A Beginner’s Guide to Ramadan in Dubai at Atlantis, The Palm
Ramadan is a time when Muslims all over the world reaffirm their spiritual roots by nourishing their souls and observing daily fast from sunrise to sunset.
As the borders between cities and countries and continents become less physical, the Holy Month continues to grow in popularity and reach, with more and more countries marking the occasion every year.
This is especially the case in Dubai, where every year our local community and the city’s vibrant residents and guests come together to commemorate the occasion and give to the less fortunate.
Once again this year, Atlantis The Palm will be offering special Iftar and Suhoor menus that celebrate Arabian heritage and hospitality, embrace the essence of this holy celebration and help spread a message of peace, empathy and inclusion.
Decades ago, Ramadan was mostly celebrated across the Middle East and North Africa where most of the Muslim contingent resided. Over the years, as the world became closer and more open and borders became less concrete and more virtual, Ramadan grew in popularity and recognition to become an internationally-celebrated ritual. A time of sacrifice, giving and compassion, the blessed month is now highly-anticipated in many countries in the four quarters of the planet.
Here at Atlantis, The Palm, Ramadan is one of our favourite times of the year, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce you to the true meaning of the Holy Month.
So, how exactly does one observe Ramadan?
Ramadan is a yearly ritual that requires Muslims to refrain from eating and drinking every day between sunrise and sunset. Over the period of a month, the daily fast is broken with family, friends and loved ones around a feast of delicious food.
Ramadan is a time when practising Muslims are asked to abstain from eating or drinking from sunrise until sundown, only breaking their fast at Magrib, gathered around a hot and fulfilling meal and surrounded by their family, friends and loved ones. The meal is called Iftar, which in Arabic means “break-fast”, establishing the meal’s status as the first of the day.
Spreading a message of empathy, charity and humanity, the purpose of this great abstinence is to remind Muslims to appreciate their circumstances and encourage them to sympathise with those who are less fortunate by putting themselves in their shoes.
In addition to the daily fast, Muslims are also required to give back to the community and the poor. They are also highly encouraged to reread the Holy Quran to remember the real virtues of Islam, renew their bonds with their faith and strengthen their ties to their religion.
How can I be involved in the tradition without offending anyone?
The first thing to remember is that Ramadan embraces first and foremost a message of acceptance, hope and empathy. This means that your respectful attempts at understanding and participating in the tradition will only be met with encouragement and appreciation.
Start by wishing fasting Muslims “Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak”, which respectively translate to “Generous Ramadan” and “Blessed Ramadan”. If you struggle with the Arabic language, then you can simply say “Have a blessed Ramadan”. Your efforts will be welcomed regardless of the language you choose.
You can also go a step further by embracing Ramadan’s giving spirit. Give back to the community and donate to charities and special Ramadan organisations.
And if you think you’re physically capable, try your hand at fasting. Remember that Ramadan exempts people with illnesses and disabilities, so don’t push yourself if your body cannot handle it. But if you can do it, nothing will help you embrace the real essence of the Holy Month quite like it. By observing the fast for a few days, you will be able to empathise with fasting Muslims and people who are less fortunate than you.
Can I break my fast at Atlantis?
Absolutely! At Atlantis, The Palm, Ramadan is an occasion we respect deeply and eagerly anticipate every year. We love the merriments, conviviality and liveliness that the month brings with it, especially after sunset. Embracing the season’s inherent vibrancy and its message of hope, our restaurants create special Iftar menus and adopt a festive atmosphere to celebrate the occasion.
Asateer at Atlantis
At Asateer Ramadan Tent, you can enjoy the most authentic Iftar experience in the city. Located inside a brightly-lit tent inspired by the days of old, the hall is decorated in Arabian lines and traditional pieces. At AED 220 per person, the menu is rich in traditional dishes and on-theme delicacies such as dates and Jallab, while the line-up of oriental entertainment brings a distinct Arabian flavour, adding to the jubilant spirit of the tent.
Daily Iftar: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Daily Suhoor: 9:30pm – 2:30am
Nobu at Atlantis
Nobu’s Ramadan dishes are a little less conventional but just as delicious. At AED 305 per person, the trendy eatery’s special Iftar menu is chock-full of mouth-watering recipes from the Far East. The restaurant’s à-la-carte menu is also available, offering a wider selection of dishes and drinks to mark the occasion.
Saturday to Wednesday dinner: 7:00pm – 11:30pm
Thursday dinner: 6:00pm – 11:30pm
Friday dinner: 7:00pm – 11:30pm
Kaleidoscope at Atlantis
The Ramadan festivities also extend to Kaleidoscope, where you can enjoy an Iftar feast of local and international meals at AED 210 per person. With interactive cooking stations and an open kitchen, the restaurant features a selection of freshly-prepared dishes made with the most savoury ingredients and exotic flavours.
Daily breakfast: 7:00am – 11:00am
Daily lunch: 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Weekend lunch: 12:30pm – 4:30pm
Daily Iftar buffet: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Daily dinner buffet: 9:00pm – 10:30pm
And what about after Iftar?
The daily fasting period can last over 12 hours – or over 20 hours if you live in places like Iceland – so between sunset and sunrise, Muslims take the opportunity to nourish their bodies as well as they can, in order to better endure another day of fasting.
Some of the most exciting perks of this holy month are the long festive nights that stretch to early mornings spent surrounded by friends and family, feasting on delicious Suhoor foods before the sun comes up and the world has to prepare for another day of fasting.
Suhoor, or the last meal before sunrise, is truly an experience to be savoured, especially at Atlantis’ Asateer Tent. Available until 2:30 AM, the menu features plenty of oriental dishes and tasty delicacies at only AED 160 per person, giving a whole new meaning to Arabian hospitality. You can also expect a beautifully-lit décor, as well as a selection of shisha flavours to enjoy at additional cost.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and loved ones and head over to Atlantis, The Palm to enjoy the ultimate Ramadan experience in Dubai.