Ramadan tents: A cultural ambience in Saudi Arabia

In recent years, restaurants and hotels have begun running Ramadan tents to attract customers in the Kingdom. (Social media photo)
Updated 31 May 2019

Ramadan tents: A cultural ambience in Saudi Arabia

  • The idea is believed to have been inspired by Egyptians’ charitable tents

JEDDAH: Ramadan tents, usually decorated with lights, have always been popular during the holy month.

The idea is believed to have been inspired by Egyptians’ charitable tents, where each neighborhood would provide a huge tent serving free iftar and suhoor meals to those in need. 

During the meals, talented men from the neighborhood would play instruments and sing to entertain guests.

The idea spread to other Arab countries, where it has become big business. Tents serve the best traditional dishes in each country, and an open buffet. The charge depends on how fancy the tent is and which hotel is providing it.

Ramadan tents in Saudi Arabia were often confined to hotel rooftops and halls, mostly providing iftar and suhoor but without entertainment. But lately, Ramadan activities in the Kingdom have become more entertaining.

On May 9, 2019, an official Twitter account @MawsemRamadan (Ramadan Season) was launched to keep Saudis abreast of various activities organized by the General Entertainment Authority in the cities of Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh and Dammam.



The new Al-Mirkaz tent in Jeddah, with its luxurious style, combines the modern day with the traditional Ramadan atmosphere in the Hijaz region.

It was built this year, attracting different segments of Saudi society and accommodating more than 600 people. The tent offers guests exquisite Saudi, Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The minimum charge is SR370 ($98.66) for iftar, SR400 for suhoor and SR220 for the shisha lounge.

Saudi entrepreneurs showcase their projects at the tent’s side booths. It has been attended by a number of Gulf social media influencers, and Tunisian singer Saber Rebai.



Qamra in Jeddah is more of a Ramadan night than a tent, supporting local brands and gathering many Saudi entrepreneurs and their projects under one roof.

In its third edition, its theme this year is urban designs, and it hosts more than 100 booths for elite Saudi fashion and abaya designers.

Qamra also includes cafes and restaurants, and has been attended by Gulf social media influencers.

“Qamra vibes are the best. I’m really proud to have such activities in the town. It helps promote local talents,” said Zahra Al-Shibani, representing Saudi fashion and accessories brand Mishkat.

The price of entry ranges from SR100 to SR400.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.