Alserkal Avenue, Dubai’s vibrant cultural complex, which is home to many contemporary art galleries, alternative art spaces, design, media and industrial studios and creative food outlets, has lined up a variety of artistic and cultural experiences for visitors throughout the month of Ramadan. These include creative iftars, art workshops, board games, live musical performances, and extended gallery hours with guided tours of the exhibitions.
Nadi Al Quoz, the Avenue’s clubhouse, which has indoor and outdoor seating spaces, will host an alternative iftar titled Nadi Nights. Organised in collaboration with goodvibesmarket, this will feature a selection of vendors serving various cuisines in different weeks. These include French sweet and savoury crepes by Huguette and Guy; Baos and Asian inspired sandwiches by Hookeddxb; Indian-Lebanese fusion food by The Shebi; homemade gourmet burgers by Burgeritch; fried chicken dishes from Son of a Chick; ice cream and desserts by Scoop by no 57 Café; Lebanese soul food sandwiches by Kaak Al Manara; and natural, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan sweets by Encas Sweet Escapes. Prices of main courses range from Dh30 to Dh45, and no reservations are required for this casual iftar experience.
The entertainment provided includes Boardgame Space, featuring an assortment of board games every Saturday and Sunday from 7pm to 11pm; and Rabab player Inam, performing on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm. Wednesdays will be Alserkal Lates night with all the galleries and creative spaces in the Avenue staying open until 11pm and guided tours of the exhibitions starting from Nadi Al Quoz at 8.30pm and 9.30pm.
Another interesting iftar and suhoor experience is being offered at the Open Tent, in warehouse 68, organised by kimono shop and art space CHI-KA, in partnership with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. This carefully crafted culinary project, features iftar and suhoor menus that blend Japanese and Arabic cuisine, and cultural sensibility.
In the space, designed by Svenm, guests are surrounded by contemporary minimalist Japanese décor, bonsai gardens, calligraphic murals, and live oud music. The iftar buffet is available until 10pm and costs Dh135, and the al-la-carte suhoor, costing Dh110 is served from 10.30pm to 2am from Wednesday to Saturday. The catering is provided by Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai, led by chef Uwe Micheel, president of the Emirates Culinary Guild. For bookings write to email@example.com
Experimental culinary space, INKED is presenting their first Ramadan pop-up iftar titled Ramadan 2967, which is the year 2017 as per the Berber calendar. The iftar is inspired by Berber culture, where food and the process of eating itself revolves around sharing and community, with tribes eating from one plate and drinking from one glass. The iftar, costing Dh300 will be served every Thursday, Friday and Saturday up to 9pm. Bookings can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another special iftar experience, titled FOOD Restaurant 1971/2017, has been planned for June 7 by the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation. The event will celebrate the history and legacy of FOOD, a conceptual restaurant opened by artists Gordon Matta-Clark and Carol Goodden in New York in 1971. At a time when SOHO was just starting to grow as the centre of the avant garde art world, FOOD was a landmark meeting ground for events, food performances, and art projects by downtown artists.
By serving iftar in a recreation of the restaurant with the original menu from 1971-1973 at the A4 space in Alserkal Avenue, the event will take guests back to a legendary period in New York’s history. The meal will be followed by a film screening at the A4 Cinema of Matta Clark’s film FOOD, which gives a rare insight into a day in the life of the artist-run restaurant, from trips to the Fultom fish market to the late night parties at the venue. Bookings for the event, costing Dh175 can be made at email@example.com
Other activations across the community include:
Painting workshops: A series of free painting workshops at Ayyam gallery, led by Dubai-based Syrian artist and art instructor, Mohannad Orabi, which will focus on different aspects of painting such as sketching, drawing and creating still life compositions. The workshops will be held every Wednesday from 9pm to 11pm and participants must register in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramadan Unseen Trails: Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) will be running their annual Old Dubai Iftar Walks throughout Ramadan. Organised in collaboration with Frying Pan Adventures, as part of the Ramadan Unseen Trails, the walks will take photography enthusiasts to some of the oldest neighbourhoods of Dubai such as Naif, to watch as the bustling streets become silent, and people gather on sheets laid out on the streets to wait for the call to prayer and to end their fast together. The price is Dh595, and includes a guided walk, water, tea, iftar snacks, dinner at a traditional Afghani restaurant, and plenty of opportunities for taking great photographs.
GPP is also hosting a talk by photographer Lisa Ross, on June 7, about her ongoing exhibition Living Shrines, documenting Islamic shrines created by the Uighur community of China. For more information about the walks and the talk go to www.gulfphotoplus.com
Design Surgery sessions: Architectural studio SVENM is offering free one on one design surgery sessions between June 1 and 7 to people who would like to have their expert insights on private architectural and interior projects. For appointments write to email@example.com
Painting Packages: The Jam Jar is offering special painting packages throughout Ramadan.
Let’s talk Jewellery: The Jewel Teller has organised a pop-up majlis that will host talks and discussions every Wednesday on trends in jewellery buying, how to buy pieces that will stand the test of time, and how to bring vintage influences into contemporary designs. It will also conduct workshops on sketching jewellery designs, and a workshop for beginners on how to speak the language of diamonds and of jewelers, and on the various production stages of jewellery.