In terms of business etiquette and opportunity, there is much more to the Holy Month than simply sending gifts and cards (check out last week’s blog post on our top tips for Ramadan corporate gifting). A more personal way of showing your respect and appreciation for loyal clients, customers, partners, suppliers, media and staff is by seeing them face to face and joining them to celebrate as they break the fast.
The meal that is served to break the fast is Iftar, whilst the meal served in the morning before the sunrise (or in corporate situations, late at night, after Iftar has well and truly finished) is known as Suhoor. Either of these are acceptable to host and invite corporate guests to during the Holy Month and we wanted to share our top tips if you are looking to organise this kind of Ramadan social event.
The easiest way to arrange this kind of event is to reserve a private area or tables in one of the many restaurants in Dubai that serve Iftar and Suhoor meals during the Holy Month. If you really want to make an impression and occasion of it then choose one of the purpose designed Ramadan marquees that pop up over Dubai during the month- the most luxurious of which can be found at five star hotels such as Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Atlantis the Palm.
If you host your own and want to create your own majlis then you need to think about Ramadan décor, the possibility of a marquee (which given the season, need to be fully air conditioned) and Ramadan lighting. Think about using colourful carpets and luxurious cushions, traditional lanterns and crescent shaped lights. Together these will create a great atmosphere for any corporate event during Ramadan.
Whether you are the host or a guest who has been invited to a corporate Iftar or Suhoor, there are some key cultural pointers to remember:
Ramadan is a time when traditions and cultural beliefs become even stronger, so avoid tight or revealing clothing. Both men and women should make sure their shoulders and legs are covered. Always opt for loose, non-transparent outfit, and dress appropriately for the event, if it’s a corporate event for a business client where everyone is likely to be in a suit, make sure your clothes are formal, if going to a clients home then the attire can be more relaxed but still needs to respect the religion.
Bring a gift
The Holy Month of Ramadan is all about sharing and caring, it is thus important to bring a gift. If visiting a house then homemade dessert goes down very well, otherwise any of the gifts we recommended in last week’s blog post work well too.
As the meal to break the fast, Iftar begins immediately at sunset. Often in restaurants you will hear the call to prayer over the speakers, or a bell or shot to announce the time. It is not acceptable to keep those who have been fasting all day waiting, so make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Iftar and Suhoor are the most pleasurable times of the day when the sense of celebration is high, and as such attending or hosting corporate social events at this time can be one of the most rewarding things you do all year. Ramadan kareem!