celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on 9 July and ends a month
later, many Dubai hotels are putting together lavish spreads for a daily iftar
feast – the meal Muslims use to break their fast at dusk, after going without
food and drink during the day.
nearly every hotel in town offers an iftar, the dishes tend to veer towards the
traditional. Dates usually kick off the feast, since the sugar- and vitamin-rich
fruit helps your stomach readjust to eating. They are followed by Arabic mezze,
such as moutabel (a hummus-like dip
made with eggplant), fattoush
(Lebanese salad) or lentil soup. For your main dish, don’t miss the traditional
Emirati dish of lamb ouzi: a whole roast lamb, slow cooked and filled with rice
and nuts. Desert Palm hotel on Al
Ain road has excellent mezze that include hummus and kibbeh (a Levant-style croquette filled with minced beef), while Burj Al Arab’s supmarket
iftar in Al Sufouh has a delicious version of lamb ouzi, delicately spiced and
peppered with pine nuts. Wash it down with their addictive and refreshing mint
dessert, baklava features heavily at every iftar; the sticky sweet confection made
of layers of flaky pastry, nuts and honey are incredibly moreish. For something
even more intense, order katyef – deep
fried baklava covered in syrup – at Rixos hotel on
Palm Jumeirah, where you can also find their famous Turkish Maras ice cream.
sit back and try a flavoured shisha or Arabic coffee. Iftars can go on well
into the night so take your time and enjoy the celebration.
iftars are held every day of Ramadan, booking is advised. Visitors to the city should
be aware that eating and drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public are
all illegal before sundown. If you want to eat or drink
during the day, make sure it is in a private place.
Wilson-Powell is the Dubai Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes the hotel
review blog sogoodtogetoutofthecity.wordpress.com.