x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 December 2017

Our guide to Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s best iftars

Here's our guide to some of the best places in the UAE to break your fast this Ramadan.

Ritz Carlton. Courtesy Ritz Carlton
Ritz Carlton. Courtesy Ritz Carlton
Ramadan is set to start on Sunday, June 29. For observers, that means abstaining from food and drink from dawn until sunset. In addition to the spiritual nourishment, a hallmark of the Holy Month is the iftar — the nightly meal to break the fast, usually shared with family and friends. Nearly all of the major restaurants across the UAE offer iftars with a special Ramadan menu. Usually designed as buffets, iftars offer a variety of options with cuisine that ranges from regional favourites to popular international dishes. We provide a sampling of where you can break your fast during Ramadan.

Map: Where to find our iftar recommendations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Dubai

• Break your fast at Flow Kitchen at Fairmont The Palm with a buffet prepared by the Arab chef Rober Salloum. Offerings include a variety of Arabian specialities including lamb ouzi and live shawarma and manakeesh stations. From sunset until 9pm, Dh185. Call 04 457 3457.

Le Royal Méridien, Dubai will host an international iftar at Brasserie. Live cooking stations and specialist chefs will serve up a mix of Araban and international cuisine. From sunset until 9pm, Dh180. À la carte menu is also available. Call 04 316 5550.

Almaz by MOMO will feature a variety of Arab and North African flavours, including lamb tagine, prawn kataifi, cheese briouats and pistachio macaroons. Almaz by MOMO has an outlet in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai as well as The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. From sunset until 8.30pm, Dh170. Call 04 409 8877 (Dubai) and 02 676 7702 (Abu Dhabi).

• The iftar at Nine7One in The Oberoi hotel will serve food with a modern twist from nine Arab countries. Dishes include lobster kibbeh with beetroot hummus, sea bass kunafi crisp with lemon chilli dip and braised short ribs ras el hanout. From sunset until 9pm, Dh180. Call 04 444 1407.

• Feast on a five-course meal at Hakkasan Dubai during the Holy Month with a selection of choices for each course including wok-fried tiger prawns, stir-fry rib-eye beef and charcoal-grilled chicken stuffed with sticky rice. Diners also get a complimentary mocktail called Desert Rose. From sunset until 12.30am, Dh188. Call 04 384 8484.

• The Desert Palm Hotel on Al Awir Road will host an iftar at Rare restaurant. The specialties on offer include lamb soup, homemade mezze and Arabian desserts. From sunset until 11pm, Dh145. Call 04 323 8888.

Most Interesting

The Farm in Dubai is an eco-conscious restaurant that serves wholesome food in a peaceful, natural setting. Take a break from the typical lavish hotel buffets and choose healthy selections from the à la carte menu, which includes grilled aubergine rolls, chicken and apricot tagine and dukka-crust fish fillet. From sunset until 1.30am. Call 04 392 5660.

Budget-Friendly

The Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa in downtown Bur Dubai will host an iftar at its Bastakiya Cafe and Restaurant for just Dh85 a person. Diners can feast on Indian, Pakistani, international and traditional Arabian dishes. From sunset until 11pm. Call 04 351 9111.

Abu Dhabi

• Head to the iftar at Ingredients in the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa for a wide selection of Emirati, Arab and international dishes. It will also have a variety of juices on offer, including amar al din (apricot juice), jallab (made with grape molasses, dates and rose water) and laban. From sunset until 10.30pm, Dh185. Call 02 656 1000.

• The iftar at CuiScene restaurant at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr will include an array of Arabian dishes with an emphasis on Emirati cuisine. The buffet can be enjoyed inside or in a large air-conditioned outdoor tent specifically constructed for the Holy Month. From sunset until 9.30pm, Dh185. Call 02 654 3333.

• Guests can break their fast at Selections at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi, where they’ll get a sampling of both international and traditional Arabian cuisine. They’ll also enjoy views of the marina while they dine. From sunset until 9pm, Dh175++. Call 800 423 463 800-423.

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal will host an iftar in its all-day dining restaurant Giornotte, which will be transformed into an Arabian retreat. The Middle Eastern buffet will feature camel and lamb ouzi. From sunset until 9pm, Dh215++. Call 02 818 8282.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers will offer two iftars: one at Rosewater that will feature authentic Arabian fare and the other at its Layali Al Baraka venue. The latter will include live cooking stations and a traditional oud player. Starting from sunset at both venues. Rosewater, Dh185. Layali Al Baraka, Dh175. Call 02 811 5666.

• For the second year, Emirates Palace will host an iftar in its grand Ramadan pavilion. The lavish buffet will feature popular Emirati dishes and international cuisine. The pavilion will give guests a view of the beach on one side and the hotel’s facade on the other. From sunset to 9pm, Dh265. Suhoor follows until 1:30am. Call 02 690 9000.

Most Interesting

Yas Viceroy is offering an iftar on an evening dhow cruise that will serve up traditional Arab dishes such as lamb ouzi and local fish kofta. Guests will have views of the mangroves, the Abu Dhabi skyline and wild gazelles on the beachfront. The three-hour cruise will depart at sunset, Dh490 (Dh200 for children aged 6+). Call 02 656 0783.

Budget-Friendly

Kwality Restaurant on Salaam Street will offer an Indian iftar buffet featuring vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, biryanis and more. You can eat all you want for just Dh59. Kids below age 12 eat for Dh30 and those under 6 eat free. From sunset until midnight. Call 02 672 7337.