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Dubai restaurant hosting free iftar for over 20 years

Everyday more than 500 people end fast at Bur Dubai and Al Quoz branches of Shehar-e-Karachi restaurant

  • Free for all: Atiq Ahmad, director and Mohammad Zubair owner of Sheher-e-Karachi with a staff, centre, servingImage Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Xpress
  • XNE_130722_freeiftar / 22 July 2013 / From The Right, Atique Ahmed Director of The sheher e karachi restaurantImage Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/XPRESS

Dubai: A restaurant has been offering free iftar meals for more than two decades.

Shehar-e-Karachi’s Bur Dubai and Al Quoz branches have been feeding more than 500 people ending their fast every day in Ramadan. The Pakistani restaurant has been doing this for 22 years at Bur Dubai and two years at its new Al Quoz branch.

“We feel blessed as people across nationalities visit our restaurant during iftar. There are no barriers. You can be a Muslim or non-Muslim, the food is for every-one,” Mohammad Zubair Abdul Razaq, owner of the restaurant, told XPRESS.

Every evening throughout Ramadan, visitors flock to the restaurant to end the fast with dates and water before partaking of food such as samosas, pakodas (fried savoury), chickpeas, fruit and juices.

“I come here every evening to end my fast. With my limited income, this is quite a relief and I get to eat delicious food which I would otherwise not buy. Throughout the holy month I do not have to worry about what I will eat,” said Suleman, a Bangladeshi worker who was ending his fast at the Al Quoz restaurant.

The Bur Dubai outlet of the restaurant has been carrying on with the tradition for 22 years with people of all income groups coming for iftar, be they executives, workers and even families of various nationalities.

“Eating with the community is a good feeling and I come here regularly during Ramadan,” said an Indian bank employee.

Zubair’s family came to the Gulf about 30 years ago and it was their father Abdul Razaq who started offering free iftar in Bur Dubai.

The tradition is now carried forward by Mohammad Zubair and his brothers Aziz Ahmad and Atiq Ahmad.

The trio likes to maintain a low profile and continue with the charitable work without seeking any publicity.

“This is not about publicity, there are many people who cannot afford a decent meal and even for those who can afford, this is one of the ways we can share the blessings we have received. We want as many people as possible to come here,” he added.