OK, I know what you’re thinking… there’s a lot more than 5 iftars in the city to take advantage of… But that’s exactly it, isn’t it? There’s so, so much choice that it’s hard to know where to begin! So, if you’re facing the eternal (if slightly first world) dilemma of where to start with all the iftar (and suhoor) choices this Ramadan, here’s five quick picks arranged by category, including where to find the UAE’s largest iftar:
1. The New One
Not only is Ramadan finally here but so is the long-awaited Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island. Utilising their extensive ballroom – specially transformed into a luxury majlis, as well as the top-notch service you’d expect from the renowned Four Seasons brand, the food will include all the traditional classics as well as a lavish selection of cuisines from around the globe. With local musical entertainment, diners can also choose from a range of family board games and cards to keep them busy, and the littlest ones are welcomed along to the Four Seasons Kids Club for some special surprises (so this may also count as The Most Kid Friendly One). Shisha is also available on the waterfront terrace.
Iftar: from sundown until 9pm daily, Dhs250 per person. Kids 0-3 dine free and kids aged 6-12 dine at half price.
Suhoor: from 10pm until 2pm daily, Dhs220 per person. Kids 0-3 dine free and kids aged 6-12 dine at half price.
Four Seasons Hotel, Al Maryah Ballroom, 02 333 2333
2. The Most Luxurious One
A tent so fancy, it’s called a pavilion. Custom built over several weeks in the run up to the Holy Month, it’s really a sight to behold. A sprawling buffet with live cooking stations, Emirati favourites and international fare all to the standards we’ve come to expect from the last word in luxury, the Emirates Palace.
Iftar: sunset to 9.30pm daily, Dhs265
Suhoor: 10pm to 2am, min. spend Dhs150 for à la carte menu
Emirates Palace Hotel, Ramadan Pavilion, 02 690 7999
3. The Alternative One
Relax indoors or enjoy the evenings out on the beach deck with the unrivalled views and atmosphere that is Asia De Cuba. Offering a new menu of Chino-Latino inspired food with an Arabic influence for Dhs200 per person for the Holy month, there’s also an option for a Dhs300 per person menu which also includes some of the iconic and traditional Asia De Cuba favourites.
Iftar & Suhoor: 7.45pm to 11.45pm with options for Dhs200 or Dhs300 per person
Asia De Cuba, St. Regis Hotel, Nation Riviera Beach Club, 02 699 3333
4. The Budget One
Not a traditional iftar of course but if you’re looking to break your fast on a budget it’s an excellent option at only Dhs69 per person.
Iftar: sunset to 12am daily, Dhs69 per person
Jazz @ Pizza Express, Level 5, The Hub, WTCAD, 02 444 7752
Traditional budget one: For a more traditional iftar offering, check out Zaytinya – consistently great food, homemade with fresh produce starting from Dhs95 per person. Zaytinya is located on the first floor of the Al Seef Village Mall, nr Khalifa Park, 02 447 4489.
5. The UAE’s Biggest One
Of course with all the records in the UAE with tallest, largest, biggest, it seems fitting that there is a biggest iftar. Completely free to attend and open to anyone who wishes to join, the only thing to note is that separate iftar tents are provided for men and women.
Iftar: from sunset, free for everyone
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, 02 419 1919