Ramadan Iftar Buffets & Tents in Dubai, 2016!

June 5, 2016 , Haiya

Iftar buffets are an overwhelming, extravagant, and often even a flamboyant affair. Buffet plates are an ugly but delicious mess. Taking pictures at buffets is a food blogger’s worst nightmare,  and the dim lighting that is synonymous with Arabic themed affairs never cooperates. Nevertheless, while Ramadan is largely about self-reflection, self-improvement, empathy and tolerance, a girl has got to eat, so I have compiled a list of the Iftar’s I previewed for Ramadan 2016. This list is based on media previews that I was invited to and I have compiled it for the convenience of my readers and reference for those who can’t figure out where to break their fasts and binge while they’re at it. Throughout Ramadan, I will keep adding to this list when and as I try/discover new places worth mentioning and sharing 🙂 Meanwhile, thank you to all the restaurants, hotels and PRs that deemed my two cents worthy 🙂


 

Brasserie 2.0, Le Royal Meridien: This was the best Iftar buffet I’ve been to this season. The variety of salads, mezze, grills, seafood, roasts, mo2jjanaat, desserts and so much more was overwhelming. Unlike most buffets that are breathtaking at first glance and disappointing once you start tasting the food, Brasserie 2.0 consistently manages to impress. A small but most memorable detail that stood out the most for me was the fact that their Indian station had pakoras!!  Price: AED 245/pax.

Timings: Maghrib to 8:30pm for Iftar (buffet will be open till 11pm daily)

Price: Iftar  AED 245/pax

50% discount for kids 6-12

Kids under 6 dine for free.

For reservations call: + 971 4 316 5550


 

 

Ramadan Tent at Ewaan, The Palace Downtown:  Tandoori salmon, Sayadiyah, Ouzi, spinach fatayer, cheesy spring rolls and SUCH a great selection of dessert paired with the TWG water fruit tea that is a signature at all Emaar properties made this an extremely enjoyable Iftar. The grand decor at The Palace Downtown always puts one in such an Arabic spirit anyway, and it’s very festive but never tacky.

Timings: Maghrib to 9pm

Price: Iftar  AED 240/pax for buffet, Ramadan juices and water

Suhoor AED 160/pax for buffet and water

50% discount for kids 6-11

Kids under 6 dine for free.

For reservations call: + 971 4 4287951 or email [email protected]


 

Sofitel JBR: If you’re looking for a buffet on a bargain, this is the place for you. It has been the most inexpensive Iftar I’ve had in a hotel this year. What’s more, the restaurant is open almost all day, Iftar starts at Maghrib and goes on till 11pm, and that’s when Suhoor kicks in. You can also enjoy sheesha with your suhoor and bring on the Arabian nights. Regular breakfast is served from 6:30 am to 10:30 am, and the painting exhibition (at Plantation), is open 24 hours.An array of Arabic mezze, grills, mo2jjanaat, salads and desserts.  Also, you have access to a henna artist for free!

Price: AED 140/pax

Kids 12-17: AED 70

Kids under 12: FREE 

You can make a reservation on: +971 4 4489542


 

Sloane’s, Grosvenor House Dubai Marina: This one caught me off guard and turned out to be way better than I expected. The Tandoori prawns, shawerma, pizza, tart spinach fatayer, freshly grilled seafood, lamb chops and roasts were only some of my favorite things there. I couldn’t get enough of the grilled Red Snapper and tuna seared to the perfect medium rare, just the way I like it, and just as I was telling our server that I wish they had some Chimichuri sauce to go with it, he ran and got me some.  A little on the pricier end though, and there’s no sheesha.

Price: AED 260/pax

AED 130/pax for kids aged 6-12 years

For reservations, call +971 4 3176000


 

The Grand Hyatt: This Iftar preview was interesting because the preview took place in The Collective but the Iftar buffet itself will happen in the grand and family friendly Al Ameera Ballroom. Sohour (ala carte) can be enjoyed at the Laylati Cafe (Ramadan air-conditioned tent), and sheesha is also optional. The Grand Iftar will feature a variety of regional and international cuisine and live cooking stattions. Grand Hyatt will also be hosting chefs and restaurants from accross region. This year they will welcome Syrian ice cream maker Bakdash from Souk Al Hamidiya of Damascus, how cool is that?

Timings: Maghrib to 9pm

Price: AED 195/pax(inclusive of soft drinks)

AED 95/pax for kids aged 6-12 years

Kids under 6 dine for free.

For reservations call: +971 4 317 2222 


 

Sababa Tent at Fairmont, The Palm: This was arguably one of my favorite Iftar previews this season. Although it was delayed by 2 hours, the outdoor air-conditioning wasn’t working and the indoor hall area was oh so dull in comparison; the outdoor area was wildly entertaining for Ramadan. With a live singer and oud player, Tanoura dance, shisha and street-food styled stalls serving up falalfel and leguimat scooped fresh out of the oil, shawermas made with meat trimmed right in front of you, and manakeesh and fatayer fresh off the stove, this was hands down the most unique iftar tent I’ve been to all season. The food was catered by Zaroob and Mezze House, and while the variety was smaller than other places, the overall experience was amongst the most enjoyable. Price:

Timings: Maghrib till 9pm

Suhoor: 9pm till 3am, minimum spend AED 100 excluding sheesha. 

Price: AED 160 with sheesha and AED 100 without sheesha

AED 80 for kids ages up to 12

For reservations call  +971 4 457 3457 or e-mail [email protected]


 

Palermo, Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club: Here you can enjoy your Iftar starting with the tranquility of driving through green acres and passing by beautiful horses grazing on the grass, followed by culinary treats including fine cuts of beef, fresh seafood, refreshing salads and comforting desserts. Iftar takes place in a warm cabin-like restaurant, with a stunning view of the expanse of the polo field.

Time: Maghrib till 11pm 

Price: AED 190 per person; AED 80 per child of 6 to 12 years

For reservations, call: +971 4 3618111


 

Accents, Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Marina : Another Iftar that really caught me off-guard. I was honestly lured here only by the stunning views that the Intercontinental at Dubai Marina has to offer.  It appears that the most under-hyped Iftars at places I wouldn’t expect to find a great Iftar at have given steller performances this year. At an absolute steal, this restaurant and deli is serving up a choice selection freshly grilled seafood, traditional Arabesque fare, hot and cold mezze, some Far Eastern comfort food, a bit of Italian, some Indian, and lots and lots of dessert. The best part: it is only for AED 160/pax, including hot and cold Ramadan beverages. I’m talking fresh juices, mocktails, smoothies and TWG teas ya all!

Time: Maghrib till 9:30 pm

Price: AED 160/pax

Children under 12 get 50% off

For reservations, call: +971 4 446 6669


 

 

Tresind: This place needs no introduction and should come as no surprise to have made to to any and every round up. Their Ramadan special is not a buffet,  but instead a 5 course set menu. Nevertheless, I felt it belongs here. You can read the detailed review.

Time: Maghrib till 3am! 

Price: AED 200/pax

For reservations, call: 04 4489523


 

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Majlis Al Safinah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel: If you’re in the mood for a modern-Khaleeji looking tent, this is the place for you. The buffet area is huge, spacious and very nicely laid out. One can pick from a large array of both vegetarian and meat options. A live grill station outside and massive dessert station inside made both me and my plus one happy campers.

Time: Maghrib till 8:45 pm 

Price: AED 210/pax

For reservations, call: 04 4323232


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Manzil Downtown Tent:For the first time ever, Fume and Manzil Downtown- two of the Boulevard’s most popular and iconic restaurants, have collaborated to create a most invincible menu under the umbrella of the Manzil Downtown Tent. I went here during Ramadan, NOT for a pre-Ramadan preview, and I can confidently state that this was by far the best tent I’ve been to all season. It wasn’t the biggest, but it was the certainly the nicest. The lighting was dim and classy but I could clearly see my food and take my pictures. The floors were stable (believe it or not, one of the tents I visited had such wobbly floors that our glasses would nearly fall over every time some one passed by); the service was excellent (again, some of the Iftars has such overwhelmed staff that nobody even cleared our table, let alone check up on us. Luckily this was far from the case here); and the food was good.

Bear in mind that my expectations and standards are always lower when going to a buffet, and even more so when going to a tent, but this tent exceeded my expectations. The variety isn’t overwhelmingly huge, but I found myself a few things that were so good my eyes rolled to the back of my head. My favorite items were the green bean pesto salad, the chicken tikka masala, pillow-soft focaccia bread, freshly churned frozen yogurt and AMAZING date pudding. I highly reccommend this tent, especially due to the ridiculously reasonable price.

Time: Maghrib till 9:30 pm for Iftar,

            9pm- 2am for Ala Carte (minimum spend of AED 100 inclusive of shisha)

Price: AED 170/pax (for the Iftar, shisha comes at an extra price and is served after 9pm)

Children under 12 get 50% off

For reservations, call: +971 4 888 3444 or +971 4 428 5928  OR email [email protected] 


 

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3 in 1, Vida Downtown: I love this unexpected, serene hideout in the heart of Downtown Dubai. I love lounging in one of their poolside cabanas, on a beanbag, sipping on chilled drinks and stuffing my face with picnic food- but that’s in better weather. For the first time, I dined at 3 in 1 for Iftar and got to experience a completely different angle to them.

In spirit of what I should henceforth just refer to as “Arabesque month”, Arabic cuisine was on offer, including a variety of salads, appetizers, desserts, dry fruits and hand-crafted Ramadan beverages. Mains were made to order and served from a set menu on the table- which is great both in terms of preserving quality and minimizing wastage. The mains included Lamb ouzi, hammour, vegetable saloona stew and mixed meat hot off the grill.

 

Time: From sunset until 10pm

Price: AED 160 per person for adults

AED 80for kids 6-12, kids 5 and under eat free

50% off on Shisha

For reservations, call 04 4238884


 

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