Second OIC festival in Abu Dhabi celebrates Islam to form new bonds

Festival organizers, from left, Faisal Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Youssef Aldobeay and Mohammed Saif Helal Al-Shehhi.
Updated 23 April 2019
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Second OIC festival in Abu Dhabi celebrates Islam to form new bonds

The second Organization of Islamic Cooperation Festival will be a four-day celebration of Islam and a platform for Muslim countries from around the world to strengthen collaboration and form new bonds, said organizers the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, UAE minister of tolerance, from April 24 to 27 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.

During the official launch, festival representatives outlined how the four-day event serves as a vehicle to celebrate the underlying positivity of Islam and demonstrate the work of the OIC in cultivating cultural diversity through essential elements such as arts and music. 

“The festival is a gateway for Muslims around the world to gain invaluable insight into the diversity of their faith through the range of different cultures and traditions of nations within our organization, while remaining true to the religious values of Islam. In addition, it serves as a crucial educative and informative platform for non-Muslims to learn about our faith,” said Youssef Aldobeay, adviser to the secretary general for political affairs, elected assistant secretary general for political affairs and OIC general secretariat. 

“Furthermore, the four days will give participating countries a great opportunity to unite and engage in inter-faith, cross-country dialogue on ways in which they can collaborate and form new bonds for the benefit of their nations, their people and the organization.”

The festival, which coincides with the UAE Year of Tolerance, will address a range of topics, including tolerance as a foundation in Islam, the role of youth in spreading the culture of tolerance, and the importance of tolerance and moderation in worship.

“The festival aims to enrich the global awareness of Islamic culture,” said Mohammed Saif Helal Al-Shehhi, director of the United Nations Administration, MOFA.

Organizers revealed that the festival will feature a main stage area where Islamic scholars and thought leaders will present lectures and workshops.

The main stage will also host live performances by the Abu Dhabi Folklore Group, showcasing traditional UAE arts and culture, the Alexandria Folklore Dance Troupe from Egypt, and a display of Emirati Malid — a traditional Emirati art that embodies the UAE’s culture heritage.


Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh unveils Ramadan tent

The five-star hotel’s iftar buffet features an abundance of Arabic and international Ramadan specialties.
Updated 26 May 2019
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Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh unveils Ramadan tent

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is inviting guests to its lamp-inspired Ramadan tent for an opulent gastronomic experience and authentic spiritual ambience.
This year’s Ramadan tent theme “Siraj,” a literal interpretation of “lantern,” transforms one of the hotel’s ballrooms into an exquisitely decorated dining area featuring a lavish iftar buffet.
The classic decor reminisces the role of traditional lamps, which were used in the past for lighting family gatherings and its flame was considered the means to keep those gatherings alive even after dark. Since then, lanterns have been used to decorate houses, shops and streets in the holy month.
Mohammed Marghalani, manager at Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, said: “The project is the result of the cooperation of various employees in the hotel — starting from the tent’s name through to the variety and quality of dishes and the reception and care of the valued ladies and gentlemen visiting us.”
“Ramadan preparations are deeply rooted in our traditions as they emphasize the uniqueness of this special month. The real essence of Arabian hospitality focuses on making visitors and guests feel appreciated and comfortable,” he added.
Ramadan tents in hotels offering iftar and suhoor delicacies have become a tradition in the Kingdom during the fasting month.

HIGhLIGHT

The buffet spread features cuisines from around the world, from Saudi dishes to Asian, Italian and Turkish specialities, displayed in various live stations.

Hundreds of people turn up daily for the lavish meals with family and friends, amid sophisticated decor and five-star service.
On entering the palace-like venue, guests are greeted with the warm and smoky scent of oud at the reception.
The five-star hotel’s iftar buffet features an abundance of Arabic and international Ramadan specialties. Each table is elegantly laid out with dates, Arabic coffee and appetizers.
The buffet spread features cuisines from around the world, from Saudi dishes to Asian, Italian and Turkish specialities, displayed in various live stations.
The star of the buffet is the dessert selection comprising both Middle Eastern and international favorites guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Prices range from SR325 ($86) per adult to SR160 for children. Kids under the age of six dine for free. The tent is open from sunset until 9:00 p.m.
The 492-room Ritz-Carlton has 52 acres of landscaped gardens and is one of the most luxurious five-star properties in the capital.