Ramadan 2015 in Doha: Iftar

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ramadan Mubarak! The annual month of fasting is upon us in Qatar once again and it's all that anybody can talk about.


For those of you that aren't familiar with the Islamic holy month, here are a few facts about this period of religious observance:

- It's one of the Five Pillars of Islam and it commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammed according to Islamic belief.
- It takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar but the specific day that Ramadan starts on is always a little up in the air until the day before, because it is based on the sighting of the new moon (hilal) in the sky. If one sees hilal at night, then fasting will begin the next day.
- Fasting from sunrise until sunset is obligatory to all Muslims (unless they are pregnant, suffering from illness or travelling)
- It's illegal to be seen eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours during this time, and anyone caught could face severe punishment. [EDIT] Non-Muslims that reside in Islamic countries must abide by this - that means me too! Some workplaces provide a designated room for you to go to for a drink or to have lunch during this time.
- It is also a time to show love respect and charity, to spend quality time with family and friends, and enjoy some sumptuous feasts after dark.

Iftar literally translates as 'to break the fast'. It is the first meal of the day after sunset, and it is a social occasion, when big groups come together, usually in large and beautifully decorated Iftar Tents. The fast is traditionally broken with high energy, small items including dates and a glass of juice. After the stomach has settled, then it is time to gorge!

Iftar is one of my favourite things about Ramadan, so when Mr Sunshine-to-be and I were invited along to sample the delights of The Grand Hyatt Doha's 2015 offering, we jumped at the chance.

Here is a selection of photos from a delicious evening, which illustrate exactly why Iftar at the Grand Hyatt is a must this Ramadan.





























The Iftar tent at the Grand Hyatt will be open from sun down tonight up until Friday 17th July, and the buffet is a steal at QAR 250. It is bound to get busy so be sure to book ahead by calling +974 3029 3748.

For the rest of your 30 evenings, Qatar Eating has put together a handy little Iftar guide, which you can find here.

Embarak alaikum shahr Ramadan! Where is your favourite place for Iftar in Doha?

We were guests of the Grand Hyatt Doha for the opening of their Ramadanak tent.

25 comments:

  1. Very cool insight - our Australian friends used to live in Dubai, and their creativity to be able to eat during the days of Ramadan was quite epic! The Grand Hyatt is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you love! Hahaha, I have a few stories I could tell you about how people manage it out here too! It is a stunning hotel and they've decorated it especially beautifully for Ramadan!

      Polly xx

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  2. Fasting is not obligatory to Non-Muslims. That said it is culturally offending to be seen eating in public during this month :)

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    1. You are correct - perhaps I haven't reflected this very accurately in my description! I will edit it so it's clearer :-)

      Polly xx

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    1. Thank you so much Ana! :-)

      Polly xx

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  4. How wonderful that you are able to get an insight into another culture and join in the traditions, especially when it means eating such wonderful food!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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    1. I know, it's my favourite thing about living over here. The Arabic tradition of family and food is right up my street!!!

      Polly xx

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  5. That hotel is BEAUTIFUL! The presentation of the food is also exquisite. The Middle East knows how to do over-indulgence to a T... I just want to dive into that tower of chocolates and dates. Incredible night I am sure and you look beaut! :) Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

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    1. Their attention to detail is simply wonderful! The hotel always looks great with lots of wooden carvings etc. but they've done it up especially nicely for the occasion. I particularly love the blue lighting! Thanks for the lovely words Andrea :-)

      Polly xx

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  6. A really interesting post, Polly. Didn't realise that you also had to observe the fast but it must actually be great for your health

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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    1. I actually feel terrible during the day. The lack of water is the hardest part, particularly as it's so hot at the moment. But we're lucky in that they provide a room with a water fountain and tea on tap for us to escape to at work!

      Polly xx

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  7. It looks amazing! I was feeling so bad when I received their invite and realized that I won't be able to attend it as I was still on holiday. Lol. I'm planning to go there and try it out though.
    Ramadan Kareem Polly!

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    1. Aww I was going to message you to ask where you were and then remembered you weren't in the country. Are you feeling better now? You really should try it when you're back, you'll love it!

      Ramadan Kareem lovely!!

      Polly xx

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  8. An interesting post thanks for sharing looks like you had a wonderful time the food looks fab. Shame that you are so far away this looks wonderful I would like to go Lucy x

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    1. Thanks Lucy! SUCH a shame - you might just have to get yourself out here to visit!

      Polly xx

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  9. I love Ramadan, it's such an important time in the Islamic calendar and I'm so pleased that you have shared more about it on your blog. I've been in North Africa twice via Ramadan, the first time I went hungry for days as the hotel refused to do breakfast and I had no idea that no food was available during the day...until the tour company took pity on me and got a local to take me to McD's. I always love it when the sunsets as things get crazy, everyone is in a rush to get home and cities get so busy x

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you chose to travel during Ramadan (or maybe you didn't realise and it was a bit of a shock?!). I can't believe the hotel didn't even do breakfast, that's incredible! Out here it's compulsory that at least one restaurant is open in each hotel I believe. What an experience. Thank goodness for Maccy D's hey?! I love evening-time here during Ramadan, it's really bustling and everyone's so happy!! Thanks for sharing your experiences Kelly! :-)

      Polly xx

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  10. Sounds like an incredible evening! You look gorgeous, as always, Polly! The food looks delicious - I'm very ready for my dinner after your fantastic photos.

    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

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    1. Thank you lovely! Haha, the food is incredible...and you kinda want it to be after 12 hours with no food!

      Polly xx

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  11. Wow this is really interesting! The food looks so good. It must be interesting to experience that in an Islamic country compared to in the UK! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. Thanks Jasmin, it's definitely been really fun for me to learn about this side of the Islamic culture, Ramadan is something I knew very little about back in the UK!

      Polly xx

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  12. All the food looks amazing!!! Now I'm craving middle eastern food!

    One of my old colleagues used to fast during Ramadan and even when the office was 34 degrees C, he still kept on going with no water etc, I still don't know how he did it!

    C x | Lux Life

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    1. Ahh it was such a feast! I'm sure you'd absolutely love it! I'm so impressed with people that do it properly, particularly outside of Muslim countries like your colleague as it's even harder when everyone else around you isn't observing the fast! I'm terrible at it, I still have to sneak off for some water and a sandwich in the middle of the day. I don't know how the whole of Qatar isn't really hangry for a month!

      Polly xx

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  13. Hi Polly Bagley
    meet again we fasting this year 2016

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