Ramadan food carnival in Fujairah knows how to draw a crowd

More than 40 stalls feature delicacies from local restaurants, home-made foods and live cooking stations.

A resident stocks up with greens at a stall offering traditional fruits and vegetables at the Ramadan food carnival in Fujairah. Jaime Puebla / The National
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FUJAIRAH // Hundreds of residents have already enjoyed taking in the various food stalls at the emirate’s Ramadan food carnival, and many more are expected to do so before the holy month ends.

The month-long carnival is a firm fixture on the annual calendar of events taking place in Fujairah and has become the place to sample a wide range of cuisines during the holy month.

The carnival has more than 40 food and drink stalls showcasing delicacies from local restaurants and home-made foods, while it also features live cooking displays of local and Indian cuisines.

Food sellers Jamal Musad and Samira Shehata said that the carnival, now in its third week, had been busy.

Mr Musad, who works in a local, said: “This is the second time for us to participate in this great food festival.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to meet and serve this huge amount of consumers. They come from all across Fujairah to buy our delicious cheese and vegetable samosas, besides other Arabian dishes.

“We prepare almost triple our regular quantity of daily food to meet the increased demand during the weekends.”

Ms Shehata works at her mother’s sweet shop and they participate in the carnival every year.

“My mother owns an Arabic sweet shop here in Fujairah and everybody loves to buy kunafah and haresah, especially during Ramadan,” she said.

“We also sell traditional Emirates sweets, like luqaimat. I sold more than 15 big sweet trays last weekend.

“It is quite busy during the weekends because of the large number of residents who work in other emirates and come back to Fujairah during the weekend to see their families and spend some quality time together.”

At her stall, Mariam was selling home-made food cooked by an Emirati resident.

“I work with Madam Samira Abdullah, who is talented in cooking some of the famous Emirati and Indian dishes such as biryani, kabsa, harees and marti.

“She and her mother prepare and cook everything we serve here at the stall. I help her in packing and selling the food.

“This is the third time we have participated at this carnival. Most of the people prefer home-made food and sweets, which is cooked to a high standard at an acceptable price.”

Visitors to the carnival have praised its community spirit, cheerful atmosphere and mouth-watering dishes.

Dawood Ismail, 30, is one of the regular Emirati visitors.

“From the first moment you enter the carnival, you start hearing the food vendors calling and naming the food they offer in a musical and funny way, which definitely would put a smile on your face and attract your senses,” he said.

“I come here to buy my favourite dishes – harees and samosas – and meet up with my friends.”

An older Emirati, Abu Hashem, said: “Simplicity is the thing I like most here. You can feel and sense culture and traditions combined all together in a simple and modest way. This is what we are as Emiratis. I come here twice a week with my grandson to buy traditional food, sweets and Ramadan juices.”

His 15-year-old grandson, Abdul Aziz, said: “I await Ramadan eagerly each year to eat all this tasty food and delicious sweets. I wish that Ramadan will never end.

“My grandfather brought me here to choose my favourite food, although every time I come here I feel more hungry than ever, but time passes quickly and, suddenly, it’s iftar time.”

Ramadan food carnival is organised by Fujairah Municipality, which provides inspectors to supervise the quality of food on offer.

The carnival is open daily during Ramadan between 4pm and 7pm at Fujairah Corniche, in front of the Marina Club.