With Ramadan in full swing, a buzzing atmosphere full of spirituality and serenity blankets the city. It’s a fabulous time to catch up with friends and family over delectable sunset Iftars and pre-dawn Suhoors or add some culture to your weekend itinerary. From fitness and films to food and festivities, here are the top seven things to do in Dubai this weekend:
Venture through Lebanon’s culinary landscape
INKED, an experimental dining destination, has teamed up once again with the chef's from Lebanon’s farmers market Souk El Tayab – a.k.a. Tawlet. Every day, a new farmer, cook or mother will take over INKED’s open kitchen and create a spread that tells a story of their history. The menu changes daily so you can sample the diverse landscape of Lebanese cuisine. Both Tawlet and INKED are known for whipping up unrepeatable culinary experiences, so you can expect an Iftar for the books. There are a great many Iftars to choose from across Dubai, from Downtown at Dubai Opera to The Palm Jumeirah at Atlantis.
When: 7-13 May
Where: INKED, Alserkal Avenue
A film that breaks boundaries
When Hissa Hilal stepped onto the stage at Million's Poet, it was hard to imagine the response her bravery would attract. Hidden behind her veil, she begins speaking out against the mistreatment of women and pointing her finger at notable figures. The Poetess, a documentary by Stefanie Brockhaus and Andreas Wolff, chronicles Hilal’s audacious stance against the status quo before an audience of 75 million viewers. From the moment she comes under the spotlight to the heavy backlash, see how Hilal stands for her cause in this critically-acclaimed film, which is screening at Cinema Akil’s cinemajlis alongside Naila and the Uprising.
When: 9 -11 May
Where: Cinema Akil
See Dubai through a fresh lens
Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai’s go-to destination for all things photography, is hosting a special Suhoor Stroll. Grab your mobile phone or camera and join fellow photography enthusiasts on a three-hour walking excursion through Karama. Among Dubai’s older neighbourhoods, Karama is teeming with eye-catching sights, from vibrant murals to homegrown eateries. Capture its lively avenues filled with diverse cultures, faces and energy. At the end of the tour, everyone will gather at a local restaurant where participants can get feedback on their photographs, share their best ones with the group and, if you’re up for it, enjoy a delicious meal.
When: 11 May
Where: Ravi Restaurant
Push your limits
This weekend sees the long-awaited return of the NAS Night Challenge, the UAE’s only nighttime obstacle race. It takes place at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, inviting athletes from around the world to take on a challenging 5km course. Sign up for the pro-league category if you’re a high-level athlete or the open category for a 5km run. NAS Night Challenge features obstacles like The Siege, Warped Wall and The Black Hole, which in previous editions have attracted thousands of participants. Sign up to get involved or cheer athletes on from the sidelines. This event is part of the on-going Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament.
When: 9-16 May
Where: Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex
Hear the cannons call
Every day during Ramadan, a time-honoured ritual takes place at sunset – the launching of the cannon. With origins in Egypt, this ancient tradition signals a call for those fasting to break their fast at sundown. Bring the whole family to see Dubai Police carry forward this custom at various venues across town, right when the call to prayer for Maghrib sounds at mosques in Dubai. Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Al Mankhool and City Walk are some of the spots where you can hear the cannon for a unique experience of Ramadan in the Dubai.
When: Everyday at sunset
Where: Various venues
Go the distance
Keep your Fitbit on its toes at the latest post-Iftar edition of Run The Track. Avid runners or fitness newbies alike can sign up for 3km, 5km or 10km distances at the Dubai Autodrome. Make this run what you want it to be – a fierce competition to test your speed or a casual, steady race to keep your heart rate up. The top three fastest runners in each category and distance will win desirable trophies and all participants will take home a medal.
When: 10 May
Where: Dubai Autodrome
Get a taste of local Ramadan flavours
If you’re looking for an authentic and immersive Iftar, this is your ticket. Located in Al Fahidi Historical District, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is hosting an informative experience where you can learn all about local traditions during Ramadan. Watch as your Emirati hosts pray before breaking their fast and join them for a delicious feast of local dishes, Arabic coffee and dried dates. You can ask questions about their customs and practices over warm tea and delicious desserts.
When: Saturday-Thursday throughout Ramadan
Where: Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Al Fahidi