4 Regional Designers on Their Ramadan Traditions, Survival Tips, and More

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In celebration of the impending arrival of the holy month, Symphony’s Tasyourah kicks off today. Savoir Flair taps into four participating designers from the region who have created exclusive designs for the five-day long shopping event and exhibition – Shatha EssaFaiza Bouguessa, Amal Al Mulla, and Huda Al Nuaimi – to learn more about their traditions, favorite moments and, of course, style during the month of Ramadan.

Faiza Bouguessa

Photo: Courtesy of Bouguessa

My favorite Ramadan tradition is…
Drinking Vimto!

My go-to outfit and style for Ramadan this year…
My pleated pieces styled with simple, elegant pieces like a chic pair of slippers, my minimal Alabbar Designs Kaaba necklace, and a crystal-cut clutch from L’Afshar.

My favorite Ramadan memory is…
I don’t have a particular memory. I just really love when I have family visiting during Ramadan in the UAE.

My Ramadan nights are usually spent…
With my husband during iftar, and I often hang out with friends for suhoor, which makes for a nice change. I am a night owl, so I like that time of the year.

My Ramadan survival tip is…
To adjust to a more moderate pace and take it easy on yourself – it’s the best time of the year to do so.

My favorite iftar is…
The one spent with my family during the weekend.

Shatha Essa

Photo: Courtesy of Shatha Essa

My favorite Ramadan tradition is
Gathering with family and friends every night! With our busy schedules all year long, we never tend to spend quality time with loved ones every day. However, during the holy month of Ramadan, we are blessed to have 30 days of continuous love and laughter as well as time to focus on religion, family, and friends. I also love how everyone competes over who comes up with the most delicious item on that never-ending buffet table.

My go-to outfit and style for Ramadan this year is…
Conservative, yet elegant and sophisticated. As a designer and an Emirati, I like to always keep things simple and elegant. I will always opt for pastel-colored kaftans or dresses with kitten heels. You can never go wrong with minimal but statement-making diamond stud earrings to complete the look.

My favorite Ramadan memory is…
When my high-school classmates and I would gather once every year during Ramadan to light fireworks up until the Fajr prayer. Each and every one of us would be so excited, waiting for this day to come to spend it in a totally different way. This annual gathering continued up until we were in the 12th grade, back in 2008.

My Ramadan nights are usually spent with…
My friends. We would gather in a majlis after Taraweeh prayer, where we would watch different kinds of comedy shows, play games, and spend quality time with one another.

My Ramadan survival tip is to…
Stay healthy and avoid bulgur-based meals. During Ramadan, you would find all sorts of food on the table, and it can be tempting to have a bite of everything – especially after breaking a fast. I always have some dates, a bowl of soup, and a glass of my favorite Hildon water before heading to prayers. After that, I would try to focus on having whole foods, proteins, and healthy grains.

My favorite iftar is…
My grandmother’s steamed oats dish.

Amal Al Mulla

Photo: Courtesy of Amal Al Mulla

My favorite Ramadan tradition is…
Quality time with my mother every other night in the kitchen, preparing our traditional Ramadan desserts for the family, and cooking and learning so much from her.

My go-to outfit and style for Ramadan this year…
Kaftans that are chic and versatile, as well as simple and classic abayas.

My favorite Ramadan memory is…
It’s honestly the simple moments that count – waking up at two in the morning with the family for suhoor, and just sharing our time together is something I always love.

My Ramadan nights are usually spent…
At intimate family gatherings or with close friends.

My Ramadan survival tip is…
To take a step back from things. There’s this peace and beauty throughout the month that shouldn’t be missed because of the hustle of our everyday life – to reflect is key.

My favorite iftar is…
We would always have my mother’s favorite cooked dish of mathrooba on the table, which is too delicious to miss.

Huda Al Nuaimi

Photo: Courtesy of Huda Al Nuaimi

My favorite Ramadan tradition is…
Giving. Ramadan is a colorful month, a month of worship. It gives you time to reflect, pray, and appreciate your blessings. There are a lot of amazing initiatives set up by the government of Dubai, which people can get involved with during the month to assist those in need.

My go-to outfit and style for Ramadan this year…
Bold earrings and kaftans all the way.

My favorite Ramadan memory is…
Iftars with my grandfather – may he rest in peace – were always fun and filled with laughter.

My Ramadan nights are usually spent…
Iftars with the family and late gatherings with friends.

My Ramadan survival tip is…
To overdose on water! Avoid sugary drinks when breaking your fast as they’ll cause you to automatically bloat up. Try and eat smaller portions throughout the evening.

My favorite iftar is…
The iftar hosted by Dinner Club 57 last year – loved it. It was held in a warehouse, the food was amazing, and the setting was quite contemporary.

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