Special dishes to try this Ramadan

An array of delicious iftar and suhoor dishes in Dubai and Oman.


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During the holy month of Ramadan, which, on the sighting of the moon, will begin on 23 March 2023, it is customary for the Muslim community to fast during the day as a form of spiritual cleansing.

As part of this ritual, families gather at sunrise to feast on traditional suhoor dishes, just before sunrise, followed by iftar banquets to break their fast after sunset. Below, you can explore our selection of delicious dishes to try at our hotels and resorts in Dubai and Oman this Ramadan.


An Iftar feast during Ramadan



Muslims in the Middle East traditionally break their fast by snacking on nutrient-rich dates and red lentil soup, which is high in protein. Spiced with turmeric and cumin and sweetened with cinnamon, it’s also flavoured with a generous squeeze of lemon. Chef Abd Alatif, who prepares banquets for Jumeirah Muscat Bay in Oman and dishes at its international restaurant, Peridot, has promised it’ll be on the menu this Ramadan.

Like lentil soup, the savoury porridge, harees, is filling, nourishing and easy to digest. Cracked wheat is soaked overnight then usually cooked with lamb or chicken for hours, before being topped with ghee and fried onions to serve.


Thareed, another slow-cooked lamb dish, is popular in Saudi Arabia. Made with carrots and courgettes, the stew is thickened with potato and simmered in a tangy tomato, onion and garlic paste. Spices such as chilli and pepper are added alongside coriander and dried limes, before it’s served on regag flatbread.

Head chef Ali Fouad at Al Nafoorah in Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai also recommends lamb ouzi. “Ouzi is a communal dish that’s traditionally placed in the centre of the table, so it’s an essential dish that brings communities together during Ramadan.” You can also try it in Jumeirah Muscat Bay’s Peridot.

Over in Oman, Omani shuwa is a popular slow-cooked lamb dish served on rice. A speciality of Chef Abd Alatif, it will be served in Peridot.


Iftar desserts are just as heart warming, and umm Ali tops the list. Plump raisins are buried within the milky bread pudding, which is eaten in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and elsewhere. Sweetened with sugar and a hint of fragrant rosewater, it is scattered with pine nuts and vibrant sliced pistachios.

Kunafa is another naughty-but-nice dessert that’s eaten across the Gulf. Layers of shredded filo pastry and gooey, stretchy melted cheese are typically soaked in syrup, the crispy crust sprinkled with pistachios and rosewater or orange blossom syrup. It’s served warm with a dollop of clotted cream.


Peridot restaurant at Jumeirah Muscat Bay



Suhoor dishes are often lighter than iftar ones, so expect to graze on mezze – a range of small plates such as olives, pomegranate salad and balls of pungent shanklish cheese. You can also snack on hummus and crackers sprinkled with local herbs such as sumac and zaatar.

Fragrant zaatar also features alongside labneh cheese and ground beef as a spread on manakish, flaky flatbread best served straight from the oven. Chef Samer from Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai says, “Growing up in Damascus in Syria, I learnt to make manakish from my grandmother. I’d watch as she mixed and rolled the dough, topped it with zaatar and olive oil then baked it in a wood-fired oven. You must try it at least once this Ramadan.”

Protein-rich dishes made with eggs and meat are also popular at suhoor, as are oat-based meals which are packed with fibre and slow to digest – keeping you fuller for longer as you fast.

Thick and creamy, ful medames is a more filling dish, made with broad beans (also called fava beans) and served with hard boiled eggs. It’s particularly popular in Lebanon, Egypt and the UAE.

Look out too for staples such as biryani, beef shawarma wraps, shish taouk (chicken skewers) and chicken molokhia, a vitamin-rich stew made with jute leaves.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can finish with date walnut bread with loose leaf tea or hibiscus juice.


A father and daughter sharing a Suhoor meal during Ramadan

We host iftar and suhoor banquets in many of our restaurants, or in grand pop up marquees with live oud performers.

For an authentic experience, visit Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai or Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort’s Majlis Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

You can also sample traditional Middle Eastern cuisine at Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort & Spa’s new Zahrat Al Fayrouz.