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Living in United Arab Emirates







Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five Pillars of Islam. The fast is observed each day from sunrise to sunset. Muslims rise before dawn to have a pre-fast meal which is called Suhoor and after dusk, they break their fast with the Iftar meal. Celebrating the holy month of Ramadan has become a fusion of culture and religion. Come Iftar and Suhoor families can be seen heading to either tents or popular restaurants in different hotels across Dubai. Most Iftar venues in hotels are bedecked with Arabic and Ramadan themes, others have gone beyond that by putting up special tents overlooking the most tranquil of surroundings and they all have their own special way of wooing families, with Iftar food specialties playing a major role. Read more

HARTLAND YOUNG CHEFJamie’s Italian restaurant partners with Hartland International School and launches the Young Chef Award

One of Dubai’s most exciting new schools, Hartland International School is raising awareness for healthy cooking for children by launching the ‘Young Chef Award’ competition in partnership with the famed restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, located at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

The competition invites children to participate in a kitchen cook-off to re-create a healthy meal using fresh ingredients and creative cooking methods. Those that are shortlisted will then be invited for a final cook-off to win a spot to showcase their winning creation on Jamie’s Italian Weekend Special Boards, as well as the chance to win many other prizes such as laptops, book vouchers, dining vouchers and a day tour of Jamie’s Italian with an exclusive cookery class. Read more

With Dubai being such a transient society this time of year witnesses the beginning of the leaving parties.  If you are in the midst of moving out of your home we are sure the last thing you want to be thinking about is catering for your big farewell party.  Here at Expat Echo Dubai we believe you should enjoy the party so have put together a list of outside catering companies which will rescue you from days spent in the kitchen filling canapés and polishing the glasses & cutlery.  These companies will arrive at your home with the food, tables, chairs, table cloths and even the waiters.  Many of the companies can provide anything ranging from a five course sit down dinner to the Shawarma man (secretly everyone’s favorite!). Read more

pier-chicJumeirah Restaurant Group Dubai (JRG Dubai) and Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts will host the fourth installment of Jumeirah Restaurant Week in the UAE from 14–23 May 2015.

The Spring 2015 edition features over 40 Jumeirah restaurants located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, include Pierchic, Pai Thai and The Noodle House at Madinat Jumeirah, Junsui and Al Iwan at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, and The Ivy, The Rib Room and Alfie’s at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.Restaurants at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers are also participating.

UAE residents are encouraged to re-discover favourite Jumeirah restaurants and sample new brands during this celebrated annual 10-day event, which offers diners three-course set menus showcasing the best of each restaurant’s cuisine at a very affordable price. Read more

Bu-Qutair-fish-restaurant-in-dubai-mcpDubai means five-star (and seven star) hotels, lavish limos, outrageous gold cocktails and luxury dining doesn’t it? Yes…and no. This city is home to all nationalities and budgets with a wealth of eateries to match. Since we arrived in Dubai in 2000 we’ve had a steady stream of visitors, many returning again and again. Their favourite places to go are not the sparkly, glitzy ones (although they like those too) but the street cafés, holes in the walls and other unique eating haunts. So when you’ve maxed out your credit card at the Skyview bar, in Dubai Mall or at Dubai World Cup, here are the top three favourite budget places to eat as road-tested by my friends and family. Highly recommended whether you’re a tourist or resident – just don’t expect linen napkins. And I better mention that they are all Read more

ChefXChange-2-300x147When I first started FooDiva all of four years ago, I also had another idea – an online community showcasing chefs for hire. Since then, a week does not go by when I am asked to recommend a private chef or boutique caterer, and we have so many in Dubai now. Well someone beat me to it – meet ChefXChange – a website that spotlights chefs who can cook for you at home taking care of the menu development, grocery shopping and of course cooking, and even washing up! These are not just private chefs for hire, but restaurant chefs are on their books too – covering all different cuisines, whether it’s a special dinner party, an informal soirée, or even weekly meals. What I love about at-home entertaining is the cost saving in alcohol, avoiding the premium prices Dubai hotels and restaurants demand. Dubai aside, ChefXChange’s reach extends to London, Geneva and Washington DC. Read more

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