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17 April 2024

Second weekend of #RamadanInDubai promises memorable experiences for community members

By E247

A wonderful array of family-friendly events, vibrant retail moments, and exceptional dining experiences set to unfold
Families and friends can witness the skies light up in jaw-dropping displays at Al Seef and Dubai Festival City
The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment rounds up some of the most memorable Ramadan experiences for residents and visitors

This weekend, Dubai will light up with the spirit of Ramadan as the city plays host to light and fireworks shows, vibrant events, delicious cuisine from around the world, and exclusive shopping experiences. Organised as part of the city-wide #RamadanInDubai campaign, these festivities welcome community members from over 200 nationalities to join in the traditions and togetherness of the Holy Month's second weekend.

The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has rounded up some of the most memorable Ramadan experiences that are set to unfold across the city, promising everyone a blend of cultural immersion, culinary exploration, and festive ambiance to cherish during this special time of the year.

Incredible Iftars and serene Suhoors
Living up to its status as one of the most diverse culinary destinations in the world, Dubai has endless culinary options to cater to every taste and price point. From bustling street food stalls to wonderful Iftar tents, the city offers food exploration like nowhere else.

The city’s Iftar and Suhoor tents offer more than just meals; they are where the community comes together, enjoys live entertainment, and soaks up a magical festive atmosphere with loved ones. Residents and visitors can experience this wonderful Ramadan tradition at Madinat Jumeirah, Atlantis the Palm, Fairuz Garden at Fairmont the Palm, Laylati at Grand Hyatt Dubai Conference & Exhibition Centre, Kan Zaman at Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, Ramadan Garden at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and Mandarin Oriental Jumeira’s Ramadan Majlis.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers is bringing back its much-loved Terrace Between the Towers, where traditional Iftar and Suhoor dishes are served amid an atmosphere of traditional Arabian hospitality. At Dubai Festival City Mall, a traditional Ramadan market is returning as part of Ramadan by the Bay. Authentic Emirati dishes will be served here, while visitors will also be able to enjoy henna painting, live instrumental music and explore the night market.

Restaurants and cafes across the city are offering an array of curated experiences, in a city-wide celebration of culinary diversity. Indian flavours can be enjoyed at Bombay Bungalow, Punjab Grill and India Palace; delicious Thai flavours are served in a waterside setting at Pai Tai, while Arabian flavours can be found at The Courtyard at One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Nafoorah, while DIFC’s Hutong Dubai, LPM Restaurant, Sumosan Dubai and The Artisan offer elegant fine dining Iftar experiences.

Finding, booking and getting to and from a chosen Iftar is made easier with Careem’s restaurant discovery and discounts service, Careem DineOut. Careem Plus subscribers can discover, and instantly book and pay for Iftar packages at over 150 venues in Dubai, including Jun’s Downtown Dubai and Al Sultan Majlis at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, receive discounts of between 15 to 50 percent off their meal, and can also book a Careem or Hala taxi ride to and from the venue through DineOut, with a 30 percent discount on Hala rides.

Skies lighting up
Families and friends can witness the skies light up in jaw-dropping displays at Al Seef from 22 to 24 March. An unforgettable way to soak up the festive spirit of the Holy Month, spectators can witness stunning choreographed displays at Al Seef at 10pm from 22 to 24 March, that will be etched on their memories forever. At Dubai Festival City Mall, the nightly IMAGINE show will project an enthralling show above the water, bringing joy to people of all ages.

Enchanting illuminations
The whole city is invited to let the light of Ramadan illuminate their hearts with the glow of The Shared Light Festival and The Shine Together Festival. A celebration of unity and togetherness, lanterns, fairy lights and projections across landmarks and buildings in Al Habai Mosque, Al Seef and Dubai Festival City will bring people from all walks of life together as the city glows brightly. The enchanting illuminations can be witnessed from 8pm to 3am every day.

Family-friendly community events
Visitors and residents alike can feel the warmth of the community at an array of unique events across the city, including Hai Ramadan, the market-themed event at Al Wasl Plaza in Expo City Dubai throughout Ramadan. Roaming kids’ characters, Rashid and Latifa and traditional Emirati community activities will give visitors of all ages a truly authentic taste of the Holy Month.

At Global Village, the world comes together in a colourful mix of sights, tastes and sounds for a Ramadan night like no other. All ages can soak up the magic of cultures coming together to share in the magic, with hundreds of shopping and dining experiences to discover well into the night.

The Al Marmoom Heritage Village is back for its annual festival that celebrates Emirati culture until 28 March in Dubai Camel Racing Club. Free and open to everyone and suitable for all ages, the event is a beautiful way for residents and visitors to discover Arabian traditions through celebrations, activities, dance performances, crafts, and thrilling camel races.

One of the highlights of Dubai’s Ramadan calendar, the Ramadan Street Food Festival returns for its second year, running from Friday, 22 March until Sunday, 7 April, at Sheikh Hamdan Colony in Karama. Taking visitors on the ultimate foodie adventure, a diverse selection of vendors from the area  will serve up a feast of flavours and delicacies from around the world. A great way to connect with family and friends in the perfect weather, this one-of-a-kind experience should be in everybody’s Ramadan calendar.

Families can also participate in the spirit of giving during the season at Mercato Mall through its Share Your Blessings campaign, which encourages visitors to donate clothes, toys, books, and food at designated locations. Mall-goers can immerse themselves in the festive ambiance with Ramadan decorations and live entertainment, including the theatrical family show, Lantern Glow. Additionally, roaming acts and workshops will be available to engage young visitors and educate them about the traditions and significance of the Holy Month.

Sports and wellness events
Outdoor runs and exciting sporting contests are happening across the city, offering an array of ways to try or witness something new with family and friends this Ramadan.

The thrilling Dubai World Cup is back on 30 March at Meydan Stadium, and this year, race-goers can enjoy an exceptional Iftar while enjoying the entertainment. Situated beneath the famous crescent-shaped roof of the Meydan Grandstand, the Sky Bubble offers a distinctive experience, with breathtaking 360° views of the Meydan Racecourse and the Dubai cityscape. Equine enthusiasts can also witness the exciting Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series happening at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club from 1 to 6 April, featuring the world’s finest polo players.

The first-ever EuroLeague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) Qualifier is coming to the Coca-Cola Arena from 22 to 24 March. Sports fans will get a chance to see eight U18 teams go ahead to head for a spot in the finals that will take place in Berlin later this year. Ticket holders can enjoy action-packed matches during this exciting contest hosted by the home team, Falcons Academy.

Fitness fans can pull on their running shoes for the Port Rashid Night Run Series 2, a celebration of community, wellness, diversity and togetherness. The road race welcomes runners of all ages and skill levels and offers a mix of diverse categories including 2.5km and 5km routes, and a special 2.5km for older Emirati participants.

Football fans of all ages can enjoy an action-packed weekend of sports from 3 to 8 April as the Mina Cup returns to the JA Sports Centre. Junior teams from some of the world’s leading academies like Newcastle FC and Norwich FC from the UK and Mexico-based Atlas FC go head-to-head with local UAE-based squads like Barca Dubai, La Liga and Dubai City.

On 28 March, Emirates Sports Group will host the World Strongman Championship at the Emirates Sports Hotel & Apartments, where people from around the world will compete in a thrilling spectacle.

Authentic Emirati experiences
Festival Bay at Dubai Festival City Mall is where residents and visitors can experience the true taste of a UAE Ramadan for the month. Inside the Ramadan tent, Emirati traditions such as henna, basket weaving, and calligraphy will take place and traditional sounds will drift in the air from oud and qanun players. Local dishes and international favourites will be served at the Iftar, while a Ramadan Market will welcome guests to stay into the evening and discover artisan gifts from local vendors.
Exclusive shopping experiences

International and local brands have brought exclusive Ramadan collections to malls and shopping districts across Dubai, offering shoppers the chance to find unique gifts, one-off fashion pieces, and perfect accessories for the festive season. Fashion lovers can discover the Stella McCartney Celebrates Ramadan with Rose Capsule, Versace Exclusive Middle East Capsule Collection and CH Carolina Herrera & Jessica Kahawaty collaboration. Jewellery fans can find perfect pieces and enjoy buy one get one free offers, as well as free gifts with purchases, or half back with Dubai Jewellery Group. Everything families need to host the perfect Ramadan at home, from furniture and cookware to décor and groceries can be found in stores, many of which are offering special promotions. Visitors to City Walk, The Beach, JBR, Al Khawaneej, and Bluewaters, and at popular eateries like Paul and Eataly, among others, will receive AED50 back in ticket points for every three Iftars they enjoy across the venues until 22 April.

Each purchase made at a MUSE brand will grant the shopper with one entry into a contest to win one million MUSE points when shopping in-store or online before 14 April. In addition, shoppers who opt to pay in four instalments with Tabby will receive 3000 bonus MUSE points until 14 April.

Theatre and performances
On 21 March, Zabeel Theatre at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray will host The Mailman, a comedy about a family wedding, based in Dubai. Show-goers can make a night of it and dine in one of the resort’s restaurants for a pre or post-theatre Iftar or Suhoor. Additionally, on 24 March, the Zabeel Theatre will feature a kid-friendly show, The Unpredictable Adventures of Mr. Kind. Children will be enthralled as they join Mr. Kind and Mylo the Monkey on a whimsical journey filled with original songs, laughter, surprises, and heartwarming moments.

#RamadanInDubai campaign
Launched by the Dubai Media Council under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council (DMC), the #RamadanInDubai campaign brings the public and private sectors together for the first time for a unified celebration of the Holy Month.

The Dubai Media Council has tasked Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), with overseeing the campaign's execution. The campaign has been designed to bring to the community the unique spirit, beauty and warmth of Ramadan and share the rich cultural heritage and traditions that are an integral part of celebrations during the Holy Month. The initiative also aims to create a unique ambience across the city that captures the true essence of Ramadan, reflecting the authentic Emirati customs and traditions that make the occasion truly special.