Dubai during Ramadan is unlike anything you've ever seen. There's a celebratory atmosphere in the air – most offices provide reduced working hours (even for non-Muslims who aren't fasting), many employees are gone during this time, and business slows down. However, the slower pace gives the city a certain charm. And for a month that is primarily dedicated to fasting and devotion, Ramadan appears to revolve quite a bit around Roza iftar party Dubai! The sunrise to sunset fast is broken with an iftar feast, which traditionally begins with dates and water, then a full dinner of numerous courses, and then drifts into shisha, board games, and chatter for long, lingering evenings. Everyone feels a true sense of community due to the shared meals and Iftar combo service in Dubai. Ramadan is best summarized in two words for ex-pats like me: Iftar buffet! Most, if not all, hotels offer a spectacular buffet spread of Arab regional delicacies. Visitors may try traditional foods such as hummus and kibbeh (fried mincemeat croquettes) and lamb ouzi (a typical Emirati dish of rice and meat slow-cooked together) and the iconic bread and butter pudding-style dessert umm ali. The iftar tents are something I look forward to a lot – many top hotels set up enormous air-conditioned tents decked with Arabic lanterns and other traditional motifs, where buffets are served amidst live strains of traditional Oud music. The atmosphere is lovely. Even restaurants that don't serve Arabic cuisine offer Ramadan special food in Ajman and other emirates of the UAE, whether it's a prix-fixe menu or an Arabian touch on some of their international dishes – yes, even French, Chinese, and Japanese eateries! This is the only time of year when this usually sophisticated, urban, expat-heavy city takes on a uniquely Arabesque air. During Ramadan, several charitable programs are also carried out, allowing everyone to participate in giving back following the lavish Dubai Roza iftar party. Add to that the fact that no one is permitted to eat or drink in public during this time, and that everyone is usually a little more covered up than usual, and I've come to appreciate Ramadan for instilling a sense of empathy in me. I even know people who are not compelled to fast but choose to do it freely. Far distant from the city's sparkling, shopping-fueled, partying lifestyle, Ramadan allows a distinct aspect of Dubai to be shown from behind its veil, if only for a few weeks out of the year.