If you are looking for something slightly different from the usual buffet experience, try one of these alternative iftar pop-ups, which are offering their unique, and creative, take on the end-of-fast gathering.
1. Star gazing iftar in Mleiha
The Mleiha Archaeological and Ecotourism Project is offering a special Ramadan package for tourists and residents up until the end of Ramadan. The archaeological centre will provide visitors an opportunity to enjoy unique desert experiences at their ‘Ramadan Star Lounge’, an exclusive iftar and suhoor tent with a special Ramadan menu. Visitors arrive for iftar at the Ramadan Star Lounge to end the fast with a specially catered Ramadan menu under the stars. After you finish eating, you will have the opportunity to explore a world of archaeology and fossils, while visiting the Archaeological Museum that is included in the package. Accompanied by a professional tour guide, visitors can enjoy views of the natural scenery as they discover the region’s rich history, relax around a campfire and experience in a stargazing session with an astronomer guide. Ramadan juices and water is included.
Where: Mleiha Archeological Centre, Sharjah
Cost: Dh175 per person
When: Daily from sunset to 2am
2. Iftar in a warehouse with Ramadan Nights by Dish
The iftar pop-up in Al Quoz’s Warehouse Four is back for another year. Ease into your iftar meal with a selection of light starters including sweet potato and red lentil soup, zataar and preserved lemon hummus with Arabic and cumin toasted flat breads. The main dishes include the popular slow braised lamb shoulder in Middle-Eastern spices, which has made an appearance every year for the last four years and remains the highlight of the main course menu. It is served alongside BBQ prawns with sumac and coriander and chicken kofta stuffed with ash goat’s cheese and smoked paprika. Spiced cauliflower and chickpea salad, saffron labneh and heritage tomatoes with shankleesh are some of the accompanying dishes. A special menu has also been conceptualised for younger diners and includes baked chicken goujons, rice pilaf and lemon honey yoghurt. For dessert, you can enjoy a semolina and lemon sponge cake with pomegranate sorbet, sidr honey marscapone, almond and lavender shortbread with berries and mint. Decor elements such as Moroccan-inspired furniture, a combination of low and regular seating and mood lighting with candles add some Eastern charm to the space. Ramadan juices and water is included.
Where: Warehouse Four, Al Quoz, Shaikh Zayed Road (Exit 43), Dubai
Cost: Dh200 per person.
When: Daily sunset until 9.30pm
3. Try a ‘Cinemajlis’
Project Chaiwala and Cinema Akil have collaborated to create Cinemajlis; a unique iftar experience this Ramadan at Al Serkal Avenue, transforming the cinema into a dining hall the entire month. Cinemajlis will provide visitors with a ‘dinner and a movie’ experience. Fans of the homegrown chai diner can expect an iftar menu with an elevated take on casual, family-style South Asian cuisine. Also on the menu; a curated film programme by independent cinema house Cinema Akil, the region’s first art house cinema. Films will screen every night starting at 9pm and 11pm on weekdays and pre-iftar screenings on weekdays. Ramadan juices and water is included.
Where: Alserkal Avenue, Cinema Akil and Project Chaiwala, Dubai
Cost: Dh200 (iftar + film screening combo)
Timings: Daily from 6.30pm, Movie starts at 8.45pm
4. Blast Catering x Lawrie Shabibi
Blast Catering has partnered with art gallery Lawrie Shabibi to offer a private iftar within a contemporary art setting among a collection of paintings by artist Driss Ouadahi. The menu is a five-course meal inspired by Ramadan traditions from the Levant with a touch of today’s modern flavours. Expect to start with an oven roasted cauliflower soup, followed by a selection of appetisers including green olives and feta, five shades of hummus and tomato baladi. Salads and mains include kale and beetroot fattoush, halloumi and radish salad as well as lamb, sea bass and chicken. There is also a vegetarian option. For dessert enjoy assorted cheese and walnut katayef with a side of coffee and tea. Groups of 20 people or more will be able to book this private experience. Food is shared and enjoyed family style. Water and Ramadan juices are included.
Where: Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai
Cost: Dh195 per person.
When: Daily from sunset until 9pm
5. Crescent Nights by EAT
Crescent Nights is a pop-up concept conceptualised by EAT Catering, to celebrate the month of Ramadan. A special iftar set menu includes lentil, roasted pumpkin or minestrone soup and appetisers including slow-cooked lentil salad with macaroni, pomegranate and crispy onions. For mains, try out the grass-fed Angus meatball fatteh and thyme-infused roasted free-range chicken with lemon. End the meal with saffron and pistachio pancakes or maple date cake. This iftar is family friendly and accommodates kids as well. Ramadan juices are included, water is not.
Where: City Walk, Dubai
Cost: Dh175 per person excluding beverages
When: Daily from sunset to 9pm