Ramadan in Dubai: Festivities, lighting, culture, shopping
Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has curated the ‘Ramadan in Dubai’ festivities, running from March 23 to April 21 and transforming the city with beautiful lighting installations adorning landmarks, roadsides, and shopping destinations.
The event will offer a range of unique cultural experiences that individuals can enjoy with their loved ones, such as Iftars and Suhoors, Ramadan markets, festive citywide lighting, and attractive retail offers. Additionally, there will be family entertainment and hotel stays to make the occasion even more enjoyable.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of DFRE, said: “Ramadan is a unique time of year when we can reflect, appreciate the blessings of life and create special memories with family and friends. This Ramadan in Dubai, everyone is welcome to our great city to enjoy cultural moments and experience the sense of togetherness that is felt throughout the Holy Month.
“Working with our partners across the government and private sectors, we have created a programme of exciting events and activities, exquisite gastronomy, and world-class entertainment, that will make Ramadan in Dubai a month to remember. It will bring people together, celebrate our heritage and culture with friends and family, and provide opportunities for acts of charity and generosity.”
City lighting and ambience
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Dubai will be transformed with beautiful lighting installations adorning the city’s landmarks, trees, roadsides, and shopping destinations. Some of the city’s most beloved landmarks, such as Dubai Frame and Ain Dubai, will light up for Ramadan, including a special projection at Ain Dubai. Additionally, there will be a daily ‘Imagine Ramadan Projection’ at Festival Bay in Dubai Festival City Mall, and a stunning ‘Ramadan in Dubai Reflections’ immersive building projection accompanied by lanterns lighting the way at Al Seef (23 March-22 April) and Al Habai Mosque (28 March-10 April).
For those interested in shopping, Nakheel Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, and Circle Mall will have intricate hanging ornaments, multicolour motifs, and small majlis spaces to enjoy. The ‘Ramadan Fireworks Nights’ displays will also light up the skies on 1 April at The Beach, Bluewaters and JBR, on 8 April at Al Seef, and on 15 April at Dubai Festival City Mall.
Dubai’s popular Ramadan Markets are a great opportunity to experience the traditional Ramadan atmosphere and culture. Usually held in large air-conditioned tents or indoors at shopping malls, these markets offer a wide range of products such as food, clothing, home decor, and gifts. From 22 March to 21 April, Oasis Mall will host the Ramadan at Oasis market (10am-midnight). Visitors can enjoy daily dates and kahwa after Maghrib prayers and shop for items such as honey, dates, Arabic sweets, and decorative items.
For a relaxing break with family or even alone, the Hatta Hub will offer an inspiring ambience to sample international cuisines, browse retail outlets, and enjoy entertainment in the evenings (22 March to 1 May). The Al Barsha Park Ramadan Market will take place at Al Barsha Pond Park from 22 March to 1 May. Besides retail, this seasonal experience offers a variety of international delicacies, entertainment, contests, and other fun activities.
During Ramadan, many hotels, restaurants, and venues in Dubai set up large, air-conditioned tents or temporary structures where people can come together to break their fast and enjoy Iftar and Suhoor meals. These Ramadan tents are typically decorated with traditional Arabic décor and offer a variety of food options, including Arabic and international cuisine. They often feature live entertainment such as music and cultural performances, creating a festive atmosphere for families and friends to enjoy.
Dubai Opera will offer a buffet with Arabic and international cuisine, while Asateer in Atlantis the Palm will offer traditional Iftar and Suhoor. The Bulgari Ramadan experience will offer live food stations and live entertainment for Iftar and Suhoor, while the Habtoor Grand Resort Autograph Collection and City Walk’s Dana Tent will have outdoor Iftar and Suhoor options. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach will also provide Iftar and Suhoor options at several of its restaurants, while Carna by Dario Cecchini will offer Iftar on the 74th floor of SLS Dubai.
Offering a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, the Ramadan Street Food Festival will take place from 31 March to 9 April. The vibrant streets of Sheikh Hamdan Colony, Al Karama, will offer an array of authentic and traditional foods during Iftar and Suhoor.
Iftar Cannons & other Ramadan initiatives
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Dubai Police will be sounding the Iftar Cannon at various locations across the city, starting with Satwa Grand Mosque on March 23 and 24. The cannon will continue to sound at Iftar time until 21 April at different locations for two days in a row at each destination. These locations include DIFC, Zabeel Grand Mosque, Al Nahda National School for Girls, Lahbab Mosque 1, Al Aweer Grand Mosque, Ahmed Al Habbai Mosque in Al Khawaneej, Bin Dafoos Mosque in Al Twar, Al Mankhool, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, Ain Dubai, Al Salam Mosque in Al Barsha, Kite Beach in Jumeirah, Nad Al Sheba Mosque, The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah.
Expo City Dubai will also host a charitable initiative in the form of Hattan, a collection of clothing donation boxes that have been decorated by young artists from schools in Dubai with paintings inspired by the city’s culture and traditions. The boxes will be available for donations from 22 March to 22 April, offering an opportunity to give to those in need.
Dubai Festival City Mall will offer special rewards to shoppers, including tickets to Bounce X, access to Glowland, an Al-Futtaim gift card, besides the opportunity to win AED200,000 for users of its Blue App. Visitors to the mall can check out the Zehi Exhibition, which will feature local businesses offering a range of curated products such as abayas, perfumes, jewellery, and home accessories.
Families can take their children to AstroLab in Nakheel Mall, where they can participate in free space, science, and art workshops (24 March to 16 April). The Mad Scientist will also put on two 45-minute fun shows (5pm and 8:30pm, 31 March to 2 April). Visitors can also enjoy food and beverages offered by Hint Café at the exclusive Ramadan Majlis.
From 24 March to 16 April, visitors to Nakheel Mall can view the work of Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi at the Nakheel Mall Gallery Exhibition. Some of the artworks on display will include The Abaya, Between the Dunes, and 7 Falcons. In addition, visitors can enjoy live traditional entertainment, including oud and qanun players and pianists, after Iftar every weekend between 24 March and 23 April.
Ramadan can be celebrated every weekend at Freej Al Khawaneej in Al Khawaneej Walk and Last Exit Al Khawaneej. Community members can enjoy traditional celebrations and a host of activities, such as live music, free kids activities, Hakawati storytelling, and Ramadan quizzes from 24 March to 16 April. Starting on 23 March, 30 lucky patrons who review their dining experience at restaurants in City Walk, The Beach JBR, and La Mer will have a chance to win a flight to Dubai.
A new pop-up dessert market will open at City Centre Mirdif during mall opening hours (22 March-23 April). The market will feature unique and creative Ramadan-themed desserts from local and homegrown brands, providing visitors with new F&B experiences.
Mall of the Emirates will host the Ramadan market activation, Zeman Awwal, available both online and in-person (22 March-25 April). Every Tuesday during the Holy Month, visitors can attend the Ramadan Talks, held in the Zeman Awwal Majlis Cinema, covering topics such as Ramadan etiquette, healthy F&B habits, modest fashion, and more.
Al Seef will host Ramadan Art Nights & Lights (23 March-22 April), featuring a Ramadan street market, scrumptious dining options, striking art and lighting installations, live music, Ramadan quiz nights, storytelling for kids, and a jaw-dropping fireworks display.
Bluewaters will offer a range of fun activities and authentic Emirati hospitality every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 23 March and 21 April. Visitors can enjoy a photo booth with traditional props and clothing, a free henna session, and performances by oud or qanun players.
The Great Online Sale from 14-16 April will offer up to 95% discounts from a range of stores spanning fashion, optics, kids, home improvement, and more, offering residents and visitors a great opportunity to buy gifts in advance for Eid Al Fitr and explore a new online shopping experience.
Events and Entertainment
On 15 April, the Coca-Cola Arena will host British comedian Jack Whitehall for a night of wry anecdotes and animated observations in his signature style. From 6-18 April, visitors to Al Marmoom Heritage Village can celebrate Emirati culture and experience preserved Arabian traditions at the Al Marmoom Heritage Festival. With almost two weeks of entertainment, the festival offers daily camel races, live concerts, and international dance shows. It's a great opportunity to experience the rich heritage of the area.
Ramadan Wonders at Global Village will offer the perfect place for a night out with family and loved ones. Visitors can enjoy the Ramadan Market, Majlis of the World, and a variety of delicious cuisines for Iftar and Suhoor.
On 24 March and 14 April, the Theatre by QE2 will host the amazing Mind2Mind Connected mentalism show, featuring Dubai-based couple James and Marie, who won the golden buzzer on Ukraine’s Got Talent and performed at America’s Got Talent.
Starring actress Chulpan Khamatova and Latvian pianist Andrejs Osokins, Play: Dreams About The Grand Piano is a combined act of poetry and music presented at the Theatre at Mall of the Emirates on 23 March. Movenpick JBR will host a special performance by Rob van Vuuren on 25 March, presented by the Selfdrive Laughter Factory.
Fitness and Sports
Dubai will host a variety of fitness and sports activities during the month of Ramadan to encourage physical activity and promote a healthy lifestyle. The Polo Masters Cup, a six-day event part of the globally-recognised Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, will be held at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club from 3 to 8 April. The 6- to 8-goal handicap championship event will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE.
On 8 April, Jebel Ali Racecourse will host the Night Spartan Trail, an off-road endurance challenge. Athletes and sports enthusiasts can participate in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex on 13 April. Running, cycling, padel tennis, jiu-jitsu, volleyball, and wheelchair basketball are among the six categories in which participants can compete.
The GRIT+TONIC Relay Triathlon is open to participants aged 12 and above, who can compete in teams of two or three. The event will take place at Al Mamzar Beach Park, featuring multiple challenges such as swimming, biking, and racing.
Ramadan fitness activities will take place citywide to help people stay healthy during the month. The events include a Padel Tennis Tournament on 26 March, Night Runs at D3 on 27 March, and the Desert Road Runners Iftar Challenge in Dubai Autodrome on 30 March. On 1 April, families can participate in the Spinneys Family Fun Run Series together in Al Furjan Pavilion Mall. The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club will also host several events such as Offshore Sailing Series on 1 April, Kite Sailing on April 1 and 2, Wednesday Night Pursuit Race on 5 April, and the Keelboat Commodore’s Cup on 8 April.
The Ramadan in Dubai campaign also features exclusive offers from hotels and tourist destinations in the city. These include affordable accommodation, discounted access to tourist facilities, and Iftar and Suhoor packages during the Holy Month. Dubai offers a variety of cultural experiences this Ramadan, with something for everyone to enjoy and create special moments. – TradeArabia News Service