Several days ago, Ed and I were invited to a special Iftar celebration hosted by Arabian Center. Iftar is an evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. It is a tradition that has become a social gathering. Here in Dubai, non-Muslims have learned to respect and embrace the culture. Although we are not required to fast, we still follow a strict courtesy policy during daytime and we go to Iftars and Suhoors organized by our Muslim friends.
The event venue, Hatam, is a famous Iranian/Persian casual dining restaurant. It is widely known in the UAE for its authentic Iranian/Persian cuisine and ambiance. We arrived minutes before sunset and a basket of freshly baked flatbread and date fruits were already on our table. Based on the tradition, three dates are to be eaten to break the fast. And so, we devoured the luscious dates before we started our Arabic dinner.
Since it was a special event hosted by Arabian Center, Hatam's finest dishes were served in a buffet. We feasted on Middle Eastern cuisine. There were hummus, moutabal, tabouleh, vine leaves and mixed salad for starters. The main course selections were classic Arabic cuisine. There were kebabs, grilled meat and some items I am not familiar with. There was one particular main dish that I really loved; fried croquette stuffed with meat and pine nuts, a Levantine dish called Kibbee! Then, slices of fresh fruits, custard and gelatin desserts gave our Arabic Iftar a sweet ending!
Ed and I spent another hour at the mall after Iftar. We haven't been there before and we were actually surprised to see how complete Arabian Center is! It has 200 plus retail stores and restaurants, including my favourite shops (H&M, New Look, Aldo) and my well-loved eating places (Nandos, Dome). For entertainment and leisure, Arabian Center has state-of the-art bowling center "Funky Lanes", equipped with 10 latest Brunswick lanes and hi-tech laser lights. It also has a first-of-its-kind fully digital 8 screen cinema "Cinema City".
The mall is quite far from our place, yet it is easily accessible by public transport. You can ride F05 bus from Rashidiya Metro Station to Arabian Center, and take 11A bus from the mall's bus stop to Rashidiya Metro Station.
I would like to thank Arabian Center for the invite, the warm hospitality and
the sumptuous Arabic Iftar.
Al Khawaneej Road