What the UAE’s Best Carriers are Serving This Ramadan

Most notable is Etihad Airways’ inflight menu of seasonal specials by an up-and-coming Emirati chef.

Emirates’ iftar meal boxes will vary by the week.

Emirates’ iftar meal boxes will vary by the week. (Courtesy of Emirates)


Customers breaking their fast across all cabin classes to select Emirates destinations can expect nutritionally balanced iftar meals served in custom-designed boxes inspired by the geometric patterns created by the UAE’s Bedouin Al Sadu weavers.

The Ramadan meal boxes will include light dishes and starters such as hummus and spinach bil zeit, Greek salad and cauliflower bil tahini, falafel sandwiches, pasta salad and fried aubergine with mint, za’atar chicken salad and cauliflower bil tahini, chicken musakhan sandwiches with Arabic bread, as well as staples like dates and laban (fermented milk). A smaller Iftar box will also be served at boarding gates at iftar time including all the essentials to comfortably break the fast.

The boxes, whose contents are refreshed on a weekly basis, will be served on certain flights during times that coincide with iftar, on services to and from the Gulf region, as well as those catering to Umrah groups traveling to Jeddah and Medina during the month of Ramadan.

For customers on the ground boarding during iftar times, boxes containing water, juice, a banana, and dates will be available to fasting customers at gates for several destinations. At the Emirates lounges in DXB, traditional Arabic sweets, dates and coffee will be offered during Ramadan. Special seasonal meals available in first- and business-class lounges will include a selection of hot and cold Arabic mezze, lentil soup, lamb ouzi served with dakous and coriander mint raita, shish taouk with harissa red pepper dip, and Emirati ouzi.

Chef Khaled Alsaadi has created new Ramadan meals for Etihad. (Courtesy of Etihad Airways)

Etihad Airways

To celebrate the Islamic holy month, the UAE’s national carrier has once again teamed up with the talented young Emirati chef Khaled Alsaadi to offer a special Ramadan inflight menu. The co-founder of Abu Dhabi’s innovative Fae Café uses local ingredients and spice infusions to create a modern twist on Emirati dishes, retaining their authentic flavor while making use of contemporary cooking techniques.

Guests will be treated to Ramadan meals including saffron curry–crusted sea bream; lamb shank with black lime jus, lentil soup, chaami (traditional Emirati cheese) and beetroot salad; machboos chicken ciabatta sandwich; and aseeda cheesecake. In addition, a selection of Chef Khaled’s recipes can be accessed by scanning QR codes placed at the bottom of the onboard menu, allowing passengers to recreate Etihad’s inflight meals at home. This Ramadan menu will be available to guests across all cabins on selected flights that coincide with iftar times. Travelers breaking their fast prior to departure or just before landing will be given takeaway bags containing dates, a drink, and a snack.

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