Words by Naomi Chadderton
Whether you’re looking to treat that special someone to a luxurious feast, or simply want to enjoy some great food among even better company, these top seven Iftars have all bases covered.
Best for: inventive Indian food.
If an eclectic Indian iftar right by the beach sounds like your bag, hotfoot it down to Masti. Nestled by the pristine sands of La Mer, its four-course culinary extravaganza kicks things off with traditional dates, fruits and lentil soup, followed by a smorgasbord of sharing dishes and mains including cassava chaat, beef empanadas, prawns moilee and the ever-popular burrata butter chicken (if you know, you know). There’s a separate menu for veggies, too (cauliflower koliwada and bhel tacos anyone?), meaning all bases are covered.
INFO: From 7pm-8.30pm, Dhs175pp; La Mer; www.mastidubai.com
Best for: people watching.
Given its name, it won’t come as much of a shock that Palazzo Versace is a hotspot for Dubai’s most stylish – and that’s no different when it comes to Iftar. Perhaps one of the most opulent offerings in town (Giardino restaurant is inspired by Versace’s favourite jungle motif), expect all your signature Middle Eastern favourites such as kebabs, grilled meats and delectable lamb ouzi served alongside international dishes and a live cooking station. Stay for Suhour if you have room for seconds.
INFO: From 6.30pm-8.30pm, Dhs250pp; Jadaf Waterfront; www.palazzoversace.com
Best for: Instagram appeal.
Serving up four courses of delicious, organic, gluten-free and vegan dishes, Iftar at the pretty-in-pink Bounty Beets is as good for your body as it is for your Instagram feed. Proving that the most important meal of the day doesn’t have to be a heavy affair, chefs serve up the likes of soups, salads, plant-based mezze and healthy desserts (yes, you read that right) designed to be washed down by detoxifying beverages alongside a selection of teas, coffees and fresh juices. Enjoy on the picturesque outdoor terrace for extra appeal.
INFO: From sunset – 10pm, Dh139pp; Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark; www.bountybeets.com
Best for: decadent Italian cuisine.
Looking to break your fast with some fine Italian fare in an even finer Italian setting? Look no further than Scalini. Delicious, comforting and, as to be expected, carb-heavy, its sharing menu is best enjoyed with friends, and full to the brim with the restaurant’s best staples. We’re talking starters of comforting beans soup with orzo pasta, crisp calamari fritti and bresaola with creamy ricotta followed by the likes of penne all’ arrabbiata, grilled whole baby chicken and oven baked salmone al cartoccio con gamberetti (baked salmon with shrimps to me and you). Just be sure to save room for the velvety tiramisu or Nutella cheesecake – it would be rude not to.
INFO: 7pm-9pm, Dhs250pp; Four Seasons Restaurant Village; www.scalini-dubai.com
Best for: killer views.
Boasting perhaps the best skyline views in the city, Iftar at SLS is sure to impress. Held in the hotel’s first Ramadan tent up on the 75th floor complete with majilis seating, colourful lanterns and Arabian carpets, sharing-style starters such as lamb sharhat with roasted eggplant, pastilla filled with duck breast and Harira soup, otherwise known as a hearty lamb, chickpea, tomato and lentil concoction are followed by mains including a choice of tajine to be split between two – choose from quail, seafood, mushroom or lamb. Desserts are as heavenly as expected too, so plan in advance and wear loose-fitting trousers.
INFO: From sunset, Dhs185pp; Business Bay; www.sbe.com/sls-hotels
Best for: philanthropy.
In spirit with the season, Rove hotels are feeling generous this Ramadan. Head on over for a delicious Iftar spread at any of its 8 The Daily restaurants in Dubai and not only will you enjoy a lavish feast of all your traditional Middle Eastern culinary favourites, you’ll also receive a free voucher for a second Iftar to ‘Pass It On’ to a family-member, friend, colleague, neighbour, helpful stranger or someone in need. Now who can argue with that?
INFO: From sunset, Dhs149pp; multiple locations; www.rovehotels.com
Best for: Mexican food.
Californian-meets-Mexican cuisine might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an Iftar offering, but don’t let that put you off – breaking your fast with spicy homemade salsas, velvety queso dip and a sweet-sour Mango salad is not to be scoffed at. While traditional tacos, quesadillas, mushroom and cheese empanadas, tuna ceviche and more complete the menu, that’s not the best bit – the fact that you’ll get 20 per cent off the menu from Monday to Thursday throughout Ramadan is. Wallet friendly and absolutely delicious – what are you waiting for?
INFO: From 7pm-10pm, 20 per cent off the menu from Monday to Thursday; Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah; www.senorpico.com/thepalm