Live music events may not happen in the UAE during Ramadan, but that doesn’t mean there’s zero nightlife for the duration of the holy month.
The Muslim month of fasting – which is scheduled to run this year until September 9 – offers Muslims and non-Muslims the opportunity to explore the other side of the country that usually goes unnoticed amid all the concerts, parties and social events. And that's traditional Arabian hospitality.
One of the best forms of Ramadan entertainment is visiting one of the many Ramadan tents pitched around the country. Families and friends have the option to book to have iftar, or head there after breaking their fast (from around 9pm) to watch Arabic television shows, enjoy shisha and Arabic delicacies, and play backgammon and cards. Some tents even offer video gaming lounges.
If you still don’t know where you want to visit, Emirates 24|7 brings you a round-up of the tents available this year. It is recommended to book in advance as they tend to get very busy very quickly.
DIWAN AL KHAYAL TENT
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
Open from 9.30pm to 3am, Diwan al Khayal features a live Arabic music band every night, performing between 10.00pm and 1.15am Saturday to Wednesday; and between 10.00pm and 2.15am on Thursdays and Fridays. Suhour starts from Dh100 per person.
Call: 04 406 8999
ALOFT’S RAMADAN MARQUEE
Aloft Abu Dhabi
Iftar is available for Dh135 per adult, while children under 12 years eat for half the price. All the usual entertainment is available. Suhour is also available on an a la carte basis.
Call: 02 654 5114
SUHOUR AT AL MAJLIS MARQUEE
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
For something a little less family themed, Madinat Jumeirah’s tent is open for individuals aged 21 and above only. Open from 8.30pm to 2.30am, the minimum spend is Dh100 per person (Dh150 per person on Thursdays and Fridays).
Call: 04 366 6038
AL SULTAN TENT
QD’s, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
The newly air-conditioned Al Sultan Tent features an iftar buffet every Friday that includes cold and hot Arab mezzeh and soup, as well as traditional and international main courses and dessert. The buffet costs Dh100 per person. Meanwhile, a regular a la carte menu is available everyday, including Friday as an alternative to the Friday Iftar buffet. For those not breaking fast, shisha is available daily after 9pm.
Call: 04 295 6000
The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai
Something of an institution now, Al Barza has hugely grown in popularity ever since it was introduced in JBR a few years ago. Open from iftar until 2am (or until 3am on weekends), Al Barza’s menu features a wide range of Arab and North African cuisine created by chefs from Jebel Ali Golf Resorts. Entry is free; however, a minimum cover charge applies.
Call: 050 452 4558 or 050 159 3764
LAYALI AL AQAH
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Fujairah
With the golden sand beach and the majestic Hajar Mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop, the tent features big screen TVs showcasing Arabic programmes, plus traditional delicacies – including puff pastry filled with cream, fruits and nuts; hummus, foul medames, and balila – will be served. From 8pm until 2am.
Call: 09 244 9000
INTERCON DFC TENT
InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City
An iftar buffet is available for Dh165 per person. Plus, if you book between August 11 and 25 for four people, you will receive a complimentary 30-minute massage at Heavenly Spa; a round of 9-hole golf; or a Dh200 voucher for Terra Firma (the hotel’s signature steakhouse). Suhour is also available from the a la carte menu.
Call: 04 701 1127
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company Capital Plaza
Private iftar functions can be held until 8pm at a starting price of Dh90 person. After 8.30pm, the tent will be open to the public until 2.30am, featuring a wide selection of a-la-carte menu items, shisha and drinks. A cover charge of Dh10 per person applies.
Call: 055 593 9220
ENIGMA RAMADAN SHISHA TENT
Xennya Terrace, Holiday Inn Barsha Hotel, Dubai
A huge range of flavoured shisha is available, as well as Sugaholic cupcakes and a live manakeesh station. Plenty of board games are also available. Open from 7pm until 2am.
Call: 050 340 5766 or 050 625 7018
DFC HOSPITALITY TENT
Dubai Festival Centre, Dubai
Guests can enjoy tea, coffee and dates, as well as play traditional board games in this tent located on the ground floor near Ikea.
Call: 800 33232
Corp Executive Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha, Dubai
Set beside the hotel’s swimming pool, Layalina offers a range of sumptuous Arabic delights, as well as drinks and shisha. Prices start from Dh50.
Call: 04 316 4040
GRAND INDOOR RAMADAN TENT
JW Marriott Dubai
While enjoying their Iftar buffet, diners will have the opportunity to see Arabic sweets being prepared right in front of their eyes or they can watch the multiple plasma screens TV’s showing their favourite Ramadan programmes.
Dh 165 per person.
Call: 04 607 7977
Not listed here? Send your Ramadan tent details to firstname.lastname@example.org