Hafit Foothills Lounge by Pura. Deals for both iftar and suhoor are on offer against the stunning backdrop of Jebel Hafit.
Soak up the surroundings at Pura Eco Retreat — Jebel Hafit Desert Park, over iftar from 7pm, and suhoor from 9pm.
For those wanting make the most of the evening, why not "glamp" in a sky bubble or skylight dome, and savour the bonfire that starts at 9pm each night?
Ramadan stay offers with iftar or suhoor are from Dh845.
More information is at www.visitabudhabi.ae
Suhoor on the beach
Experience a Bedouin-style Ramadan suhoor experience at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas.
Situated on Saadiyat Island, it offers a serene environment, away from the city. For the entire month, the hotel is hosting a Suhoor on the Beach with gourmet food, tea and shisha.
It's on from 9pm to 1am and includes live Arabic music entertainment with either oud or qanun performances. Prior booking is recommended.
Suhoor is priced at Dh495, with Dh300 the starting price for shisha.
More information is available at www.hyatt.com
Suhoor on the lawns
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, is offering a suhoor outside on its lawns, overlooking Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It runs from 9pm to 2am every evening with an a la carte menu of Middle Eastern specialities and different flavours of shisha, all offered within the lounge-style setting in the open air.
For those who prefer a little more privacy, there are sharing cabanas available too.
There is a minimum spend of Dh200 per person.
More details available at www.ritzcarlton.com
Iftar cruise along the corniche
Break your fast on the water, and opt for a cruise along the Abu Dhabi Corniche, taking in the atmosphere and impressive city skyline.
It's offered by Royal Yacht and includes an open international buffet, as well as traditional Ramadan juices and sweets.
The experience lasts for one hour, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, and is available daily. It starts at Marina Mall, then sails along the Corniche and Mina before heading back on itself.
The iftar is Dh120 per person.
More information is available at www.royalyachtuae.com