UAE: Ramadan in Dubai means one of the busiest and most important months of the year for businesses operating in the outdoor tent business as they supply special tents across the Emirate for residents and visitors to enjoy Iftar and Suhoor during the Holy Month.
The Ramadan tents business in the city has increased significantly over the past decade due toan increase in population and the growing interest of non-Muslims in participating in Iftar and Suhoor.
Today, Dubai offers more than 20 large scale air-conditioned luxury Ramadan tents across the city that serve fasting and non-fasting residents and tourists as they observe and absorbthe authentic experiences of the holy month.
According to KPMG’s recent F&B Survey, the UAE’s F&B market has grown by around 5% between 2013 and 2014, and 60 per cent of people surveyed say their average spend is between AED 51 and AED 150.
The special Ramadan Tents host musical and entertainment shows, shisha lounges, kids playing area and dining areas for both Iftar and Suhoor. The tents also offer a wide range of traditional and Arabic dishes including: Harees, Majboos, Kharouf Mashi, Atayef and Umm Ali.
Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM),and the organizers of ‘Ramadan in Dubai’ are encouraging both residents and visitors to savour the experiences of the Holy Month by visiting the many Ramadan tents across the city at this unique time of year. One of the most popular Ramadan tents is the Al Majlis Dubai World Trade Centre tent which is designed within a luxurious Arabesque and divided into semi-private seating areas suitable for big gatherings and occasions. Al Majlis Iftar opens at Maghreb prayers and costs AED 140 per person while their Suhoor begins at 9:00pm.
Marwan Almarri, Senior Manager – Live Events Operations at Dubai World Trade Centre said: “The Majlis at DWTC spreads across a total area of 3,500 sqm and has the capacity to accommodate a total of 1,000 guests. The Majlis has a dining area, casual lounge seating, and exclusive majlis sections for bigger groups or private occasions.”
The Downtown tent by Emaar Properties is located in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard next to Burj Khalifa and offers a unique selection of traditional and modern food from the ‘The Address Hotels and Resorts’.
The Asateer tent at the Atlantis is also considered to be one of Dubai’s most popular tents because of its delicious food ranging from traditional to modern and international. The tent is located next to the hotel on the Palm Jumeirah and offers a live music station and indoor games such as back gammon, cards and chess amongst others and can accommodate up to 800 guests during Iftar and Suhoor.
“We have seen the number of guests and covers increase year on year with Iftar and Suhoor generally being fully booked in 2014. We anticipate 2015 to be the biggest Ramadan season to date; with a 5% increase in guest capacity over 2014” said Mark Patten, Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage, Atlantis, The Palm.
He added: “We expect Asateer to remain a highly popular Ramadan setting for UAE residents and visitors, thanks to the beautiful Arabian setting, the quality service we provide along with a vast selection of traditional food, activities and entertainment.”
Madinat Jumeirah also offers a wide range of both traditional and modern food. Their Ramadan tent is called ‘Al Majlis’and offers an Iftar buffet starting from Maghreb prayers until 8:30pm and Suhoor buffet from 9:00pm to 3:00am that is located in the Arena ballroom.
The Radisson Blu tent also offers around 200 dishes from eight different cuisines around the world including Iranian, Malaysian, English, Chinese and Japanese.
Emirates Grand Hotel runs a daily buffet Iftar for AED 129 with aspecial package for group bookings starting from AED 99 per person. The buffet is located in the lobby lounge area and extends to the hotel garden where individual tents (each fit for of 5 -10 guests) are placed in the garden with shisha servicesstarting after Iftar till 2:00 am.
Bill Keffer,General Manager from JW Marriot Marquis said: “The majestic Iftar and Suhoor held in Dubai Ballroom can hold around 650 people at one time. This year we have worked on a new design of the Dubai Ballroom, being able to cater to more people in an ambient Ramadan setting. This season we have opted for more high-table seating and a VIP dining room as well as a VIP majlis area. Small majlis areas are available for groups up to 9 people.”
He added: “Over 150 signature dishes are available for Iftar, including favorites such as Marriott Mixed Grill and Indian specialty dish, Murgh Makhani. Later into the evening, the Suhoor features an extensive à la carte menu with Arabic favourites and shisha.”
The JW Marriot Marquis Ramadan ballroom F&B and shisha prices have remained the same from 2014. The Iftar buffet is priced at AED 195 per person and the Suhoor menu is priced à la carte.