Ramadan is a time for many things: to acknowledge the power and importance of fasting, to cultivate self-control, offer gratitude and practice compassion throughout, and much more. The offers are pouring in for everything from the best iftars to an array of gift packages. Here are a few we’ve selected that serve to capture the spirit of the Holy Month.
New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) launches the inaugural edition of Ramadaniyyat, a week-long program of events to mark Ramadan featuring: live talks, performances, and an exhibition with curated tours. In collaboration with the NYUAD Institute and NYUAD Art Gallery, the series kicks off on Apr 11 and includes a nightly community suhoor after each event. The lineup includes a performance by one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation, Palestinian-American oud player and violinist Simon Shaheen. Head of the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language, Dr Ali bin Tamim, will discuss his personal experience with al-Mutannabi, considered to be one of the most influential Arab poets, and Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al Janahi will participate in a conversation following a screening of his film Before We Forget.
• Find the full program listing here.
Workout: Outdoor stationary cycling
While the weather is still bearable, why not do a pre-iftar workout in the great outdoors? You only have to drive around to see all the people out for walks before breaking their fast. And studios are getting in on the action too. Frequency Cycling Studio in Abu Dhabi, for example, is holding special outdoor stationary cycling classes in Jubail Mangrove Park at special late afternoon timings under festive lighting.
• Sessions will be held every Friday through Ramadan. Contact the studio via WhatsApp at 050 224 5454 for pricing and availability.
Workshop: Learn how to Pranayama
Bodytree Studio in Abu Dhabi will hold a five-day online Pranayama workshop with Vidya, with each session held from 4pm to 4.45pm. Pranayama is an ancient breathing technique that oxygenates and detoxifies; strengthens the nervous system, improves energy, helps digestion, and boosts mental clarity. This practice stills the mind allowing a deeper connection of mind, body, and
• Sessions start Monday, April 11. Join daily at Dh80 or for the whole week at Dh370.
Gathering: Inner Radiance iftar
Check out the Wellness Collective Iftar: Inner Radiance, with a focus on learning more about Red Light Therapy, the latest trend in wellness technology that helps you heal from the inside out. Devices will be for sale; a light and healthy Iftar courtesy of Chef Mira will also be served.
• The Inner Radian iftar is on Sunday, April 24. Time and price to be confirmed.
Gift: BoxFetti artist collab
If you are holding a party or get-together, the party specialists BoxFetti have launched a beautiful new Ramadan and Eid collection designed by the Emirati artist Mariam Abbas.
The limited-edition line of eco-friendly paper cups, plates and napkins feature Mariam’s hand drawn designs, which are influenced by the elaborate detailing on Arabian carpets and the soft earthy tones of the desert and hints of modern calligraphy in homage to the Holy Month. Mariam’s Arabic-culture focused sketches and miniature art have been featured on Instagram’s official account and commissioned by clients including Etihad Airways and KitKat Arabia.
• BoxFetti’s Ramadan/Eid collection is available for purchase online and at selected Spinneys, Waitrose and Virgin Megastore in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Gift: Kind Lyfe gift set
The family-owned, homegrown vegan and gluten-free snack brand Kind Lyfe has created a gift box for those who wish to give the gift of guilt-free, yet flavorful sweet treats.
The box offers an assortment of its popular vegan cookies and cookie dough bites.
Iftar: SEVA Table Ramadan menu
SEVA Table’s menu items are exquisite, and the location is one of Dubai’s true hidden gems: tucked inside the SEVA Experience wellness center in Jumeirah. The cafe sources seasonal and local ingredients when available, with an emphasis on vibrant organic, living, real foods free from MSGs, GMOs, gluten, soy, cane sugar and trans fats. Dishes on their special set Ramadan menu this year include a fava-bean twist on foul medame; Apricot in Kale Salad, Wholehearted Aubergine, followed by a Lava Me Tender, an ice-cream topped chocolate cake.
• The SEVA Table Ramadan menu is Dh179; the cafe is open 10am to 10pm daily.
Event: Alserkal Avenue #thisisinotabuffet
On Wednesday evenings throughout the Holy Month, check out Aleserkal’s #thisisnotabuffet slo-mo evening activities at Kave. Registering for this curated experience helps you slow down and connect with yourself and others through board games, guided breath work, old-school movies and music.
Podcast: RGN’s Prophet Mohammed
Regional podcaster Rising Giants Network offers Al Rasool (الرسول), an Arabic narrative podcast retelling the widely known story of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). This podcast delves into his trials and tribulations as a human, son, husband, prophet, and leader, before and throughout prophethood.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.