Highlights of the Khaleej Times-WKND Ramadan Night Market last weekend

Highlights of the Khaleej Times-WKND Ramadan Night Market last weekend
TV host and RJ Gaurav Tandon with Chef Ritu Chaturvedi at the Ramadan Night Market

Sushmita Bose

Published: Fri 8 Jun 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 8 Jun 2018, 2:00 AM

How do you do something "different" during the Holy Month that doesn't deviate from tradition, yet doesn't quite conform to predictability? Iftar invites are a dime a dozen, and it seems to be the usual table of convergence I head for. Which is why a night market sponsored by Khaleej Times/WKND in collaboration with (charitable foundation) Dar Al Ber Society was just what the event manager ordered.
Housed within the picturesque setting of Zabeel Park (as an extension of the Happiness Market), with The Dubai Frame - the world's biggest "photo frame" - towering in the vicinity, it's quite the venue to break your fast and then indulge in some retail therapy, before diving headlong into the fun activities planned for the evening.
Tonight, instead of a routine iftar at a restaurant buffet table, why not try your hand here? I was at this Ramadan Night Market last Friday, and it turned out to be an enchanted evening - something that'll run its course over the remaining weekends (Thursday and Friday evenings, till the end of Ramadan).
As you enter Zabeel Park, there's a red-carpeted area that signals the beginning of good things to come. On either side of the flowing carpet - which ends with the makeshift podium where the evening's activities are played out - are stalls selling merchandise ranging from organic foodstuff (manuka honey, anyone?) to home decor to beautifully handcrafted Dubai souvenirs... and food... lots of it... pizzas, desi chaats, coastal cuisine, ice creams - the works.
Popular RJ and foodie Gaurav Tandon proved to be as good as his name ("naam toh suna hi hoga" is his personal tagline - which translates into "you must have heard my name"): he got the crowds packing in, and engaged with them like the pro that he is. 'Who can eat a huge slice of pizza fastest' was one of the contests that was a major hit. This improv food contest was high point of the evening with everyone enthusiastically participating in it (prizes galore were notched up!). Chef Ritu Chaturvedi's demos of "fuss-free cooking", followed by a tasting session had everyone hungry for more.
A virtual reality kiosk to give you a feel of the future; travel counters to help you plan your next trip (and secure some good deals!); pharmacy helplines to have you sorted for your medical check up... There's also a thoughtfully-done-up Khaleej Times reading lounge where you can read the day's news. If you've missed the action last weekend, today is the day to make amends! See you at the Ramadan Night Market then!
(The Khaleej Times/WKND Ramadan Night Market will be held till the end of Ramadan; Thursdays and Fridays also includes some special activities.)

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