Essential terms and phrases

Arabic phrases to learn in time for the Holy Month

Ramadan 2011, Ramadan

A linguistic guide to the Holy Month from Dubai’s Berlitz Language Centre.

Iftar
Iftar literally translates as the infinitive ‘to break the fast’ – as such, during Ramadan this is the meal with which Muslims break their fast after sunset. Traditionally, the meal will begin with dates and a small glass of juice and many restaurants and hotels across the city host special buffets, ranging from simple to show-stopping.

Suhoor
This is the first meal of the day, eaten before fasting begins at sunrise, around 5am in Dubai – though many Ramadan tents serve suhoor throughout the night.

Eid al-Fitr
Falling after 29 or 30 days of fasting, upon the sighting of a new moon, Eid al-Fitr signals the end of Ramadan and is typically marked with large celebrations. Families and friends come together to feast, and donations of food are given to the needy.

‘Ramadan Kareem’
Blessed Ramadan

‘Tafaddal iftar ma3na’
Please join us for iftar

‘Siyam Kareem’
Blessed fasting

‘Taqabbala Allah’
May God accept your fasting/prayers

‘Laa takol katheer fi Ramadan’
Don’t overeat in Ramadan

‘Al iftar byibda as-sa3a sab3a’
Iftar starts at 7pm

‘Eid Mubarak’
Blessed Eid

View Your Ultimate Ramadan Guide
View Cultural dos and don'ts
View What to wear
View Dubai iftars to try
View Daytime dining

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