DUBAI: Should you be hosting your own iftar this Ramadan, there are dos and don’ts to bear in mind, especially with the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent government restrictions it has brought about.
Certified Egyptian etiquette consultant Dina El-Selmy has long been a resource for dinner party hosts looking to create a night to remember. Here, the founder of Urban Etiquette, an online platform dedicated to everything to do with manners, shares her top etiquette tips for hosting a small iftar gathering this Ramadan.
Check health guidelines
Consider the World Health Organization’s safety and health rules regarding COVID-19 to protect loved ones while celebrating together.
Invite only the government-mandated number of guests and ensure physical distancing between people by adding a place card with the guest’s name on it, or use engraved napkins. “For extra measures, provide all necessary supplies such as hand sanitizer and tissues, closed-lid bins and masks,” advises El-Selmy.
Your invitations matter
Include the date, time, location and any additional details, such as health guidelines or a specific Ramadan theme, on the invitation to make things smoother for yourself and your guests.
Consider the Iftar menu
No iftar gathering is complete without a beautiful table-scape or a mouth-watering food menu. However, when planning an iftar, it’s important to keep your guests’ dietary preferences in mind. “A golden tip is to keep a variety of healthy choices on your iftar table,” says El-Selmy.
Make sure the meal is prepped, the table is set, and your outfit is picked out well before your guests arrive, for a seamless and stress-free evening.
Create a spiritual atmosphere
“Consider creating a quiet, comfortable space for your guests to pray,” says the etiquette consultant. “The prayer space can be in the corner of a room or a designated area in the garden.”
It’s important to make your guests feel valued throughout the evening. “Don’t forget to thank your guests for coming as you say goodbye and thank anyone who brought you a gift,” says El-Selmy.