Being people known for their extraordinarily lavish lifestyles, it really is no surprise that Emiratis go all out to celebrate every aspect of Ramadan. The city comes alive each year with huge iftar feasts and night markets, but it doesn’t end there. For most Muslims around the world, the breakfast meal or iftar is the highlight of the day and it usually overshadows the pre-dawn meal (suhoor), but in Dubai, festive suhoor feasts with lively parties and buffets have also become a trend.
A lot of restaurants and hotels offer special suhoor menus during the nights of Ramadan, and these are open for those who observe the fast as well as other visitors who want to immerse themselves in the whole experience of visiting Dubai during the holy month. An assortment of mouth-watering dishes from local and international cuisines are available at these venues from sunset onwards and diners can enjoy it into the small hours of the night.
One of the most common Ramadan traditions in the Middle East is setting up tents where people can gather around to break their fast. Traditionally, this used to be organized with the less fortunate in mind, but today in cities like Dubai many upscale hotels also do this, and they are a sight to behold. The tents are lit up and decorated beautifully, designed with equally breathtaking traditional and modern touches. Apart from the delicious food, these tents also have live music and other forms of entertainment such as board games to keep the customers occupied until early morning.
Among the most interesting things about suhoor in Dubai nowadays are the glamorous private tents which are set up exclusively for ladies to have their suhoor outside the home. This is an opportunity for women to dress up to the nines, spend some quality time with their girlfriends and enjoy sumptuous meals, along with live entertainment and shopping from designer showcases.
With delicious influences from Asia and the Middle East, Dubai is definitely a city which offers a wonderful culinary adventure throughout the year, and it gets even better during Ramadan. The festivities and preparations are just as perfect for suhoor as they are for iftar, and Emiratis are sure to celebrate the whole month in the classiest way possible.
Words by Sadha