You know the drill – each year, Ramadan rolls around and you find yourself making a list of all the iftar buffets you want to try, only to crave something with a novelty factor just days later. Enter: Savoir Flair’s picks of the most unique iftar concepts in the city, guaranteed to impress even the most jaded of Dubai diners.
Keep It Real
Frying Pan Adventures
Ramadan in Dubai may be synonymous with glitzy and indulgent iftars, but the Middle Eastern Iftar Walk proves otherwise. Hosted by Frying Pan Adventures, this food walk deep into the heart of Old Dubai spans 3.5 hours and gives participants insights into the humble spirit of the holy month through stories, food traditions, and pit stops at stores selling the likes of saffron and pomegranate syrup. And, true to its name, you’ll feast on iftar specialities from across the region in some of the city’s oldest and liveliest streets.
Price: AED 350 per person
(+971) 56 471 8244
Best of Three
Whether you’re a chocoholic, a coffee snob, or a total carnivore, there’s nothing but good news here. Artisan chocolatier Mirzam has partnered up The Mattar Farm (where smoked meats reign supreme) to host The Coffee Brisket Iftar. Expect to dine on a three-course menu featuring cocoa, coffee, and brisket. This very limited offering will take place from May 27 to 29, so you might want to act fast for this one.
Price: AED 135 per person
(+971) 4 333 5888
Mother Knows Best
Each edition of Inked dinners brings with it plenty of new surprises, but we’re celebrating the return of Tawlet Souk El Tayeb this Ramadan. Tawlet is a “mom’s kitchen and table” concept based in Beirut that entails cooks coming in from different regions of Lebanon on a daily basis to share home-cooked favorites drawing on their own heritage. Inked is hosting them from May 7 to 13 for two sittings daily – iftar and dinner – so there will be plenty of opportunities to hear their stories and savor the traditional dishes of their villages, all freshly prepared in Inked’s kitchen.
Price: AED 275 per person
(+971) 4 344 1788
Veganism is on the rise in Dubai, and Myocum is keeping up. The popular café will host all-vegan iftars every Saturday (May 11 to June 1) from 7 to 10 p.m., with ‘Asian’ and ‘Myocum Style’ options to choose from. Head Chef Boelie has whipped up mains like hummus-falafel bowls and homestyle dahl with wild rice and battered cauliflower – alongside a whole host of Ramadan-centric desserts and even Vimto house mixes – so you’re in for a treat.
Price: 110 per person
(+971) 4 222 4131
Girls' Night Out
Female First Sessions
Considering their mission to “empower, encourage, and elevate” women, we’re intrigued by the idea of breaking our fast with Female First Sessions. For the holy month, the multidisciplinary platform that celebrates women and their many talents is hosting an intimate iftar series on the following dates: May 10, 11, 18, 19, 30, 31.
Chef Ashley Wentling – a refreshing change of pace from the dominance of male chefs – has exclusively created a three-course tasting menu showcasing flavors that feel true to Ramadan, with local ingredients and open-fire cooking only adding to the experience.
Price: AED 200 per person
Leave it Al Hadheerah to deliver nature, luxury, live cultural entertainment, and a veritable feast spanning the region’s cuisines and beyond in one offering, making it the definitive choice if you’re dining in a group that seems to host all ages.
Set in the plush desert retreat Bab Al Shams, the al fresco restaurant transforms into a luxurious, air-conditioned tent, serving a vast iftar spread accented by twinkling lanterns, traditional music by oud and kanun players, tanoura dancing, and even a camel and horse caravan show.
Price: AED 265 on weekdays, AED 295 on weekends
(+971) 4 809 6100
The Great Escape
Journey back to the deserts of yesteryear by indulging in a traditional iftar with Platinum Heritage. You’ll arrive at an authentic, lantern-lit bedouin camp in a vintage Land Rover and dine on traditional Arabic dishes under the starry sky before relaxing in a traditional majlis over shisha and stories about Ramadan and the UAE’s cultural heritage shared by an Emirati.
The culture quest continues with activities like camel rides, Arabic coffee making, henna tattoos, a falcon show, and more. A resident astronomer will even delve into how bedouins relied on the stars for navigation and storytelling purposes in an astronomy session.
Price: AED 350 per person
(+971) 4 440 9827
Watch This Space
Games, talks, food, and films – a flawlessly curated selection of documentaries, foreign flicks, and animated films to reflect the holy month – collide at Cinema Akil as part of its Cinemajlis program. The 9 p.m. screenings with be paired with an elevated take on casual, family-style South Asian cuisine, courtesy of Project Chaiwala, so expect to dine on the likes of ‘Malay Bhotti’, ‘Sweet Potato Salad with Feta Cheese’, and a chai-centric take on tiramisu.
As for the roster of films? The Poetess (the story of a Saudi woman who became the first female finalist on TV talent show Million’s Poet), The Journey (Iraq’s official contender for the Oscars), and more.
Price: AED 200 per person
Queen Elizabeth 2
13-deck ship Queen Elizabeth 2 is steeped in history (a whopping 1,400 voyages and almost 2.5 million passengers in 39 years), yet continues her legacy as a 224-room floating hotel and entertainment destination that is docked permanently at Port Rashid. This year, the Iftar al Malika (Iftar of the Queen) will feature authentic Emirati gastronomy alongside live hakawati storytelling performances delivered by leading artists from around the world.
Both English and Arabic versions of ancient tales, folk stories, and legendary fictions from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and beyond will be recited, so your imagination will be as satiated as your stomach. While Iftar al Malika will be served in three distinct venues, we suggest you head to the dazzling Majlis Al Malika, a purpose-built majlis located at the historical Queen’s Room.
Price: 195 per person
(+971) 4 526 8888
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
This might just be the definitive iftar if you’re hosting out-of-town guests this Ramadan. Held in the courtyard of a wind-tower house in the atmospheric Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, the evening will begin with the call to prayer followed by the breaking of the fast over local dishes with Emirati hosts, who will then happily answer all questions related to the holy month as well as the culture and traditions of the UAE.
After iftar, guests will have the special opportunity to visit the Diwan Mosque before returning to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for dessert and tea. The iftars will be held daily, except for Fridays, until June 5.
Price: AED 185 per person
(+971) 4 353 6666