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17 April 2024

Dubai’s Ramadan markets a veritable melting pot of local culture, cuisine and artisanal flair

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By E247

- Seasonal souks remain ever popular among families, friends, couples and individuals eager to discover local and regional traditions or simply go gift shopping

This year, pleasant evening temperatures provide a splendid opportunity for residents and visitors to savour their evenings post-Iftar and explore an array of vibrant Ramadan markets across Dubai as part of the city-wide #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).

Offering something for everyone, the city’s Ramadan markets allow families, friends, couples, and individuals to discover unique traditions and shop for distinctive gifts from local artisans and vendors. The vibrant and welcoming atmosphere of the markets adds to the joyous evenings and the spirit of togetherness during the Holy Month.

Lively vibe
Set in the heart of the city, with the stunning Museum of the Future providing the backdrop, the Ramadan District at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is just the place to experience Dubai’s lively vibe on a Ramadan night. There is the promise of wholesome family fun on moonlit nights, with the chance to discover more about the allure of Emirati and regional culture in the process. Featuring stalls set up by local designers, creative food offerings, daily events and activities, and a designated children’s play area, families can enjoy hours of togetherness and come away with memories to last a lifetime. Delicious Iftar and Suhoor meals will also be served each evening.

The ever-popular Ramadan Souq organised by Dubai Municipality, as always, has plenty in store by way of household essentials and food specialities to help residents make their Ramadan truly special. The Old Municipality Street in Bur Deira is another place that offers a unique shopping experience, with an abundance of items to be found at great prices. There is also a mini marketplace showcasing items traditionally associated with Ramadan. Vibrant live entertainment shows draw visitors of all ages, and there are also fun activities youngsters can participate in.

Close by, City Walk, the open-air lifestyle destination that is home to hundreds of exclusive retailers and must-visit restaurants is hosting an unmissable Night Market. Located next to The Green Planet, it allows visitors to scour the shops for a variety of unique gifts that are perfect for the gifting season.

Then there is Ramadaniyat, at The Hub at Majlis Al Khawaneej, where families and friends can explore an array of food offerings from artisanal vendors. The whole experience is based upon trying out new flavours, soaking up the community atmosphere, and sharing time together long into the evening.

Across town, the Bay by Social Night Market at Dubai Festival City Mall is the place for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in cultural workshops and activities, besides exploring a range of wares displayed by local vendors. A lavish Iftar is also served here as the famous Ramadan cannon signals sunset. With so much to see and explore, visitors have the liberty to stay back until Suhoor.

Range of activities

Over at Dubai Expo City, Hai Ramadan, one of Dubai’s biggest and most beloved events of the Holy Month, is back once more. Designed to depict a traditional Emirati community, more than 20 outlets and food carts showcase handicrafts, traditional garments and local delicacies. A truly authentic experience, a ‘grandmother’s supermarket’, known as a ‘Dukan Yadoo’, invites children to buy candy using tokens from a traditional ‘Floos bank’ – a popular payment system. Visitors can soak up the vibrant atmosphere and be part of celebrations all evening, with a diverse range of activities and options awaiting them, including Iftars and Suhoors across the destination’s outlets.

For those preferring an alternative daytime experience, the family-favourite Ripe Market heads to the Dubai Police Academy Park every Saturday and Sunday, allowing visitors to shop for Ramadan gifts from artisanal stalls. Local farms sell fresh organic produce, and guests can join craft workshops and wellness sessions, which are open to all ages, in a beautiful al fresco setting.

From 23 - 31 March, Al Serkal Avenue welcomes residents and visitors for a special Ramadan programme named ‘Stay a Little Longer.’ The event showcases transnational accounts of histories of diverse communities in the UAE. Visitors can explore a lively market featuring a rich variety of products, besides attending special talks, live music performances, an outdoor photographic exhibition, art tours, and workshops. Welcoming guests of all cultures and nationalities, the events and activities will unfold in a host of languages including Arabic, Hindi/Urdu, Malayalam, Tagalog, and English among others.

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.