Expo City Dubai hopes to bring the world together again during this Ramadan

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Evoking nostalgia and giving glimpses into Ramadan traditions in the UAE and beyond, Expo City Dubai’s ‘Hai Ramadan,’ running from March 3 to April 25, 2023, promises to be a true celebration of the holy month with an enchanting atmosphere, delicious food and exciting activities.

Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director – Expo City Dubai, said: “Just as Expo 2020 Dubai brought the world together once before, Expo City Dubai’s ‘Hai Ramadan’ will bring together different communities from all over during the holy month. We are excited that our visitors will be able to rejoice in some of the world’s most famous and well-known Ramadan traditions in a single destination.”

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The festivities – an experiential interpretation of ‘hai,’ an Arabic word with a dual meaning of ‘neighborhood’ and ‘welcome’ – will run for more than 50 days, beginning on March 3, the weekend prior to the UAE’s traditional celebration of ‘Haq Al Laila,’ in preparation for the start of Ramadan two weeks later.

A cultural journey

‘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.

Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director – Expo City Dubai. (Supplied)
Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director – Expo City Dubai. (Supplied)

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 4pm to 10pm in the run-up to Ramadan, and from 5p.m. to 2 a.m. during Ramadan.

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