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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Ramadan 2018: Eight of Dubai's best iftars 

We round up some of the city's finest places to enjoy

QE2 offers the world's first floating iftar. Courtesy The Qode
QE2 offers the world's first floating iftar. Courtesy The Qode

From a floating iftar, to a walking iftar and plenty more – here are some of the Dubai's most appetising locations to break your fast.

QE2, Port Rashid

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Not content with being Dubai's first floating hotel, brunch and Royal Wedding viewing location, the Queen Elizabeth 2 adds another feather to its cap by offering the city's first floating iftar. An (air-conditioned) Arabian majlis has been constructed on the ship's largest deck, which can host up to 250 people, and offers a traditional iftar buffet with live cooking stations, traditional Emirati dishes and the rest of the usual suspects. Suhoor will be offered in the same spot from 9pm. Alternatively, diners can break their fast or enjoy suhoor inside Lido, the QE2's all-day dining restaurant.

Daily, sunset to 9pm, Dh250 for adults and Dh125 for children, (04) 526 8888 for reservations.

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Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai

Dubai Opera offers dinner and a show. Courtesy House of Comms
Dubai Opera offers dinner and a show. Courtesy House of Comms

True to its setting, this iftar experience will offer patrons dinner and a show. For its second year, Dubai Opera will offer iftar in its auditorium, which transforms into a flat floor with bespoke dressing and decorations for the affair. Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera will provide the iftar fare, a menu that will rotate each night for those wishing to become Ramadan regulars.

The menu consists of specially crafted dishes including sustainable hammour prepared in a shakshuka style, slow-cooked beef cheek, whole roast duck and chicken, salmon en croûte and a trio of changing byrianis.

Fittingly, the food will be accompanied by live Arabic music – and a special pop-up market in the foyer in case you're preparing for Eid gift giving already.

Daily, Dh250 per adults, free for children under 6, children aged 6 to 11 Dh125, ramadan@dubaiopera.com

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

This is one for those willing to get away from the typical hotel iftar – so far away that you're surrounded by desert.

The renowned Al Hadheerah Ramadan tent is back for another year at Bab Al Shams, serving up Middle Eastern cuisine from Emirati, to Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Omani and Iranian – as well as those from India and Turkey. Vegetarians are also well accounted for, with the likes of Egyptian koshari and Turkish mixed dulma, among plenty of other meat-free dishes. As you relax in the serene desert landscape – you'll be serenaded by an Oud player and entertained by the resort's live camel and horse heritage show. You can also pose with a falcon, or on a camel, for a special keepsake of your iftar experience.

Daily, sunset to 11.30pm, Dh265 for adults (Sunday to Wednesday), Dh295 for adults (Thursday to Saturday), 50 per cent discount for children aged 5 to 12, free for children younger than four, BAS.Restaurants@meydanhotels.com

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At.Mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai

At.Mosphere is offering a chef-curated four course menu for iftar. Courtesy At.Mosphere
At.Mosphere is offering a chef-curated four course menu for iftar. Courtesy At.Mosphere

Abu Dhabi may have the highest "suspended suite", but let's not forget Burj Khalifa inexplicably dwarfs other high-flying restaurants. This year, the world's highest restaurant is offering a special four-course iftar menu for Ramadan. Unless you have a fear of heights, looking out over the city from the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, as the sun dips below the horizon, makes for a memorable breaking of the fast.

Daily, 6pm to 10.30pm, Dh575 for a four-course menu, al la carte options available, (04) 888 3828

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Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeirah

Caption: Opulence is in order at the Bulgari Resort Dubai's iftar. Courtesy Bulgari Resort
Caption: Opulence is in order at the Bulgari Resort Dubai's iftar. Courtesy Bulgari Resort

Iftar with a side of antique Bulgari jewellery, anyone? The Bulgari Resort Dubai has launched its first iftar, and it's an opulent affair. As you walk in, you'll be taken through a short history of Bulgari's heritage jewellery collection through the ages, before taking a seat in the luxurious majlis, overlooking the marina and underneath screens showcasing videos of the luxury brand's journey through the ages. The buffet selection is smaller than most – featuring a mix of Arabis delicacies and international favourites – but the dessert room is something special.

Daily, sunset to late, Dh250 for adults, Dh125 for children aged 12 to 16, free for children under 12, (04) 777 5433

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Unseen Trails, Old Dubai

Frying Pan Adventures offers a walk around Old Dubai. Courtesy Frying Pan Adventures.
Frying Pan Adventures offers a walk around Old Dubai. Courtesy Frying Pan Adventures.

If sitting idle inside an air-conditioned tent isn't really your thing – fret not, because this iftar involves walking, celebrating with strangers and taking photos. A joint venture between Gulf Photo Plus and local tour company Frying Pan Adventures, this "iftar" takes in the streets of Old Dubai after a swift meal and cup of chai. You'll spend the evening taking in the atmosphere as everything grinds to a halt and people gather on blankets tobreak their fast, before the streets erupt once again – filled with buzzing crowds and amazing photo opportunities. Anyone from photography experts to beginners are welcome.

May 30 5.30pm to 8.30pm, June 4, 5, 6, 11 5.40pm to 8.40pm, Dh395, gulfphotoplus.com

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Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Al Fahidi

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding might be the city's most authentic iftar experience. Courtesy SMCCU. 
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding might be the city's most authentic iftar experience. Courtesy SMCCU. 

This is probably Dubai's most authentic Ramadan experience – a cultural affair hosted by Emiratis and set in the heart of the city's most most historic neighbourhood. Held in the courtyard of the organisation's wind-tower house in the Al Fahidi district, the evening begins with Arabic coffee and dates as the call to prayer sounds. After the hosts pray, you'll be served a selection of Emirati dishes while the hosts welcome questions from the group – and speak about the culture and traditions of the UAE. Afterwards, guests are invited to the Diwan Mosque (which can only otherwise be visited on a SMCCU tour), before you return for dessert and tea.

Daily to June 12, 7pm to 9pm, Dh185, (04) 3536666

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The Flying Cup at The Beach, JBR

Head to The Flying Cup at The Beach, JBR and enjoy having an iftar with a view. The 15 to 20-minute ride consists of the flight with meals provided that include a croissant sandwich, sweets including Baklava and dates as well as water and juice or coffee, a nice light meal to break a fast. The ride seats only 16 and takes people up 40 metres in the air where they can get a 360-degree view of the city and see sights including The Palm, JBR, The Beach and some of the Dubai Marina skyscrapers.

Saturday to Friday, Dh110 for adults, Dh80 for kids, 050 414 0655

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Read more:

Five suhoor tents to try in the UAE

International iftars to try in the UAE

2018 iftar guide: 15 to try in Dubai

2018 iftar guide: 10 to try in Abu Dhabi

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