Evoking nostalgia and giving glimpses into Ramadan traditions in the UAE and beyond, Expo City Dubai’s ‘Hai Ramadan’, running from 3 March to 25 April 2023, promises to be a true celebration of the holy month with an enchanting atmosphere, delicious food and exciting activities.
The festivities – an experiential interpretation of hai, an Arabic word with a dual meaning of ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘welcome’ – will run for more than 50 days, beginning on 3 March, the weekend prior to the UAE’s traditional celebration of Haq Al Laila, in preparation for the start of Ramadan two weeks later.
Hai Ramadan will take visitors on a cultural journey where they can share unique experiences from across the Islamic world. From regional cuisine to international gastronomy and enticing street food, visitors will also have the chance to indulge in an array of food and beverages, reflecting the joy of breaking fast and sharing a meal with a loved one during the holy month.
Worshippers will be able to access a dedicated mosque on site for all prayers, including Isha and the later Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers.
After the Taraweeh prayer, storytellers will evoke the ancient Arab art of Hakawati – narrating folktales and stories of adventure, culture, religion and morality. Additionally, Expo City Dubai’s very own Misaharati – classic Ramadan figures who would wake up their communities with drumming and singing, traditionally before dawn, to drink water and partake in Suhoor – will celebrate the experience of this age-old tradition throughout the day.
Al Wasl Plaza will offer a family-friendly theatrical show by Expo 2020 Dubai’s official mascots, Rashid and Latifa, and children of all ages are welcome to join workshops and games to learn about elements of Emirati culture and the values of Ramadan, such as kindness, generosity and compassion.
To promote a healthy lifestyle, Expo City Dubai will host sports tournaments for adults with a dedicated zone that will feature games, fitness and wellness activations for people of all activity levels.
A full schedule of events will be published nearer the time.An ideal destination for gatherings of family and friends, entry to Hai Ramadan, including the Al Wasl show and sports activities, is free, with charges for some workshops and games.
A bustling night market will see homegrown vendors offer perfumes, gifts, and tailor-made clothing, and a corporate Iftar option will be on offer.Hai Ramadan will take place from 1600-2200 in the run-up to Ramadan, and from 1700-0200 during Ramadan.