Traditional Ramadan Dishes From Around The Region

Embrace the spirit of Ramadan with these Iftar and Suhour dishes

Ramadan is a time of reflection and appreciation and the gathering of loved ones to break the fast is an important daily ritual of the Holy Month. During Suhour (the pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (the breaking of the fast), the emphasis lies in empathy and gratitude as friends and family come together. Warm and welcoming hospitality is at the heart of every interaction and a great deal of time and preparation goes into ensuring particular dishes are served. While there are many similarities between dishes across the Gulf, here are a few of the most popular Ramadan dishes from around the region.

UAE - Harees
Different variations of this Emirati dish are well known and Harees is often served during Ramadan. Made up of wheat and meat, it’s similar to porridge in its consistency and is served both for Suhour and Iftar. Discover where to eat Emirati food in Dubai or be inspired by these Ramadan tents.

Bahrain - Dates
While Bahrain is a relatively small country, the country is home to a ‘million palm trees’ according to the well-known saying. Considered a blessed fruit, two or three dates are offered in order to break the fast, due to their sugar content, therefore stabilising the body’s sugar levels. Read about one traveller’s Bahrain culinary adventure with dates.

Oman – Halwa
Omani Halwa is a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation and is a staple in Omani culture. The sweet dish is particularly popular during Ramadan and includes ingredients such as saffron, cardamom, nutmeg, and rose essence. Learn more about the traditional making of Omani Halwa here.

Qatar - Machboos
While served across the GCC, the Qatari Machboos is a deliciously spiced rice dish that can be cooked with different meats depending on personal preference. Similar to Biriyani, locals will also often pour lemon juice or rose water for extra flavour. New to Qatar? Check out these local dishes.

Saudi Arabia – Al Kabsa
A speciality prepared throughout the year as well as for Iftar, Al Kabsa is a dish made up of chicken and rice with raisins, almonds, pistachios, and pine nuts. With the Kingdom receiving more than two and half million Muslims during their Pilgrimage, this dish will be a popular and welcome dish offered at Iftar to break the fast. Check out this list of other popular Saudi Arabian dishes here.

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