Free entry: Expo City Dubai announces Ramadan festival, night market

Dedicated mosque on site will host prayers, including Taraweeh and Tahajjud


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 3:00 PM

A Ramadan festival at Expo City Dubai will offer glimpses into traditions of the holy month in the UAE and beyond. ‘Hai Ramadan’ will run from March 3 to April 25, with the city promising a “true celebration of the holy month with an enchanting atmosphere, delicious food and exciting activities.”

Amna Abulhoul, executive creative director, Expo City Dubai, said: “Just as Expo 2020 Dubai brought the world together once before, Expo City Dubai’s ‘Hai Ramadan’ will bring together different communities from all over during the holy month. We are excited that our visitors will be able to rejoice in some of the world’s most famous and well-known Ramadan traditions in a single destination.”

Entry to Hai Ramadan, including the Al Wasl show and sports activities, is free, with charges for some workshops and games. A night market will see vendors offer perfumes, gifts, and tailor-made clothing.

Hai is an Arabic word with a dual meaning of ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘welcome’. The festival will run for more than 50 days, beginning on the weekend prior to the UAE’s traditional celebration of Haq Al Laila.

Hai Ramadan will take visitors on a cultural journey where they can share unique experiences from across the Islamic world. “From regional cuisine to international gastronomy and enticing street food, visitors will also have the chance to indulge in an array of food and beverages, reflecting the joy of breaking fast and sharing a meal with a loved one during the holy month,” organisers said.

A dedicated mosque on site will host prayers, including Isha and the special Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers that are offered during the holy month.

After the Taraweeh prayer, storytellers will evoke the ancient Arab art of Hakawati – narrating folktales and stories of adventure, culture, religion and morality. Additionally, Expo City Dubai’s Misaharati – classic Ramadan figures who would wake up their communities with drumming and singing, traditionally before dawn, to drink water and partake in Suhoor – will celebrate the experience of this age-old tradition throughout the day.

Al Wasl Plaza will offer a theatrical show by Expo 2020 Dubai's official mascots, Rashid and Latifa. “Children of all ages are welcome to join workshops and games to learn about elements of Emirati culture and the values of Ramadan, such as kindness, generosity and compassion. To promote a healthy lifestyle, Expo City Dubai will host sports tournaments for adults with a dedicated zone that will feature games, fitness and wellness activations for people of all activity levels.”

Hai Ramadan will take place from 4pm to 10pm in the run-up to Ramadan, and from 5pm to 2am during the holy month.


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