Thursday, 9 July 2015

Iftar at Al Majlis

It's Ramadan here in Dubai, so for those of you rusty on your Ramadan knowledge, it’s an entire month of fasting to “commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.”
So our Muslim friends fast all day and have their first meal of the day (Iftar) at sundown. I’m going to tell you all about my awesome Iftar experience and Ramadan for me so far.
Fasting takes place during daylight hours, and when I say fasting, I mean fasting, no water, no tea coffee and NO FOOD! Even swallowing toothpaste is out… not that I tend to do that but you know sometimes a little goes down.
A huge bonus for me is that during Ramadan we work reduced hours; so I’ve been finishing work at 3pm each day!
I decided that I would take on board some little projects to keep me busy with these extra ‘me time’ hours.
I decided to do an interior makeover of my apartment and do it all within 500AED…. More on that later.  Others projects were to lose weight, read more and watch loads of films and box sets.
Yes, some 'projects' were more challenging than others, but it’s good to set goals!
Back to Iftar… Here in Dubai (this year) 7:16pm is when you can break your fast and you celebrate that with Iftar.  Now you may know already but here in Dubai they don’t like to do things by half so when it comes to Iftar, some places put on quite a show!!
I went to the Al Majlis at Mina A’Salam Hotel, we were told to get there sharp as it its important for those who are fasting to break their fast on time.  Unfortunately I was about 20mins late due to nightmare traffic, once I got to the hotel I quickly discover that the traffic was due to a very special guest attending the same Iftar.  None other than Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid Al Maktoum) Or as we call him, 'Sheikh Mo' was there!
...This is an honour in Dubai, apparently he frequents many Iftars and will often pay for everyone’s meal! Our Iftar was huge and Al Majlis can host 1000 people, so we weren’t really expecting Sheikh Mo to take care of the bill for us all!
The tent itself was spectacular!
It was enormous with beautiful Arabic décor and the most incredible star shaped lighting installation on the ceiling.
Needless to say, the buffet was immense, there was pretty much anything you could have dreamed of and that night I discovered my love for dates! (I had recently learned that dates are the main ingredient of sticky toffee pudding – fact – and although they look like cockroaches, they are delicious!)

Oh and here’s a pic of me loitering around the area the Sheik Mo and his sons were!
After dinner we were all served tea by the fancy tea man that wears a giant tea pot and sings, the photo doesn’t do him justice.

I wore my H&M patterned blue trousers with their conveniently stretchy waist band, cream shoes and cream blazer and little black vest tucked in, simple but adding a heel and blazer always smartens things up!

My stalking pics of Sheikh Mo trying to enjoy his Iftar!

Beautiful light instillations around the trees outside the hotel.

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