Ramadan markets, Iftar experiences and more: 12 ways to spend your weekend in UAE

We bring you the best options for spending time with your family this weekend

By CT Desk

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Published: Thu 23 Mar 2023, 11:16 AM

Last updated: Thu 23 Mar 2023, 3:30 PM

Head over to Global Village

Global Village has launched The Majlis of the World, a special Ramadan experience for families and friends to come together and celebrate the holy month. Guests can choose to order Iftar or Suhoor from a variety of delicious options at the Majlis or bring their own food from any of outlets across Global Village. There will also be a range of Ramadan-themed performances, including oud, qanun, harp and cello performances. Guests will also have the chance to enjoy a traditional Tannoura dancer and a close-up magician. You can also rent board games like Uno, Keiram, Jackaroo, Chess, and Backgammon or purchase a Global Village pack of cards. For prices and reservations, check www.globalvillage.ae or the Global Village App.

Visit a night market and Majlis

Deerfields Mall in Abu Dhabi is inviting visitors to its traditional Ramadan Majlis and inaugural night market, combining culture and heritage with hospitality and fun. Mall-goers can enjoy a range of authentic Arabian dishes at the Majlis including luqaimat, firas sweets, kunafa and more between 8pm – 1am at Layalina Ramadan located in the Gardens area. Moreover, there are several Iftar and Suhoor offers across the mall and within the Restaurant Walk. The exciting first-ever Ramadan night market will be displaying handicrafts, Arabic perfumes, skincare, organic products and lots more from local artisans between 8pm – 1 am. For kids, expect a line-up of activities including slime and lantern making, glass painting and sand art. Ladies can avail of free henna artistry throughout Ramadan. The market and Majlis will continue till April 23.

Check out the Saturday Market

Held at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Al Ain Oasis, the Saturday Market offers a vibrant array of locally grown produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, honey and dairy products sourced from the finest local cultivation. Guests can also purchase fresh tilapia fish caught by local fishermen. This market is also a community gathering spot where farmers and patrons can connect and celebrate the beauty of locally sourced food. An ideal destination for families to spend a pleasant day out whilst supporting the local economy, it also offers a vast array of handmade goods from local artisans. March 25, 3pm till midnight. Entry is Dh10 for children ages 3-11 and Dh20 for visitors aged 12 and up. Children aged 2 and under, as well as People of Determination, enter free of charge.

Spend time with family at Souk Al Marfa

Embrace the spirit of togetherness at waterfront destination Souk Al Marfa during Ramadan. The month-long Ramadan Night Market will present diverse F&B concepts, jewellery and fashion kiosks. Children can also enjoy the different inflatables and interactive workshops. From 8pm-2am.

Don’t miss The Ripe Market

This Ramadan, The Ripe Market at Academy Park will be open on Saturdays (9am-9pm) and Sundays (9am-7pm). Enjoy shopping for a range of products including organic produce, homeware and more. Kids can enjoy activities like hanging out with Officer Amna and petting the animals at the petting zoo. For Iftar there are options like burgers, Mexican, vegan and more.

Take part in Earth Hour Switch Off

The UAE community is invited to join the free Big Earth Hour Switch Off and screening event taking place at 8:15pm on March 25 at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion at Expo City Dubai. The event will introduce the importance of Earth Hour as well as Emirates Nature-WWF’s 22-year legacy of environmental conservation in the UAE. This will be followed by a symbolic switch off and a screening of natural historian David Attenborough’s documentary A Life on Our Planet, a unique history of the impact of humanity on nature. The screening will kickstart conversations about the past and the future, guided by environmental scientists, after which attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a limited collection of Emirates Nature-WWF merchandise – with 100% of proceeds going towards local conservation projects. Seating is limited; spots can be secured by signing up at https://www.leadersofchange.ae/events/97

Enjoy Iftar at Dubai Opera

At Dubai Opera Auditorium, guests can break their fast with authentic Emirati cuisine from an extensive Iftar buffet boasting international and Arabic dishes, carving stations, a variety of sweets and desserts and a selection of traditional Ramadan juices. One can also enjoy renditions of classical and Arabic melodies, with live entertainment available every night throughout the month. From sunset to 9.30pm, till April 19. For more information, visit www.dubaiopera.com

LOL with Rob van Vuuren

The South African comedy legend will take a brutally honest look at the pandemic and some of the more harrowing and hilarious experiences he endured during this time in a side-splitting comedy set, Rob van Vuuren is Still Standing, presented by the Selfdrive Laughter Factory, at Movenpick Hotel JBR on March 25. Tickets on Platinumlist.

Experience a Mind2Mind connection

If you’re up for some thrilling mentalism and mind-reading, don’t miss a 75-minute spectacle by James Harrington and Marina Liani, the talented couple behind Mind2Mind who have mesmerized audiences on popular reality shows like America’s Got Talent and more. March 24 at Theatre by QE2. Suitable for ages 16+. Tickets on Platinumlist.

Attend free yoga classes

Yoga instructor Nerry Toledo continues her free classes at City Centre Deira during Ramadan, on three weekends in March and April. Each Saturday, participants will connect breath to movement with Soulful Vinyasa, and on Sundays, they will sweat it out with Power Yoga. With each class, the focus will go beyond the physical and reach the heart of who we are. It will begin with a grounding breath and end with a meditation. March 25 and 26, 9am-10am. At Wellness Corner, Level 3, Food Central. Pre-registration is required. Contact Nerry on her Instagram handle @nerryfit for details.

Support an art exhibition

Notations on Time is a group exhibition that showcases the works of 20 contemporary artists from South Asia and its diaspora, exploring the philosophical and political dimensions of time. Curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed, the exhibition creates a dialogue between artistic generations, highlighting entanglements between the past, present and future. What makes Notations on Time unique is its focus on exploring art in notational, experimental and fragmentary forms, standing apart from notions of linearity, progress and capitalist domination. The exhibition includes works by Soumya Sankar Bose, Sheba Chhachhi, Shezad Dawood, Ladhki Devi, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Aziz Hazara, Amar Kanwar, Ali Kazim, Mariah Lookman, Haroon Mirza, Anoli Perera, Lala Rukh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Dayanita Singh (artwork pictured), Ayesha Sultana, Jagdish Swaminathan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Zarina, accompanied by an infra-vocabulary from Raqs Media Collective’s book Seepage. Monday to Saturday, 10am-7pm, till May 20 at Ishara Art Foundation, A3, Alserkal Avenue Al Quoz 1.

Experience Iftar at Olea

Olea at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates has crafted an exquisite buffet menu for Ramadan. Guests can begin their Iftar with Arabic specialities including cold appetizers featuring the Tajin Quarnabeet or indulge in hot appetizers like Spinach Fatayer and Cheese Rakakat. The main course options include local Catch of the Day, Lamb Shakriya and Chicken Maqlooba. Also featured is the Indian corner, serving Dal Masala, Butter Chicken and Biryani. The cold appetizers, mains, and the Indian corner change three times a week, allowing diners to explore new and exciting tastes each time they visit. Also available are a selection of desserts, Ramadan juices, a BBQ section and a Saj section. Sunset till 9pm, Oud Player from 7.15pm. Priced at Dh250 per person. Call 04 3410000.

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