Posted by: englishdubai | October 7, 2006

Ramadan Nights


Spending the week in Dubai during Ramadan has proven to be very enjoyable. Some of my Lebanese friends invited me for an evening at a “tent” at the Le Meridien. We arrived what I thought was late (9.30pm) but for the people who had been fasting this was the start of their evening. Following Iftar they had slept for an hour or two and now we spent the next few hours playing cards, having some snacks and smoking “hubbly bubbly” or Sheesha. I felt very lucky to be invited a long and had a very nice evening in great surroundings and excellent company – it is also helping my Arabic no end.

The Le Meridien is a very nice hotel and certainly several stars up from the Oasis Beach Hotel just down the road. One of the fun things was the over-size golf cart that shuttled us from the hotel to the tent – the driver was keen to give us a little tour of the manicured gardens and the inviting beach which was well worth a small tip. I would be keen to spend a lazy day or two there.

Iftars are very social events – with many hotels and restaurants holding private parties for them. The company I work for was no different and we held an Iftar at the Al Nafoorah Restaurant at Emirates Towers Mall. It was a very nice event with many of the partners, customers and press I had met since arriving in Dubai attending. The event was so successful that there a number of people sat outside. Still a little warm for my liking at this time of year.

The other thing I have noticed with Ramadan is how busy the malls are late at night. I was in Carrefour at 11.30pm the other day and it was very crowded – almost reminiscent of a busy Saturday afternoon in the UK. The only time you see anyone in a shopping mall in the UK at that time of day is in the last few days in the run up to Christmas. I think to avoid the crowds next time – I will probably go shopping at 11.30am instead.


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