Easing Through Ramadan: A Curated Guide to Low-Impact, High-Value Activities Across Dubai | Savoir Flair
Ramadan
Easing Through Ramadan: A Curated Guide to Low-Impact, High-Value Activities Across Dubai
article @YARALNAMLAH
by Liam Collens 2-minute read March 14, 2024

From social gatherings to spiritual reflections, find activities that enhance this sacred month.

Ramadan is a time of celebration when families and friends get together. While fasting may mean you don’t want to exert yourself during the day, you may still want to get out, explore, and create memories to reflect on the auspicious Ramadan period. We organised these into interests to reflect your taste and mood and also to map the change in habits as people oscillate between socializing and activities to devotional practices over Ramadan.

1

The Fifth Wife Exhibition, Alserkal Avenue

There are lots of opportunities to enjoy outdoor spaces during Ramadan, which is migrating towards the cooler time of the year. Alserkal Avenue continues to be a reliable lynchpin for Dubai’s more cultured activities, so take your time to explore its galleries and shops. Make sure to stop in for ‘The Fifth Wife’ exhibition from mid-March to mid-April, which explores the importance of the Majlis as a place of passing down heritage and tradition.

2

Dune 2

Watch Dune 2 at IMAX

Cinemas are more immersive than ever, so why not enjoy Dune Part 2? It is one of the most anticipated films of 2024, and, better yet, the movie was partly filmed in Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis, with the crew, director, and some cast members staying at the palatial Anantara Qasr Al Sarab. Book tickets in a plush cinema or watch the full desert spectacle unfold in IMAX

3

Jameel Arts Centre Ramadan Nights

The Jameel Arts Centre will run two festive evenings during the month of Ramadan, working with local artists and creatives to “connect and craft over shared traditions”. The first evening about connecting curates workshops designed to share storytelling and meditations. The second evening puts on drop-in stations for adults and families to design and create during their craft workshops. Our top tip is to head to the Al Jameel Arts Centre early to break your fast at the Michelin Green-starred Teible next door and then walk across the garden to the Jameel Arts Centre for the evening and late into the night.

4

Improv at Courtyard Playhouse

This is an opportunity for people looking to express themselves and maybe even get out of their comfort zones. The Courtyard Playhouse is nestled within a beautiful independent performance theater in Al Quoz, where they run regular workshops and sessions in both private and public groups, teaching people about improvisational performances. Courtyard Playhouse will continue showing performances on Mondays and Wednesdays during Ramadan. These sessions book up fast, and you are strongly advised to book in advance and turn up 30 minutes early, as they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

5

Arrange a Secret Eid

Some offices and groups will get together for Secret Santa, but there is nothing stopping you from putting together a Secret Eid as part of the tradition of gifting during this Ramadan. It’s simple: everyone puts their name in a box or jar, taking turns pulling someone else’s name. You keep the name secret. Everyone sets a price cap for the value of the gifts, and then exchanges gifts with each other on an arranged day close to Eid. You then have to guess who bought you the gift! It’s a great way to find out more about your work colleagues’ and friends’ interests, hobbies, and likes. 

6

Dog Walking with K9 Friends

K9 Friends is a volunteer dog rescue shelter that has been operating since 1989. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum donated the land and building on which the rescue shelter continues to operate today. You can contact K9 Friends and give one of their adorable dogs a day out in a dog-friendly area, then bring the pooch back and tell them how your dog got on. While you’re there, you may even want to consider fostering a dog during Ramadan!

7

Follow the Ramadan Cannons

In the UAE, cannons are traditionally fired across the country during Ramadan to signal the breaking of the fast, otherwise known as midfa al iftar. The tradition stems back to a time when mosques did not have speaker systems, and therefore, the loud bang of the cannon could be heard more widely to assure people that it was time to break their fast. The police operate the cannons by firing blank shells. Nowadays, these cannons are typically fired in popular or touristy areas of the UAE, and crowds form to watch the cannons go off. Get together with friends to seek out and watch the cannons being fired across the city. 

8

Swing Into Topgolf

You could use your Ramadan working hours to pick up some clubs at Topgolf. The global brand’s Dubai outlet sits close to Vida Emirates Hills and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. You pay to hire an elevated space overlooking the long driving range and drive the golf ball out as far as you can. Get friends involved to compete for the best score. There is also a Topgolf iftar for anyone who wants to plan their evening around breaking their fast. 

9

Learn a New Language

Studies debate how long it takes to develop a habit, but we challenge you to self-improve during Ramadan by spending ten minutes a day learning a new language. Duolingo is the world’s most popular learning application, with over 80 million active users worldwide. You can choose from several languages, from Arabic to Italian, to more exotic choices like Klingon and Zulu! 

10

Breaking Old Habits

Ramadan is also a time for reflection and mindfulness. During this time, people give up vices, whether caffeine or other cravings. Dedicate the next weeks to giving up some of those habits you long wanted to leave behind. James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a highly recommended read that walks you through four steps to both break bad habits and form good ones through small, incremental daily routines and adopting a four-stage cue, crave, response, and reward system.

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