Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding: For a traditional Emirati iftar, you can’t beat this cultural experience based in Bur Dubai’s old fashioned Bastikiya. The Iftar actually begins 15 minutes before sunset, with a breaking fast prayer followed by Arabic tea, coffee and dates. All the dishes served will be Emirati rather than Arabic – so there’ll be some new flavours to look forward to as well. The evening’s line-up includes discussions about what Ramadan means, there’s a mosque tour after the main course, and before dessert. Dhs135 (adults), children under 12 eat for free. From 15 minutes before sunset (6.30-6.45pm) ’til 10pm. www.cultures.ae (04 353 6666).
Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort: This activity-packed Iftar is perfect for parents with children who need serious supervision after sunset. While adults can kick back and enjoy the buffet stacked with Indian, Arabic and international dishes, as well as live cooking stations, the nippers have their own entertainment in the form of a five-star kids tent. Organised games, storytelling, badminton, arts and crafts and movies are just a few of the fun and games on offer. There will also be complimentary camel rides for guests, available by the beach! Dhs185 (for adults), Dhs92 (for kids aged six to 12), tots under five get in free. From sunset ’til 3am. www.sheratonjumierahbeach.com (04 399 5533).
Four Points By Sheraton:Enjoy the celebratory ambiance with family and friends at this child-friendly iftar. The menu promises a classic mix of traditional dishes, but there will also be old favourites to hand, in the form of as much hot and cold mezzeh you can eat, live cooking stations and sharwarmas! Yum! Dhs110 (adults), Dhs55 (children aged six to 12), under fives go free. From sunset ’til late. Reservations.firstname.lastname@example.org (04 316 9726).
Ewaan:If you’ve never experienced the ambiance and cuisine of the family-friendly Ewaan at The Palace, Old Town, there’s no better time to start than now, as this traditionally styled Arabian restaurant (which also serves international fare) promises to be full of atmosphere at iftar. Expect live cooking stations, lots of traditional dishes and great hospitality. Dhs195 (adults), Dhs92 (children aged seven to 12), under sevens eat for free. From sunset to 9pm. www.thepalace-dubai.com (04 428 7806).
Radisson Royal Hotel:Serving up a sumptuous feast at Celsius restaurant, this is definitely a place to take family who might be visiting. The Dubai World Trade Centre venue will be serving up traditional Emirati dishes and will have a large number of live cooking stations as well as light snacks to help you ease out of fast-mode, and into the evening’s fun. Dhs130 (adults), Dhs65 (children aged seven to 12), under sevens eat for free. From sunset ’til late. www.radissonblu.com/royalhotel-dubai (04 308 0550).
Zafran: If you’ve had a hectic day’s shopping at one of our very favourite malls, Mirdif City Centre, why not head to Zafran once iftar is called? For the bargainous price of just Dhs99 per adult and Dhs45 for kids, you can indulge in the restaurant’s contemporary Indian buffet and eat as much as you like! From sunset ’til 8pm. Mirdif City Centre (04 284 0987).
Mango Tree Bistro: If spicy food isn’t your cup of tea (or the kids’), how about indulging in some delicacies from The Mango Tree Bistro at Mirdif City Centre? We are big fans of this Thai eatery anyway, which is very family friendly. The special Iftar menu includes a range of seafood and meat platters for families to share – and prices start at Dhs45. From sunset ’til midnight (04 284 3635).
The Pullman: For a slightly more posh affair, why not visit The Pullman at Mall of the Emirates for the Iftar called Ramadan at Sanabel. Enjoy the interactive buffet with live cooking stations featuring mixed grills, tandoor, hot mezzes, arabic desserts and much more. Not only that, but sprogs under five go free, while tweens under 12 are half price. Dhs120 (for adults) Dhs60 (kids aged six to 12), extra discounts for group bookings of 10 or more. From sunset ’til midnight. www.pullmanhotels.com (04 377 2353).
The ONE: Check out the family buffet at The ONE Deli on Jumeirah Beach Road, which this year is serving traditional Arabic and international dishes. It promises to be a relaxed affair, with lots of healthy options, which follow the philosophy of this in-store eatery. The spread also changes daily, so if you fancy going back for more, you won’t get bored either. Dhs108 (for adults) and Dhs54 (for children under 12). From sunset to 8.30pm. wwwtheone.com (04 395 5889).
Mövenpick, Jumeirah Beach: Check out the Arabesque ambiance at Talk Restaurant and Lounge Ramadan Tent at the Mövenpick on JBR. Live cooking stations, Arabic music, beach views and poolside seating give a very local flavour to the whole affair. Plus, it’s brilliant value for families because sprogs under 12 eat for free! Dhs129 (for adults), Dhs110 (per person for groups of 10 or more. From sunset to midnight. www.moevenpick-hotels.com (04 449 8888).
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Well I guess you have missed a good Iftar spot which would not tear down your pocket. I have been getting emails from different hotels about iftar 2012 and the best offer so far received was from Grand Central Hotel Dubai, next to Rigga Metro station, near Holiday Inn down town, Rigga Road, Deira. They have daily Iftar buffet with iftar beverages at just 59 Dhs per person, from sunset to 8.30 pm. The buffet menu changes daily and popular Indian, Chinese, Arabic and continental dishes are there in the buffet.
If you have nothing much to do after Iftar or just want to talk with your friends, go to their roof top swimming pool by paying 45 Dhs extra and relax in the open air poolside with tea and coffee!
They are very much a family friendly hotel and have free valet parking.
You can reach them on 04-2999977 or 0567982027. It seems in most of the days, especially on Fridays, an advance reservation is a must.