Beach Rotana Iftar for Press 2015 - Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi

I attended an Iftar at Beach Rotana in one of its banquet rooms, with memories of last year's iftar still quite fresh in my memory. On this ocassion, members of teh press were invited for an intimate iftar, a meet and greet and thank you if you will on the part of teh hotel. A nice gesture. Staff were out in force, with the newly appointed Director of Marketing Lisbeth Beneski playing a pivotal role in making guests feel the warmth that we all hope for at an iftar. I have long said that an iftar is not about food. It is much more than that. 

A few talking points from the iftar

Less is more

It is an intimate setting, despite the use of one of a banquet room. I find large iftars very intimidating, so this is a strength. It comes back to a  question I often ask about brunches for example, and that is how much food can one really eat at a buffet. Focus on a  few things and excel rather than producing quantity that is mediocre. The buffet area is in a  horse shoe shape, with Ramadan juices on either side. Dessert, appropriately, is in the middle.


Iftars are a challenge for staff because it is like a brunch in a  concentrated time frame, meaning they need to be on their toes. I found the service to be quite slick considering. Timely clearing of plates and replacing of cutlery meant guests could focus on having a good evening.

Recommended dishes

You can expect all the classic Arabian iftar dishes. The salad section is worthy of a few trips with freshness emphasised. In addition to classic Arabic dishes consisting of cold and hot mezze, there were some other crowd favourites like Butter chicken masala, Roasted baby lamb with Oriental rice and my dish of the day, the Chicken biryani. On the dessert front, expected favourites like Um ali and Kanaffa had everyone going for seconds. 

The spirit of Ramadan
While there were a number of reasons for this, the feeling of warmth and connectedness during the iftar reminded me that iftar is not about dishes. It is about family, firstly, and secondly friends. If a hotel can achieve this during two hours, then well done to them. 

The Essentials

Beach Rotana,
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 697 9000

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I consult at restaurants and hotels in an attempt to look at the entire product to take service levels to where they should be. I visited Beach Rotana's iftar as part of the Press, courtesy of the hotel.