Indulgence Café - Best for all-in-one fun
Nestled in International City’s France Cluster, it’s the café that’s got pretty much everything. A few classic board games including Scrabble, shisha, games console tournaments, painting parties and screenings of big sporting events, from football (including 2014 FIFA World Cup games) to cricket. There’s also karaoke after Eid.
Open daily from 6.30pm until late during Ramadan. R26, France Cluster, International City, Dubai to Hatta Road (E44), www.facebook.com/indulgencecafe (04 447 4145).
There are dozens of restaurants surrounding the lakes and park of JLT. Many, however, seem set up for a casual dining experience or specifically with takeaway food in mind. That’s why we were happy to find chilled out hang out Public Cafe. Clean, simple and welcoming it is also home to a decent selection of board games so don’t be surprised to find tables filled with people playing chess, backgammon or even taking on a competitive trivia challenge. Full length windows mean the light filters through in the daytime – a great spot for a slice of delicious cheese pie at lunchtime for non-Muslims who aren’t fasting.
Open daily 8am-7pm during Ramadan. Lake Plaza Tower, Cluster T, JLT. www.facebook.com/publiccafeme (04 451 9670)
Reem Al Bawadi - Best for very early morning suhoor
Head to the Jumeirah branch of this established Arabic eatery and immerse yourself in an iftar buffet (Dhs130, or Dhs65 for suhoor, served from midnight onwards) and the fragrant scents of fruity shisha. There are a number of backgammon sets available for customers to play before, during or after their meal, and with the restaurant open until 5am, you can play right into the small hours should you wish.
Open daily 5pm-5am during Ramadan. Jumeirah Beach Road, www.reemalbawadi.com (04 394 7444).
Tea Junction Café & Lounge
As the name suggests, this Oud Metha café specialises in tea beverages – one of few in the city to do so. Try more than 30 different hot and cold varieties – chai blends such as Kashmiri tea, tea blends including Wild Arabian (combined with mint and, strangely, orange juice) or classics such as Earl Grey, camomile and hibiscus. But it doesn’t end at tea, there are games including Scrabble, Jenga chess, dominoes and Uno for customers to play, and an intriguing menu of snacks and meals.
Open daily 6pm-2am during Ramadan. Behind the Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai, Oud Metha, www.teajunction.ae (04 357 6677).