When Team TMN were invited to experience a luxury Iftar we got ourselves down to Jumeirah Beach Hotel to see what one of Dubai’s most well-known venues had to offer for the holy month of Ramadan…
What: Iftar at the Majlis Al Safinah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Where: Majlis Al Safinah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
When: Every day during Ramadan, from sunset until 8.45pm
The promise: “Situated within the beautiful Safinah Ballroom, Majlis Al Safinah is a contemporary space that breathes life into the traditions of Ramadan. Impeccably decorated and elegantly furnished, the Majlis Al Safinah blends prestigious Jumeirah hospitality with culinary excellence.”
Did it deliver? Jumeirah’s Majlis Al Safinah space looks nothing short of full-on opulence. From the red and gold décor, to the shimmering accents, lanterns and huge selection of flowers, the room exudes an aura of decadence from the moment you step in. An enormous yet unintimidating space, the room’s layout somehow manages to accommodate smaller tables and create an intimate ambience, alongside the larger seating areas for groups and parties. Waiters are attentive without being overbearing and float around the space, offering fresh juices and mocktails, including a particularly tasty apple blossom drink.
After being seated with a drink and having broken our fast with a few dates that were plated on the table, Team TMN ventured towards the enormous selection of food on offer. Traditional Arabic salads and lamb ouzi were on display alongside less traditional offerings such as roast beef with all of the trimmings, garlic and chilli marinated grilled prawns as well as mixed noodles. All of the food that we sampled was prepared to an excellent culinary standard. The roasted root vegetables, prawns and traditional salads proved particular hits with the more health-conscious members of Team TMN! The variety of food on offer meant that even the pickiest of eaters were happy and the high quality of ingredients used ensured that everything was exceptionally tasty.
Following the starters and main courses, we felt it would be rude to ignore the vast number of delicious-looking desserts that were on display, taking up nearly one third of the buffet area; so we took it upon ourselves to tackle the sweets. The desserts can only be described as heavenly – from Arabic sweets to fruit tarts, every possible form of chocolate you can imagine was available (including an enormous chocolate fountain) to home-made ice creams and freshly hulled coconuts. We were particularly fond of the strawberry custard tarts, although could have happily scoffed seconds of all the sweets on offer, if we had not been already full from the delicious main dishes.
Sitting back with a cup of tea to chat amongst ourselves and our guests, we took a moment to look around and admire the lovely venue once again, noting the friendly atmosphere and effortlessly relaxed vibe that seems typical of Dubai around this time of year.
The verdict: Iftar at Majlis Al Safinah is not a particularly subtle affair. It is, however, a wonderful way to wile away a special evening with friends, colleagues or family over the month of Ramadan. The atmosphere within the Majlis area is that of a community, which is befitting the time of year, the food and service on offer is truly impeccable. At AED210 per head, this isn’t a terribly cheap Iftar, although the quality on offer renders it excellent value in our eyes. The leisurely pace of the iftar, as well as the sheer size of the venue, means that this is a much more luxurious offering and would also be an excellent way of introducing visitors to the concept of an Iftar.