Ramadan Kareem: UAE ready for the Holy Month

Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 23 March 2023: The UAE’s Moon-sighting Committee announced that Wednesday, the 22nd of March 2023, will be the 30th day of Sha’ban and that Thursday will be the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the country.

The UAE has prepared a raft of activities to mark the month.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has completed its preparations to receive masses of worshippers. It is expected that Ramadan will witness a large turnout of worshippers as a result of recovery from the Covid‑19 pandemic, surpassing the number of visitors in previous years.

During 2019 Ramadan, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque received nearly 1.44 million people including worshippers and visitors, said Wam.

The centre has formed committees and teams to ensure organised and integrated work around the clock to meet guests’ needs by providing various services and facilities.

The centre has also held a number of meetings with strategic partners, including government and private entities, to ensure smooth functioning of the work system in place during the Holy Month.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has provided more than 38 electric cars to transport worshippers from parking lots to prayer halls. The centre has designated priority use of these cars for the elderly and People of Determination.

Additionally, the centre has also provided 6,579 parking spaces for worshippers, over 50 wheelchairs and water coolers distributed throughout the mosque.

To ensure the smooth flow of visitors and their safety, the teams have completed road planning works in the mosque, which shows paths for pedestrians and cyclists and facilitates the passage of mosque visitors.

The centre raised its readiness to deal with emergency health cases by providing medically equipped ambulances in cooperation with specialised authorities.

During the Holy Month, cannons will be in place to maintain the traditional customs and practices of Ramadan while embracing modernity. The cannon, known as midfa al iftar, will be placed at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and is typically fired at sunset to signal the end of the day’s fasting. The cannon firing will be broadcasted live on Abu Dhabi TV.

Dubai welcomes Ramadan with memorable experiences

The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has once again curated the ‘Ramadan in Dubai’ festivities, which will run from 23rd March to 21st April, to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The event series 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.

Commenting on Ramadan in Dubai 2023, 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.”

During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Dubai will be transformed with beautiful lighting installations adorning the city’s landmarks, trees, roadsides, and shopping destinations. These include 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.

The ‘Ramadan Fireworks Nights’ displays will also light up the skies on 1st April at The Beach, Bluewaters and JBR, on 8th April at Al Seef, and on 15th April at Dubai Festival City Mall.

From 22nd March to 21st April, Oasis Mall will host the Ramadan at Oasis market (10:00-00:00). 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 (22nd March to 1st May). The Al Barsha Park Ramadan Market will take place at Al Barsha Pond Park from 22nd March to 1st May.

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 an 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 31st March to 9th April. The vibrant streets of Sheikh Hamdan Colony, Al Karama, will offer an array of authentic and traditional foods during Iftar and Suhoor.

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 23rd and 24th March. 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 22nd March to 22nd 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 (24th March to 16th April). The Mad Scientist will also put on two 45-minute fun shows (17:00 and 20:30, 31st March to 2nd April).

From 24th March to 16th 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 24th March to 16th April.

Mall of the Emirates will host the Ramadan market activation, Ramadaniyat Zeman Awwal, available both online and in-person (22nd March-25th 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 (23rd March-22nd 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 23rd March and 21st April. Visitors can enjoy a photo booth with traditional props and clothing, a free henna session, and performances by oud or qanun players.

From 6th-18th April, visitors to Al Marmoom Heritage Village can celebrate Emirati culture and experience preserved Arabian traditions at the Al Marmoom Heritage Festival.

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.

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 23rd March. Movenpick JBR will host a special performance by Rob van Vuuren on 25th 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 3rd to 8th April. The 6- to 8-goal handicap championship event will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

On 8th 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 13th 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 26th March, Night Runs at D3 on 27th March, and the Desert Road Runners Iftar Challenge in Dubai Autodrome on 30th March. On 1st 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 1st April, Kite Sailing on April 1st and 2nd, Wednesday Night Pursuit Race on 5th April, and the Keelboat Commodore’s Cup on 8th 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.

Dubai Gazette