Ramadan DiningMini Majilis Beach Iftar at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

A one-of-a-kind iftar experience on a private beach, curated by Emirati chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi

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Standing barefoot on the sand on the private beach of the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray overlooking the tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf is a truly magical experience. Read on to discover our one-of-a-kind beachside Iftar experience this Ramadan.

A delightfully distanced Iftar Experience

Traditionally during Ramadan, people gather here en masse to break their fast in decadent Majilis tents, resplendent with the finest décor and abundant buffets teeming with treats.

This year, in a more cautious world, people are naturally looking for ways to gather discreetly and intimately, but to celebrate in their ‘bubbles’ nonetheless. It is with this in mind that the team at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has created a delightfully distanced one-of-a-kind mini-Majlis iftar experience at the hands of resident chef and master of Middle Eastern cuisine, Musabbeh Al Kaabi.

First Emirati chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi

A true trailblazer in the UAE’s culinary scene, Chef Musabbeh’s colourful career started after serving seven years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces. He joined Jumeirah Group in 2006, working at Jumeirah Beach Hotel for three years as Commis 1. Before joining Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in 2011, Musabbeh was known for his Ramadan cooking shows on Kuwaiti Channel Al Rai TV and Sharjah TV. He still presents various TV shows and cooking demonstrations across the region, including UAE culinary programmes for Jumeirah in the USA.

His tremendous skill and passion for cooking has been recognised at the highest level – in 2014 he was honoured with the captaincy of the UAE’s national culinary team, a title which he holds to this day. Below, the ‘First Emirati Chef’, Chef Musabbeh, explains his passion for food and traditional Emirati cuisine.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Quite simply, I love food! When I was growing up, I used to spend hours watching my mum cook for us, which hugely inspired me and I learnt so many tips from her. I used to invite my friends over to the house and prepare all the dishes I had learnt from my mum, and it’s from there that I decided that this was something that I wanted to pursue as a career.

Growing up, what are the kinds of local foods that you enjoyed eating?

There were so many! I’d say that Jasheed with white rice and local ghee, King Fish Tahtah (or as we say it in local language Tahtah Kanaad) and Aish wa Laham, which is essentially lamb cooked in a traditional way, are my top three.

How would you define Emirati food? What makes it different from other Arab cuisines (are there any spices/ meats in particular)?

I’d say the main difference is the use of spices and how they are infused into the Emirati dishes. Every family has its own unique favourite spice combination. We roast the ground spices up to our preferred mix and then blend them for added flavour. In terms of meats, we endeavour to source locally wherever possible, which is a true depiction of the highest quality of taste and flavour.

What are some of the must try Emirati dishes/ Emirati-inspired dishes from your beachside iftar menu?

The menu is inspired by an Emirati Iftar, which consists of salads, fried appetisers, soups and main courses, all followed by sweets. Broad Beans Rice with Lamb is a must-try – this dish is influenced with Emirati spices and local ghee, which together creates an indulging delicacy.

With its Ottoman-inspired opulence and magnificent beachside luxury,  is the perfect setting to share a magical moment with friends and family this Ramadan. Tag Jumeirah in your pictures using #ShareTheMoment