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Wed 27 Aug 2008 10:55 AM

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Your guide to the best Iftars

Whether you are fasting or not, Iftar is a great opportunity to enjoy tasty food, good company.

Al Bustan Rotana(04 282 0000)

The air-conditioned Layalina tent can hold up to 450 people and is open from 9.30pm-3am every night during Ramadan. Its live cooking stations will be dishing up Oriental mixed grills, shawarma and fatteh. Next you can sample several flavours of shisha under the stars while listening to Lebanese Superstar 2008, the oud-playing Mohamed Jaafeel.

Al Murooj Rotana(04 321 1111)

Pergolas Restaurant is offering a traditional Arabic buffet for Dhs149, but if you fancy seeing how the Indians do it, head to Zaika where traditional street dishes from Delhi and Lucknow are being served for the same price. Or if you’re in a group of 30 or more, you can hold your own private Iftar party in Al Yasat ballroom from Dhs178 per head.

City Centre Hotel(04 603 8080)

Having run for over a decade, La Cité Restaurant should be pretty clued up on how to get Iftar right. Check out their buffet of dishes including lamb ouzi, kofta bel saniya and a live shwarma station for Dhs120 per person.

Crowne Plaza Dubai(800 276 963)

The second-floor Aldana restaurant will be dishing up an Iftar buffet consisting of all the usual favourites – dried fruit and nuts, Lebanese mezze, soups and a carving station. Dine from Dhs155, and feel even better knowing Dhs5 of your money is going to the Dubai Centre for Special Needs. Private dining opportunities also available.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club(04 295 6000)

The ‘Al Sultan’ Ramadan experience promises stunning views overlooking Dubai Creek, shishas and Arabic food and drink. Entertainment comes in the form of traditional games and, from 10pm onwards, an oud player.

Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa(04 346 1111)

Take your pick between the traditional Arabic food (including dates, mezze and fried kibbeh) being dished up at Al Qasr’s buffet for Dhs140, or the Suhoor set menu in the Al Khayma tent, which will feature falafel and an Oriental grill, costing Dhs160.

Fairmont Dubai(04 311 8316)

Feast under the soaring ceiling of Cascades restaurant with such Arabic delights as hot and cold mezze, juicy grills and roasted veal with vinegar and zaatar until 8.30pm for Dhs165. Or if you fancy something other than traditional Iftar food, 41 on One is offering six different cuisines with 41 per cent off the bill if you eat before 8.30pm.

Four Seasons Golf Club, Dubai Festival City(04 601 0101)

The traditional way to break the fast is with dates, which are plentiful at the Tee Lounge and Blades Restaurant’s buffet. Also available are regional juices, including karkadeh (hibiscus tea). Hot and cold mezze, a salad corner, and an Asian-themed area make the Dhs160 price tag worth it. Alternatively, show up between 8pm and 2am, and you can opt to dine from the a la carte Sahour menu.

Grand Millennium Dubai(04 429 9999)

The Atrium restaurant is offering a wealth of Oriental specialities for Dhs125 (discounts available to groups of 10 or more) during Ramadan, or if you’re just after light refreshment hit Toshi, which is offering 10 different Asian soups. Take your pick from sweet or sour, thick or thin, Thai, Malasian, Chinese or Japanese, all at a la carte prices.

Grosvenor House(04-399 8888)

Sloane’s: Sloane’s will be open 24 hours, serving a traditional Iftar buffet from its delightful open plan kitchen at 6.00pm (sunset) until 8.00pm, priced at Dhs.195 per person. Regular dining operations will resume from 8pm onwards.

Ottomans: Visitors to the exquisite Turkish restaurant will be treated to a delicious Iftar menu (at sunset) whilst enjoying the mellow tones of the oudh and tabla. Ottomans will be open only for group Iftar bookings throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Regular dining operations will resume from 8pm – 1am, Tuesday to Sunday.

Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa(04 399 5000)

Al Naai, the extravagant beachside marquee, is serving up lavish Lebanese delicacies and shisha, while Al Dhiyafa Restaurant will be providing traditional Arabic dishes and Ramadan juices, from sunset until 8pm, for Dhs185.

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah(04 399 1111)

A grand festive tent in the hotel gardens will offer guests the chance to recline on low-level seating and enjoy the beautiful night-time beach views, as well as light Arabic entertainment. Feast on hot and cold mezze, local juices and milkshakes, and puff on one of 17 varieties of shisha. The menu will change daily to reflect the region’s many different dishes. Dhs145 per adult.

Hyatt Regency Dubai(04 317 2222)

A wealth of choice is available here. Take your pick from a set menu at The Kitchen restaurant, where the diverse food comes from either the grill, wok, tandoor or wood-burning oven, and is dished up in an open-kitchen setting for Dhs130 per person. Or for a buffet option, try revolving restaurant Al Dawaar for Dhs150. Private dining also available.

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams(04 809 6100)

Hotel restaurant Al Hadheerah’s Iftar offerings will be prepared on live cooking stations and in wood-fired Arabic ovens. There will be freshly-baked breads and traditional Ramadan beverages. The buffet will be available from sundown to 7.30pm and costs Dhs195 per person. Alternatively, dine in the restaurant from 8pm onwards for Dhs295 and enjoy the oud and kanoun trio and complimentary camel ride in the Heritage Village.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel(04 406 8999)

The Arabian marquee has a buzzing bazaar-style atmosphere, with a souk which is separated from Diwan Al Khayal, the eating area, by sheer drapes. On offer for Iftar is a range of Middle Eastern delicacies, and an oasis with water features and tropical plants marks the Majlis, a traditional seating area. If you prefer your Iftar grub in a more contemporary setting, check out Latitude, which overlooks the hotels lush gardens. Either one of these experiences comes at Dhs165 per person.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers(04 319 8088)

Eat at Al Nafoorah, the hotel’s award-winning Lebanese restaurant, and you can feast on a lavish buffet of traditional Lebanese favourites and Iftar drinks. There’s also a terrace for al-fresco dining. Dhs190 per person. Also see the Iftar buffet at Mosaico, which is the same price.

Le Méridien Dubai(04 217 0000)

A lavish buffet of traditional Arabic foods awaits at Yalumba for Dhs139 per person, and you can expect to find similar foods at Al Mijana Lebanese Restaurant for the same price. Both buffets operate from sunset until 8pm.

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa(04 316 5550)

Brasserie: This Ramadan, relax in the elegant and atmospheric surroundings of the Brasserie and enjoy a sumptuous buffet, à la carte menu and themed live cooking stations. During the holy month of Ramadan the Brasserie will be providing a superb Iftar buffet from sunset until 8pm priced Dhs. 185 per person. Regular dining will resume from 8pm onwards.

Al Khaima: Listen to the mellow tones of the oudh and tabla and sample a sumptuous selection of traditional Arabic cuisine taken from the restaurant’s al a carte menu. As well as a mouthwatering assortment of specialty foods such as shish taouk, koftaas, salads and sweets, a selection of board games and shisha pipes will make for a truly relaxing experience. Entry price of AED 99, which includes a selection of two hot and two cold mezzehs, applies.

Madinat Jumeirah(04 366 6730)

Du Majlis is a traditional Arabic tent, serving up a buffet alongside views of the Burj Al Arab each night during Ramadan. Alternatively, on Fridays check out the Iftar offerings at Al Muna, Arboretum and Khaymat Al Bahar, all of which afford stunning views of the Madinat’s waterways and cost Dhs195 per person.

JW Marriott Dubai(04 2624444)

Indulge in more than 60 varieties of food including Lebanese specialties and live cooking stations serving Shawarma, Whole Karouf and Falafel at the Mays El Reem restaurant. Dhs 175 inclusive of Ramadan juices. Dhs 125 per child.

International Iftar Buffet at The Market Place restaurant. Dhs 195 per person and Dhs 125 per child. There is also an Evening Café with a la carte menu and tea at the Mays El Reem Restaurant from 9.00pm to 3.00am

Courtyard by Marriott Dubai Green Community(04 8852222)Pine Grill serves an array of Arabic dishes, indoors or at the poolside. Dhs 125 with unlimited soft drinks. Chef’s Special Arabic Menu at Rendezvous Lounge until 11.30pm and Sohour Set Menu from midnight to 5.00am

Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek(04 2131000)

Middle Eastern dishes are served at the Skywalk Café and the buffet is Dhs 80 per adult and Dhs 40 per child from 4 to 14 years old. After your meal, relax with mint tea and snacks at the Skywalk Patio.

The Monarch, Dubai(04 501)8888Mizaan, the hotel’s all day dining restaurant will host an elaborate Iftar buffet with classic and contemporary Arab dishes, sweets and juices priced at AED 165 per person.

“Ramadan under the Stars” can be experienced in its full glory at The Monarch Dubai’s Quantum Pool Lounge, where after dinner shisha, drinks and a selective a la carte menu will be served.

For larger groups of a minimum 30 people, the exclusive Al Massa ballroom, or Nur Al Ain meeting room overlooking the foyer, offer Iftaar menus starting from AED 165 to AED 195 per person.

One&Only Royal Mirage(04 399 9999)

Two elegant, climate-controlled outdoor areas will host Iftar buffets: from 6pm-7.30pm, the Tagine restaurant at the Palace and Rotisserie at the Arabian Court will both serve up a variety of traditional dishes for Dhs150 per person. After that, the Palace Courtyard and the Arabian Court’s Al Koufa will serve oriental cuisine from 8pm until 2.30am.

The Palace(04 428 7888)

Ewaan restaurant is offering a classic Arabian buffet with live cooking stations from sunset until 8pm each night for Dhs180. From 9pm you can participate in the Feast Suhoor which incorporates a three-course set menu and live oud player for Dhs160. Alternatively book a private poolside Khaima where you can dine a la carte and smoke shisha with a minimum spend of Dhs2,000 and maximum of eight people per tent.

Park Hyatt Dubai(04 317 2222)

Feast on freshly-baked Saj bread and falafel while relaxing on the waterfront Terrace restaurant for Dhs180 or Dhs200 (depending on menu selected); or opt for marina views from the Traiteur Balcony for the same price – both are open from 8pm-3am. Head to the Thai Kitchen Balcony if you want the full-on Iftar tent experience with lounge-style set-up and shisha from 8pm-3am; alternatively, from sundown to 7.30pm you can try Café Arabesque’s Iftar dishes (including mezze, soups and bigger main courses) for Dhs170.

Pyramids, Wafi(04 324 4100)

Iranian restaurant Persia Persia will be serving up a traditional menu including salads, kebabs and stews until 8pm throughout Ramadan, for Dhs150 per person (20 per cent off for Wafi Select cardholders). An a la carte menu will also be available from 7.30pm onwards.

Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek(04 205 7333)

Take your pick between bustling international restaurant Boulvar’s buffet feast of traditional Arabic dishes, or the five-star Al Mansour Dhow Cruise, which sails down the creek and also serves up a choice of international or Arabic fare (booking essential). Boulvar buffet is Dhs125 per person; call above number for cruise prices.

Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Media City(04 366 9111)Experience genuine Arabic hospitality and a generous selection of traditional food at this restaurant’s lavish Iftar buffet. It goes on from sundown until 8.30pm and costs Dhs120 per person.

Raffles Dubai(04 314 9888)

Make a date with the fast-breaking fruit at Azur All Day Dining Restaurant, then make your way round the four salad stations and live cooking and meat carving areas, sampling the traditional lentil soup, mezze, and Oriental mixed grills. Finish the meal with classic desserts such as Umm Ali and Mouhalabia, while surveying the lush botanical gardens. Dhs200 per person until 9pm.

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa(04 316 5550)

Chill out to the mellow sounds of the oud and the tabla in the specially-designed Ramadan tent while sampling from the traditional Arabic feast or playing a board game and smoking some shisha. The entry fee is Dhs99, which includes two hot and two cold mezze dishes. Alternatively, check out the sea view from the terrace at Al Khaima from 8pm-2am, or the watch the action at the Brasserie with its live cooking stations and buffet, for Dhs185 from sunset until 8pm.

Shangri-La(04 343 8888)

The Shangri-La aims to offer something for everyone: the popular Dunes Café buffet will include old favourites like shawarma and grilled meats for Dhs158, while a traditional Moroccan Iftar at Marrakech will feature salads and pastries for the same price.

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding(04 353 6666)

An alternative option to the posh hotel experience is being provided by the SMCCU, where there will still be a good selection of traditional Arabic food and drink, but you can also go on a short tour of the Bastikiya Mosque and observe as volunteers pray. For details of when and where the meals are taking place, call ahead, as it’s not a nightly event.

Sheraton Deira(04 606 8615)

Do Iftar in the atrium-style Terrace restaurant for Dhs99, and you could be in with the chance of winning a two-night holiday in Vienna. The buffet’s offerings change each day and will include traditional dishes such as fattoush, moutabhel and a carvery.

Traders Hotel by Shangri-La, Dubai(04 214 7272)

For Dhs95 per person, The Junction Restaurant is serving up an Iftar Shahy Buffet consisting of a large selection of hot and cold mezze, dates with milk, and an Arabic mixed grill. Express by Holiday Inn Dubai Knowledge Village(04 427 5555)

The fifth-floor terrace venue of Vista Rooftop Bar & Restaurant will be serving up hot and cold mezze, fresh juices, dates, soup and shisha until 11.30pm each night during Ramadan.

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Hussain 12 years ago

This is exactly the opposite of what we are asked to during Ramadan. Commercial decadence has finally got Islam too in its grab.

Haseena 12 years ago

why is the list only restricted to Dubai hotels.......how about covering other emirates too.?

zen 12 years ago

How about covering those restaurants whose prices are more affordable? What you covered were good, but for a family of 4 it works out to quite a bit. I am sure there are lots of restaurants, not as expensive as these, but at the same time serving wholesome quality food.