Ramadan marks the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed around the world through fasting, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Having lived in Nigeria, I was always accustomed to the sound of prayer time across the mosques, however it wasn’t until I moved to the UAE that I truly understood the real meaning of Ramadan. It is a special time for self – reflection and gratitude, a time of worship and charity, and most importantly, a time for family and friends. Ramadan dates vary every year as they depend on the sighting of the new moon so every year it falls during a different date.
Abu Dhabi is filled with events during this peaceful month, ranging from poetry events, art galleries and of course to abundant dining. Hotels around the city offer the most lavish Iftar spreads and Sohour tents. If you are new to this tradition – please check out some of the city’s most popular tents including: Le Royal Meridien, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, and the opulent Emirates Palace. It is a beautiful experience, where friends get together to enjoy delicious food, listen to peaceful melodies, and play cards or board games. I love the peace that comes with Ramadan – as the city slows down from its high paced octanes, and self reflection somehow naturally takes over the mind.
There are wonderful events, activities, and landmarks worth visiting this month – here are my top picks:
ART EXHIBITION AT GALLERIA MALL
This year is very special for the UAE as it marks the 100th year since the birth of Sheikh Zayed – founder of the UAE. He not only unified the Emirates, but paved a way for greatness and turned a barren desert into the land of possibility and advancement. The exhibition features 40 photographs on loan from the National Archives, which document the life and achievements of this visionary leader through the years. In addition, the exhibition also features an art display by the artist Hayat Abdallah.
A recent edition to Abu Dhabi’s generous cultural offers, The Founder’s Memorial commemorates the legacy and life of Sheikh Zayed. It is a permanent tribute which features 3.3 hectares of walking space for self reflection, as well as a three dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed called The Constellation, which resembles stars in the sky at night. The impressive landmark consists of 1,300 geometric shapes and 1,000 cables which create the 3D effect.
Check it out here.
GLOBES: VISIONS OF THE WORLD
Louvre Abu Dhabi presents an exciting exhibition which showcases globes, maps, art, and science instruments spanning 2 thousand years! Discover how humanity explored our world through different time periods and learn how important those discoveries are to us today. The exhibition is on every day until 2nd June, catch it before its too late!
More information, click here.
Manarat Al Saadiyat is currently hosting an exciting series of events from pop up specialty coffee shops, to board games, electrifying arcades, and poetry evenings. Check out the full schedule here. It is also hosting the 5th Annual Student Showcase by students from K-12 grade under the theme “Zayed: Story of a Nation” and features beautiful works of art using different art forms and materials – definitely worth a visit! The exhibition is on until 9th June so there is plenty of time to check it out.
SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
If you have never visited Abu Dhabi’s #1 TripAdvisor landmark before, well WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR!? This is the perfect opportunity to bask in the beauty of the world’s 3rd largest mosque, and one of my favourite landmarks in the city – just remember, a lot of people will be worshiping during this month, so respect the rules.
More information, click here.
Abu Dhabi Mall is currently hosting a beautiful Ramadan village where visitors can fully immerse in the spirit of the Holy month and children can enjoy a variety of activities such as pottery and cookie making. Don’t miss out the weekend Tanoura shows.
During the Holy Month, time, please respect your colleagues and friends who do fast, as it does take quite a toll on the body especially during the heat of the summer which is upon us. Be courteous, consume your food and beverage in privacy, and dress modestly – let’s all be supportive of each other.
Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary, unless otherwise stated.