From the opulent to the family friendly, UAE eateries and hotels are catering to everyone during the holy month. Saeed Saeed takes us through some of the best iftars on offer
Al Tamimi Stables
Located in serene desert landscapes outside of Sharjah, Al Tamimi Stables has been a popular destination for families wanting a break from the urban bustle. The eco-friendly farm is throwing two iftars, on July 25 and August 1, complete with a traditional Middle Eastern buffet and supervised children's arts and crafts activities. Dh85 for adults and Dh35 for children. For details call 06 743 1122 or visit www.tamimistables.com.
Corniche at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi
You may be at a five-star hotel, but the Sofitel's Corniche restaurant's iftar menu is full of home-made treats. From the tangy Moroccan harrira soup to live stations serving lamb ouzi and fresh cuts of beef and fish, the menu attempts to make customers feel at home.
The Sofitel's French origins will be on display, with a celery root fondant accompanying braised beef short ribs. And it is arguably the only UAE venue serving a date brûlée. Iftar starts at Dh150. For details call 02 813 7777 or go to www.sofitel.com.
Qasr Al Sultan at Rixos The Palm Dubai
Turkish soap operas are not the only thing to look forward to this Ramadan. You now have the chance to break your fast Ottoman-style at Rixos The Palm Dubai. Guests will be ushered into a lavish tent recalling an Ottoman Palace and offered Middle Eastern cuisine ranging from lahmacun and pide (a Turkish pitta) to selections of borek, live meat stations and 12 different dessert dishes. Dh175 for adults and Dh75 for children ages 3 to 12. For details call 04 457 5454 or go to www.rixos.com.
Ramadan Pavilion at Emirates Palace
The venue is a perennial favourite for families, tourists and the business community. The iftar experience at the Ramadan Pavilion is a culinary and visual feast with Emirati and Middle Eastern cuisine offered. In addition, a variety of artwork and photography by local and international artists will be on display. The venue hosts more than 1,200 people daily but due to the elegant surroundings, it doesn't feel too hectic. Iftar prices begin at Dh249. For details call 02 690 7999 or email email@example.com.
Constellation Ballroom at The Address Dubai Marina
View Our guide to UAE iftars you shouldn't miss this Ramadan in a larger map
The team at The Address Marina, a Dubai favourite, changed the set-up from last year by shifting all the food stations to the ballroom lobby. It's a wise move since the ballroom has become a calmer place. Then again, who wouldn't be chilled eating a variety of international dishes while listening to the vintage sounds of Umm Kulthum wafting out of the speakers? Dh155 per person. For details call 04 436 7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hakkasan at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
If the lively atmosphere of buffets is not your thing, venture to the quiet and elegant surroundings of Hakkasan. The Emirates Palace venue's iftar, dubbed the Summer Taste of Hakkasan, begins with crab and sweetcorn soup followed by a platter of Asian flavour-infused dishes.
Other treats on the menu include sweet and sour chicken with pomegranate served with stir-fried baby pak choi in oyster sauce and steamed jasmine rice. Dessert is chocolate fondant with homemade banana ice cream. The best part? You walk out of the venue full but not dizzy from overeating. Prices begin from Dh248 per person with a minimum reservation of two people. For details call 02 690 7999.
Al Iwan at Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Guests at the Burj Al Arab's iftar are certainly spoilt for choice. The list of buffet treats on offer at Al Iwan restaurant includes an amazing selection of around 100 items. The chefs drew inspiration from across the Middle East and North Africa when creating the Arabic main courses. The menu changes day by day, but typical offerings include an Iranian mixed grill, an Emirati dish called prawns majbous, lamb tagine with couscous from Morocco and an Iranian chicken dish called sheirn pollow. Prices begin at Dh250 per person. For details call 04 301 7600 or email BAArestaurants@jumeirah.com.
Cafe Arabia, Abu Dhabi
Situated on 15th Street, Cafe Arabia is a favourite of local families and the arts crowd. The service and the intimate setting allows you to feel like you are truly a guest in someone's home. The buffet changes daily with selections of Mediterranean inspired Lebanese dishes. One dish that is always available is Cafe Arabia's inspired fatta salad, one of the best in the capital. It's a great antidote to the excesses of hotels and Ramadan tents. Dh95 per person. Call 02 643 9699.
Mutah Beale at Juicy Steakhouse, Raha Beach Mall, Abu Dhabi
This one-off event on Saturday caters to the youth. The former rapper and Tupac confidant, Mutah Beale - known as Napoleon - will regale guests with the story of his inspiring journey to Islam and dispense some motivational tips. As for the food, the Middle Eastern-inspired buffet has all the favourites, including kebabs and grill. The event is open to men and women and the venue also boasts a family section. A night to leave you full and inspired. Dh150 person. Call 02 5562455.
The Grille at Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Ramadan doesn't mean you have to also abstain from your favourite sporting activities. Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers fasting golfers a chance to continue working on their swings after sunset. After feasting on an intercontinental iftar at the in-house restaurant, players can hit the green with the last round teeing off at 9pm. Dh110 per person. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Khalifa City A. For details call 02 558 8990.
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