What better way to celebrate iftar than with family and friends in a truly opulent Arabic setting? M magazine has teamed up with the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel to offer three lucky families (each consisting of five people) a delicious iftar experience. The hotel, which is themed on the travels of the 14th- century Arabic explorer Ibn Battuta, will host its iftar celebrations in Al Bahou - the main atrium of the hotel. Decorated in a Moroccan style that will include beautiful Arabic lanterns, the Ramadan buffet will feature an array of traditional Arabic dishes, cheese table and live cooking stations as well as entertainment by traditional oud and tabla players.
To enter the draw, e-mail your details to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "iftar" in the subject line
His 'n' hers
We spend a decent amount of time lingering around the fridge every day - that's why we love collecting magnets wherever we find them. Of our twenty-something collection, this has to be the cutest. Each piece is handmade by youngsters at Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs and sold in its Smiles 'N' Stuff shop. Proceeds from the items go back to the centre to help fund its training programmes.
Dh50, Smiles 'N' Stuff, Umm Suqeim, near Dunes Hotel Apartments, 04 341 8960
Cakes for a cause
We're all familiar with cakes and desserts that serve up style without the substance, but there's definitely more to these Maison Sucre goodies. To celebrate Ramadan, the bakery has added a modern twist to traditional Arabic sweets, such as rosewater cupcakes, mahalbiya mini-desserts and kunafa mini-cakes. Each day the shop will give away all unsold items to the workers on construction camps in Abu Dhabi during iftar time.
Prices range from Dh12-14. Maison Sucre, Zayed the First Street, Al Manara Jewellery Building, 02 639 6622
It's only a few days into Ramadan and we're looking for a new evening activity to keep us entertained until suhoor. What better than the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's screenings at our new favourite Dubai hot spot - The Pavilion? The centre will show three films aimed at raising environmental awareness - from the coral reefs of Mexico to Jane Goodall's scientific work with chimpanzees, there's a lot to appreciate. Screenings will be held tomorrow to Friday and from August 14 to 16 at 9pm.
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, next to Burj Khalifa, 04 447 7025
If you're staying in as much as we are this month, a little sprucing up is in order. First on our list is the living room that could do with some bright accessories for when family come over for long evenings of tea and cards. We spotted this cushion from Chamaille on a visit to Cafe Arabia and decided to kill two birds with one stone - give our beige couch a lift and give to a good cause. The pieces are designed in Dubai, then sent to a refugee camp in Lebanon, where they are embroidered and sent back, with proceeds given to those who worked on it.
Dh140, Cafe Arabia, 15th Street, opposite Mushrif Park, 02 643 9699
A pouch that counts
This season we are after handbags that veer from the standard boxy formula of plain black leather with shoulder strap. This pouch bag from Palestyle ticks all the right boxes: velvet, bright punches of embroidery and chain strap. Palestyle gives 5 per cent of the profits to the Palestinian refugees who embroidered the pieces.
Dh650, Salam, Wafi Mall, 04 324 5115; Mirdif City Centre, 04 284 3849 and elsewhere; www.palestyle.com