Green Ramadan: 10 Beautiful Sustainable Iftars to Try This Month

7 mins

Offering everything from food donation schemes to locally grown vegetables and vegan-friendly menus, these ethical iftars allow you to celebrate the special period with a conscience.

There once was a time when every UAE venue would try to host the biggest and most extravagant iftar buffet they could during Ramadan.

But thankfully, things are changing. Increasing numbers of restaurants are creating more conscious and less wasteful ways to honour the holy month. Delicious vegan and vegetarian options are becoming more common place at iftars as well.

If you’re looking for a sustainable way to gather with loved ones this Ramadan, look no further than our pick of the UAE’s most ethical iftars.

Al-Wāha – Conrad Dubai

iftar set out

Set out in the fresh air on the hotel’s elevated terrace, the twinkling Al-Wāha iftar is one of the most waste-conscious Ramadan buffets in the city. Along with offering a wide choice of high-quality plant-based options, the hotel’s ‘Green Ramadan’ initiative ensures that any food waste is made into compost, and any leftover meals go straight to the UAE Food Bank. The kitchen teams use AI-driven calculators to limit food waste, and lots of the herbs and greens used are grown and picked at the onsite hydroponic farm. 

AED 260. @conraddubai.

Anantara Eastern Mangroves  – Abu Dhabi

iftar set out

Overlooking the Eastern Mangroves National Park, one of the UAE’s most precious areas of natural beauty, enjoying an iftar on the terrace of this iconic hotel is a truly unforgettable experience. Offering a huge spread of premium-quality global dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice with all the plant-based options on offer. Start with some fresh and colourful salads and traditional Arabic dips, and don’t miss the truly excellent paneer curry or the hearty vegetarian lasagna. Saving room for a visit to the live Thai cooking stand is also essential.

Honouring the birthplace of the Anantara brand, you can have vegetarian Thai green curry, pad Thai or veggie tom yum soup whipped up in front of your eyes in less than two minutes. For dessert, you’ll find an extraordinary array of exotic fruits and intricately decorated cakes, while the iftar souq adds a nice extra touch.

AED 279. @anantaraeasternmangroves.

Crescendo – Anantara The Palm Dubai

Spanning two overflowing counters of purely vegan and vegetarian salad options, plus plenty of tempting meat-free mains, the iftar at Anantara The Palm Dubai is a dream come true for anyone on a plant-based diet. The freshly baked manakish breads are a must try, while hummus addicts won’t be able to tear themselves away from the dedicated hummus station. Making vegan options a priority rather than an afterthought, the live chaat station and veggie curries and pastas are amongst the many other highlights. Offering a stunning outdoor terrace by the pool, it’s the perfect way to spend a Ramadan evening.

AED 230. @anantaradubai.

Beau Rivage Bistro – Grand Millennium Business Bay, Dubai

arabic sweets

Served straight to the table, Beau Rivage Bistro’s iftar is naturally more anti-waste than the traditional buffet. If you let them know in advance, the enticing Arabic menu can be adapted to be completely vegan and vegetarian friendly for the table, while the views over the Dubai Water Canal at sunset are simply stunning. All set to the soothing sounds of an oud performance, you can expect favourites such as creamy hummus, refreshing fattoush, smooth lentil soup, smoky baba ganoush and much more.

AED 180. @beaurivagebistrodubai.

Cyan Brasserie – Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

iftar set out

Proving that a buffet doesn’t need to be ridiculously big in order to be impressive, the iftar at Cyan Brasserie is just the right amount of lavish. All made with locally sourced ingredients, the salads and dips, hot-from-the-pan falafel, vegetarian curries, spinach pastries, Mediterranean couscous and Egyptian stuffed vegetables are amongst some of the many meat-free specialties. The dates colada mocktail, tamarind smoothie and other quirky juices add a nice touch, while the soft-serve ice cream and toppings station invites you to enjoy being a big kid for a change.

Found up on the 18th floor of Abu Dhabi’s answer to the leaning tower of Piza, you can dine outside in front of panoramic views of the city’s twinkling lights, or inside in the ultra-Instagrammable dining room. Make sure you get here early to capture one of the best sunset scenes in the UAE.

AED 225. @cyanabudhabi.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi

iftar set out

Home to its own water-to-air bottling plant and certified by Green Globe, the sustainable tourism certification, the completely plastic-free Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel has long been a leader in sustainability in the hospitality industry.  Mazaj, the hotel’s pretty and cosy Lebanese restaurant, is offering a tasteful iftar set menu of Arabic favourites throughout Ramadan.

Although the main course is all meat heavy, vegetarians and vegans find plenty to fill them up in the huge array of starters. Featuring generous portions of hummus, moutabal, fattoush, tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves, labneh dip, lentil soup, spinach fatayer, batata harra and cheese rolls, all followed by a spread of traditional desserts, it’s a pleasant reminder of how special the cuisine of the Arabic world really is. Local vegetables are used throughout the menu, and all the used cooking oil from the kitchens – roughly 10,00 litres per year – is recycled and turned into biodiesel. 

AED 245. @fairmontbabalbahr.

Market at Edition, The Edition Abu Dhabi

iftar set out

Long established as one of the most exciting healthy lifestyle restaurants in the UAE capital, Market at Edition integrates all kinds of superfoods and locally sourced, organic ingredients into its iftar buffet spread. Enjoy creative vegetarian mezze such as avocado hummus, beetroot moutabel and customisable salads, and experience a unique take on regional Khaleeji cuisine with the set menu by Bahraini Chef and menu developer Sheikha Hesa Al Khalifa. Included in every package, the Emirati-spiced infused hummus with mushrooms is particularly special. A choice of homemade, vegan-friendly sorbets is available for dessert, along with all the Arabic sweets and biscuits you could ever want. 

AED 220. @abudhabiedition.

Millennium Plaza Downtown Hotel, Downtown Dubai

iftar set out

By partnering with Watermelon, the F&B ecosystem that supports the UAE government’s National Farms Sustainability initiative, Millennium Plaza Downtown Dubai Hotel is helping everyone to celebrate more sustainably this Ramadan. The rotating menu features as many locally grown fruit and vegetables as possible, and you’ll find plenty of plant-based options amongst the eight live stations. Spanning a glorious selection of Arabic, Italian, Indian, Asian and more global cuisines, it strikes just the right balance between celebratory and mindful.

Weekday AED 199, weekend AED 249. @millenniumplazadowntownhotel.

PXB, Expo City Dubai

iftar set out

Every item on PXB’s iftar menu is 100 percent plant based and made from nutritious whole foods. The sharing-style menu spans a mix of Arabic specialties and international favourites, including katsu curry, Caesar salad, Mexican bowls, hummus, sticky miso tofu and much more. Allowing vegan guests to relax and stop worrying about what they can and can’t eat for a change, it’s a vibrant tribute to the joys of premium-quality vegan cuisine. Offering a stunning rooftop al fresco seating, its also ideally place for watching the sunset over Expo City’s world-famous pavilions.

AED 145. @pxblifestyle

Rove Hotels, All outlets in Dubai

iftar set out

Rove Hotels have come up with an amazing Ramadan initiative that benefits both you, and the environment. To try and reduce waste and discourage those with ‘eyes that are bigger than their belly’, every guest who finishes everything on their plate will receive a voucher for another free iftar. You can use the voucher yourself, or embrace the selfless spirit of Ramadan and give it to a friend or loved one. Not only that, but any untouched surplus food is given to the UAE Food Bank.

AED 99. @rovehotels.

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