Ramadan In The Eyes Of An Expat Blogger

Today, 6th of May 2019 marks the start of the month-long celebration of Ramadan. During this season, all Muslims are expected to fast and refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, engaging in sexual relations and sinful behaviors that may negate the rewards of fasting.

This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam where fasting for Muslims typically includes the increased offering of prayers, reading of the Quran, as well as good deeds and charity.

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Suhoor is their pre-fast meal which is prepared before dawn, while the post-fast breaking feast after sunset is called Iftar. In the olden times, these celebrations are held at home. But as time progressed, people started to gather in Ramadan Tents to eat their daily Iftar meals. Ramadan tents have become a place for people to meet with family and friends to break the fast at sunset. And over the years, it has become one of the most anticipated events.

As an expat in Qatar for a long time now, I have become more and more amazed by how Ramadan Tents have evolved. Most notable of which are the lavish decorations and set up at the banquet halls of five-star hotels around the city. Buffet dinner with exquisite menu and varieties of delicacies are made available at an average price of QR150-QR200 per person which usually comes with live entertainment to complement the ambiance. Some may even opt for a grandiose and more intimate Ramadan setup on top of a hotel’s helipad if you’re willing to pay the price.

Not only that, even regular restaurants are also offering Iftar and Suhoor especially for busy professionals and families who don’t have time to prepare their food. They are relatively less expensive and not as extravagant as those in hotels, but regular workers and families find it more economical and practical.

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But the most striking for me is not only those flashy buffet setups and elegant decorations. I found a deeper meaning of the celebrations in the middle of those long lines of people… or those piles of sandals at the entrance of a simple white tent at the street corner… or those small Iftar boxes being distributed along the streets. I found it in the generous heart of those who are sharing for the poor… those private companies, the non-profit organizations, the spirit of unity and volunteerism during the “holy month”.

My heart also finds joy in the middle of every family who is gathering… be it at home, or small restaurants or in luxury hotels. When I see grandparents and small kids, and parents and their children gathered in every iftar or suhoor tables, it’s a golden moment to see genuine love, generosity, and harmony.

And much more, I am thankful that they are allowing the expat communities to take part in their holy celebrations. It was proof that unity exists even in a diverse culture and people of different beliefs.

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Spend the remaining days of Ramadan in one of Doha's newest Ramadan Tents – AL MASA TENT at @hidohabp. Location: Al Masa Ballroom #HolidayInnDohaBusinessPark Price per person: Iftar Buffet everyday – QR195 Sohour Buffet weekends – QR160 Sohour Set Meal weekdays – QR140 (All available on @entertainerqat and @mybookqatar) For reservation, call: +974 6641 5504 #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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Thrilled to receive personal invitations from fellow bloggers in Doha. This time, it was for @westindoha's Ramadan Tent which I would say… is one of the most elaborately decorated tents I've visited. While the huge banquet hall is no longer a stranger to us because of several Filipino events held there in the past, the total transformation into a Ramadan Tent was definitely jaw dropping. Without referring to any materials, i have a feeling that the hall was designed to capture a safari night ambiance… with walls clad in blue dessert tones, ceiling adorned with crescent moons… and elegant tents on four corners… for a truly magical safari experience. Special thanks to Ms @erj____ for the kind invitation. – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #sohourbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodlovers #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #nomnomnom #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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THE SQUAD LAST NIGHT. Much of the things I am thankful for during the past few days are not more about the food nor the fabulous hotels… but about the opportunities which opened a lot of doors for friendship… of trust earned from different people… and confidence gained for myself. These things that money cant buy… not even more important than numbers nor popularity. #thankfulandgrateful What brings you to greater heights… are pure intentions. 📸credit to the owner of the photo/#FraserSuitesWestbayDoha ❤❤❤ – MIGHT AS WELL SPEND IT WITH THE PEOPLE YOU CARE? Try this helipad iftar experience at @frasersuiteswestbay. Call +974 4495 5000 and ask for more details. Checkout my instastories for more photos. – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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I was at the @shangrila_doha's Ramadan Tent the second time around for the Sohour invitation of @turkishairlines-Qatar office. It was such an honor to be able to get invited by such a prestigious company. Indeed, it pays to establish good relationship with brands and create a good impression with the company through my humble blog. You can just imagine how flattering it was to be sitting right next to some of the big social media personalities in Qatar. – – "Turkish Airlines has taken the opportunity to celebrate Ramadan and strengthen the existing connection with the local media community in Qatar amid the spirits of the holy month." – – Complete press release on http://facebook.com/bestlifeqatar (facebook page) – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #TurkishAirlines #WidenYourWorld #corporateinvitation #socialmediainfluencers #mediainvitation #ramadantent #sohourbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodlovers #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #nomnomnom #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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One of the most unique Ramadan Tent I've seen is the Al Joory Tent of @movenpickwbdoha. A garden setup in an actual tent (not in a ballroom)… with the dominant vibrant hues of yellow and green, it creates an ambiance perfect for a romantic dinner. Location: Parking Area, #movenpickhotelwestbaldoha Price per person: **Iftar/Sohour Buffet – QAR 190 – **Special Sohour Set Menu: QR120 and QR175 including Ramadan beverages – ** AVAILABLE using #ENTERTAINERapp (Buy1Get1 voucher) via the @entertainerqat For your bookings, call +974 4496 6188 or 6690 0228 or send email hotel.dohawestbay@movenpickk.com – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #picoftheday #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #foodlovers #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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A modest, friendly, and homey ambiance plus an array of delicious food will welcome you at @timerakohotel. A drive towards the South of Doha is all worth it for a generous serving of our family favorites: their grilled salmon, brochetter shrimps and their wide assortment of salads in keeping with a healthy diet this Ramadan! Surprised to see a lot of people just before the Iftar opens. Location: Mezzanine Floor, Medzo #TimeRakoHotel Price per person: EFFECTIVE MAY 27 SUNDAY… all prices are subject to 25% DISCOUNT up to end of May. Iftar – QR90; Sohour – QR60 after discount! All kids 5 years and below FREE. For your bookings and inquiries, please call +974 4034 2111 – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #iftar #sohour #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #foodlover #authenticarabiccuisine #foodie #fasting #foodiegram #foodiesofinstagram #picoftheday #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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The Ramadan Tent of @shangrila_doha was set to look like the streets and Souqs of Turkey. The décor, combined with the cuisine, gave it the feel and the vibe which definitely made this Ramadan Tent one of its kind. Location: Ground Floor, Turkish Bazaar #ShangrilaHotelDoha Price per person: **Iftar/Sohour Buffet with live cooking stations for QAR 230 per person (adult), children 6 to 12 years QAR 115, children under 6 are free. **Live entertainment and shisha will be available during Sohour. ** AVAILABLE using #ENTERTAINERapp (Buy1Get1 voucher) the @entertainerqat For your bookings and inquiries, please call +974 4429 5000 or send email to doha.dining@shangri-la.com – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that this used to be a roof top swimming pool? Yes! @doubletree.doha has managed to put up a beautifully designed Ramadan Tent especially for the season. Upon entry to the hotel lift, a special button which used to show rooftop pool will take everyone to the new ANDALUSIA RAMADAN TENT – serving scrumptious buffet meals during iftar and suhour. A beautiful transformation indeed! The photo is showing only one half of the hall. Location: Rooftop, Andalusia Ramadan Tent #DoubleTreeByHiltonHotelDoha Price per person: Daily Iftar Buffet – QR180 Weekend Suhour Buffet – QR180 Weekday Suhour Set Menu -QR80 For your bookings and inquiries, please call +974 4034 3322 or send email to dohaoldtown_reservations@hilton.com – – – – – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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The Ramadan celebrations at @frasersuitesdoha extends to their elegant shiha hall (not suitable for kids). The Al Amaken Restaurant is dressed up exclusively for Ramadan with hues of blue and gold… colors befitting royalty. Location: Ground Floor, Al Amaken #FraseSuitesDoha Price per person: Iftar – QR175 Sohour – QR145 Shisha at Al Amaken -QR95 For reservation, call: +974 3303 3239 #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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One of the biggest Ramadan tents that we've been to so far is the ALMAS RAMADAN TENT of @ccrotanadoha. Simply grand and lavishly decorated… you can feel the overflowing sense of generosity… the space, the spread, and the spirit. #CCRDRamadan Location: Ground Floor, Almas Grand Ballroom #CityCenterRotanaDoha Price per person: QR195 for Iftar QR119 for Suhour For reservations or more information please e-mail ramadandesk.ccrd@rotana.com or call +974 4445 8680. – #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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The @radissonbluhdoha's Ramadan set-up is one that is simple and straightforward. Yet, the food choices are also extensive and well prepared. Photo is taken inside one of their traditional carts. The familiar ambiance of Hyde Park Cafe makes one really feels comfortable. So if you are looking for an affordable yet delicious iftar place… this one from Radisson Blu should definitely be on top of your list. Location: Ground Floor, Hyde Park Cafe #RadissonBluDoha Price per person: QR140 Serves only Iftar from sunset to 8pm For reservation, call: +974 4428 1555 #Ramadan2018 #ramadantent #iftarbuffetdinner #arabicfood #eatingforthegram #ramadan #breakingofthefast #dohahotels #ramadanofferings #instafoodie #authenticarabiccuisine #fasting #foodiesofinstagram #dohaigers #ramadankareem #instagood #eatingfortheinsta #foodbloggers #mediainvitation #qatarbloggers #qatarpinoyblogger #qatardaddyblogger #bestlifeqatar

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As bloggers, we’ve been invited to try many iftar and suhoor offers around town. We were amazed at the decors, as much as the variety of foods being served. We also had a chance to take part in the charity works with a non-profit organization that spearheads a campaign aimed at food wastage during Ramadan.

I believe in the higher purpose that goes far beyond all that glitters. May everyone see this season as an opportunity – TO BE BETTER, FOR OTHERS. That is, “to be a better person” and “to do good deeds for others”.

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