Ramadan is about humility, about fasting from sun up 'til sun down, and above all about finally sharing your first meal of the day with your nearest and dearest. This is usually done in the safety of our homes, but for those of you who want all the comforts of traditional Ramadan cuisine, mixed with a bit of luxury, some shisha and possibly a Nile view, this selection of Ramadan tents may be right up your alley.
Event Republic's annual Ramadan kheima has everything you could want; shisha, old-fashioned backgammon and cards, some board games for the more adventurous of you and that gorgeous Nile view that we all pretend doesn't matter that much, but it actually does. Le Pacha has a well-earned reputation for serving up good food, and during Ramadan, what more could you ask for? For reservations, call 0100-294-7111.
You've got backgammon, card decks, chess and your own personal TV at each table. Not to mention that whole being on a terrace overlooking the vast majority of Cairo bit. The food will be good, the shisha will be better, and the people sitting with you will be the best part of it. All you need to do is make a reservation at 02-2461-9494.
As one of the newer hotels in the city, Le Meridien Cairo Airport still has that new hotel finish to it and is marking its first Ramadan in style with Fawazeer – a kitsch, pop-art-themed flashback to your favourite 90's fawazeer – think Fatouta – but with the added modern entertainment benefits of Wii, X-Box, Playstation or Foosball. In addition, every Friday night will welcome one of Egypt's top bands, with Karakeeb kicking things off on the 26th. To book, call 02-2265-9600.
Less casual, but no less enjoyable, Tarek Nour's Ramadana pioneered this whole modern-day tent business. With this year's venue, Riverside, all about the luxury and enjoyment of its patrons, it's a match made in heaven. You can appreciate all it has to offer while looking unaffected and subtly playing 'spot the celebrity', since that's where they'll all be. Call at 0121-280-1290 for reservations.
As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, you know this kheima won't disappoint. Everything about Si Omar is big; big space, big food, big entertainment and just plain big everything. Round up your friends or family and venture out to that big glass covered orb called the Fairmont Heliopolis and Towers and enjoy your evening. To book, call 16989 or 010-11111-061.
Cavallini combines a night-club feel with that Ramadan atmosphere we all love about Egypt for Goz We Loz. You'll still get what you've come to expect the Heliopolis nightlife venue – think belly-dancers and everything that comes with it – but the costumes will no doubt be bigger, brighter and shinier, in the spirit of Ramadan that is. To reserve a table for you and your accomplices, call 010-6119-1100 or 010-6061-6767.
With some of the best Oriental high-end restaurants in the city, you can count on Sofitel's Welad El Zawat for good food; but with live entertainment and one of the most unique Nile-views in the city from the very tip of Zamalek, this is a perfect spot for winding down on a cool Ramadan evening. Call 010-0000-2192 for a magnifique Ramadan.
It used to be a Basha's palace, so you know the Marriott's tent won't disappoint it's namesake by treating you and your crew with anything less than the service accorded to Som3a himself. You're going to get to dine in one of the nicest outdoor spaces Cairo has to offer and there will be live cooking stations with good, old-fashioned Egyptian street food. It'll be a trip down memory lane all around. To reserve a spot, call 02-2728-3000.
Perched at the top of the Imperial Boat, the Lemon Tree & Co.'s Lemonada offers a contemporary night at a contemporary place. The rustic lounge lends itself nicely to Ramadan, offering good food, good shisha and a good view, but with the added benefit of it being in one of Cairo's funkiest venues. Reservations can be made by calling 0100-222-3999.
Uptown Cairo seems like it's another world to many, but if there was a time ro venture out to New Cairo, it's Ramadan. You're gonna get city views and greenery and fresh air to go along with good food and shisha. Live oriental bands will light up the tent on weekdays, with weekends set to welcome Egypt's top bands. Call 16129 or 01283557000 for reservations.
Less casual than its counterparts, La Gourmandise returns at the Four Seasons looking bigger and better than before. Grand in every sense of the word, daily live entertainment, prize draws, a fetar buffet (320LE) and a swanky a la carte sohour menu ensure a more lavish Ramadan experience - oh and famous singers are set to provide the entertainment on Thursdays. For reservations, call 02-3567-2015.
Usually overshadowed y its namesake shopping mall, InterContinental Cairo Citystars has its own Ramadan shenanigans lined-up with Ramadan kheima, the Lounge. As the names suggests, this particular tent puts a laidback, modern spin on things, with a Lebanese sohour buffet, live bands and even a DJ peppering the nights. For reservations, call 02-2480-0100.
Boasting a stunning view and a cosy open-air area, InterContinental Semiramis' distinctly stylish Ramadan kheima, Fawanees, is perched on the hotel's Nile Terrace and promises a laidback Ramadan experience. With both fetar and sohour at your mercy - covering Asian, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines - and live entertainment on weekends, Fawanees is ideal for outings with either family or friends. For reservations and more information, call 02-2798-8000.