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Ramadan UAE News

EID IN THE UAE

Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, and the Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, extended their greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr

Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, and the Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, extended their greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr, wishing him good health and happiness to continue the path of giving, progress and development for the benefit of the country.

This came during a reception hosted today by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; to Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, and Their Highnesses the Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, at Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi.

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed received H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah; H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain; and H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

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Arab News Qatar Ramadan

Qatar Tourism to host Eid Al Fitr Fest

The Eid Al Fitr festival from May 3-5 along Doha Corniche is coordinated with the Ministry of Interior and Ashghal to manage logistical routes at the location

In celebration of Eid al Fitr this year, Qatar Tourism (QT) will host the Eid Festival along the Doha Corniche from Tuesday, May 3 to Thursday, May 5 between 4-11pm each day.  In addition to the region’s first-ever giant balloon parade with a marching band, festival goers are sure to find something for every member of the family – from stage performances and roaming artists to carnival games and food trucks and kiosks followed by fireworks displays that will light up the Doha sky every day at 9pm. The event is coordinated with the Ministry of Interior and Ashghal to manage logistical routes at the location.

Over the course of the festival, the Doha Corniche will be pedestrianised to allow residents and visitors to experience one of the capital city’s most-loved thoroughfares in a new and exciting way. QT is working with its partners at the Ministry of Interior and Ashghal to deliver safe proceedings throughout the Eid Al-Fitr festivities taking place along a 1.4 km stretch of the Doha Corniche. Moreover, during the three-day festival, there will be live musical performances daily at 19:30 featuring renowned local and regional artists.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced that Doha Corniche Street will be temporary closed from 3 to 5 May, specifically from Tuesday early morning to Thursday midnight. The reopening of traffic will resume on the morning of May 6th in coordination with MoI’s General Directorate of Traffic and the Ministry of Transport.

As per this announcement, traffic closure will go into effect starting 3 May from the Sharq intersection towards the Sheraton intersection in the north and from the Sheraton intersection to the Port intersection in the south, and all roads leading to corniche will be closed, including the following intersections: (Al-Fardan, Al-Jasra, Al-Marmar, Al-Diwan, Al-Maha, Civil Defense and Barzan).

ALSO READ: UAE announces weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday for Federal entities

In order to facilitate movement of individuals to corniche, alternative means of transportation will be available. There are 37 metro stations in Qatar, including 7 that directly lead to Corniche such as (Al-Bidda, Doha Corniche, and West Bay), in addition the second ring road and the third ring bus service on the Corniche. There will also be areas designated for pedestrians, and 7 new facilities for “Park and Ride” available near the metro stations such as the Education City, Al-Qassar, and Al-Wakra.

The Ministry of Interior encourages the public to cooperate with traffic police and abide by traffic diversions to ensure the safety and security to all those using the Corniche Road. It also advises the use of alternative roads designated for vehicles, namely the A-Ring Road and Istiqlal Road.

Engineer Mohamed Ali Al Marri, the Secretary of the Committee for Corniche Street closure implementation plan and Design Engineer: “Ashghal, in coordination with MOI is planning, designing, and implementing the Corniche closure plan, in addition to carrying out some infrastructure works to enhance traffic flow during the closure period. The Supervisory Committee of beautification of Roads & Public Places is working on beautifying and upgrading Al Corniche Street to provide upgraded pedestrian paths, new cycle lanes, new street lighting and increase the landscaped areas. There are also additional pedestrian crossings along Corniche Street and Al Bidda Street. During closure, Ashghal will provide 17 new bus stops for the Corniche Shuttle Bus Routes which will have 25 bus stops, along with about 55 Variable message signs and fixed directional signs across the road network to lead drivers to the alternative routes. Also, over 200 wayfinding signs will be provided to guide visitors along the Corniche.”

This is in addition to developing several intersections and reprogramming the traffic signals timings to ease traffic flow. Furthermore, 40 traffic signal intersections will be upgraded to operate with pedestrian detection system to improve pedestrian safety.

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-Top News Ramadan UAE News

UAE announces weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday for Federal entities

The UAE Cabinet has approved a weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday for all federal government entities operating across the country…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Cabinet has approved a weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday for all federal government entities operating across the country, starting from Saturday, 30th April through Friday, 6th May, 2022, with federal employees to resume duties on Monday, 9th May, 2022.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation earlier announced that the period from 29th Ramadan through 3rd Shawwal 1443 will be a paid Eid holiday for all private sector workers. (WAM)

ALSO READ: May 2 is first day of Eid al-Fitr: Astronomical Centre

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-Top News Arab News Ramadan

May 2 is first day of Eid al-Fitr: Astronomical Centre

The International Astronomical Centre said 2nd May will be the first day of Eid al-Fitr in most countries, as the crescent of Shawwal 1443 A.H. will be seen on Saturday, 30th April, corresponding to 29 Ramadan…reports Asian Lite News

Muhammad Shawkat Odeh, Director of the Centre, noted that in countries that began Ramadan on Sunday, 3rd April, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Oman, Jordan, Morocco and Ghana, the crescent of Shawwal will be seen on Sunday, 1st May.

He added that in countries that will witness the crescent on Saturday, April 30th, seeing the crescent on that day will be impossible because the moon will set before the sun and, therefore, these countries will have completed 30 days of Ramadan, so Eid al-Fitr will start on 2nd May 2022.

ALSO READ: Best ways to observe month of Ramadan in Dubai

In countries that will witness the crescent on 1st May, sighting the moon that day will not be possible in Australia and neighbouring regions but will be possible via telescope in Central and West Asia, most of Europe, and Southern Africa.

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-Top News Ramadan Sharjah

Sharjah police, airport distribute Iftar meals during Ramadan

The initiative came to consolidate the concept of community partnership and positive support for stability, tolerance and fraternity values among all segments of society…reports Asian Lite News

The General Command of Sharjah Police, in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), has carried out a community initiative since the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan by distributing Iftar meals to traffic intersections in the cities of the emirate, and fields during the Iftar period, such as the Iftar cannon at Al Majaz Waterfront.

The initiative came to consolidate the concept of community partnership and positive support for stability, tolerance and fraternity values among all segments of society.

ALSO READ: Ramadan Nights 2022 kicks off at Expo Centre Sharjah

Lt. Col. Mohammed Al Dhahouri, Head of the Public Relations Department of Sharjah Police: “The distribution of Iftar meals is one of the annual initiatives organised by the Sharjah Police General Headquarters with the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which mirrors the noble values that the holy month calls for, and enhances the values and principles of Social responsibility and culture of goodness that is deeply-rooted Emiratis.”

Sharjah airport

In line with its directives to furnish the best services to customers and facilitate their experience during Ramadan, Sharjah Airport has taken an initiative to provide Iftar meals to all the travellers at the airport.

This initiative aims at nurturing the spirit of solidarity and community during the holy month and bring joy to everyone traveling through Sharjah Airport by supporting them and facilitating their travel procedures in any way possible.

Through this initiative, the airport is representing and consolidating the Emirati society’s deeply rooted values and customs, WAM reported.

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Arab News News Ramadan

Eid Al Fitr to fall on May 2

Eid Al Fitr is forecast to fall on May 2nd, the Emirates Astronomical Society (EAS) announced today…reports Asian Lite News

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, EAS’ Board Chairman, said that the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar is predicted to fall on Monday, May 2nd, 2022.

The UAE moon-sighting committee will convene to confirm the official starting date for Eid.

ALSO READ: Ramadan Nights 2022 kicks off at Expo Centre Sharjah

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Ramadan Sharjah UAE News

Ramadan Nights 2022 kicks off at Expo Centre Sharjah

The shopping experience at Ramadan Nights will be enhanced by the opportunity to win a luxury Suzuki Jimny as well as other valuable prizes in various raffle draws held throughout the exhibition…reports Asian Lite News

Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Expo Centre Sharjah on Tuesday for the opening of the ‘Ramadan Nights 2022’ exhibition, the perfect shopping, entertainment, culinary, and cultural destination, scheduled to operate for 15 days throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

The event which is slated to run until 26th April, brings with it big surprises and massive discounts of up 75 percent on a wide range of products amid a pleasant atmosphere, and is one of the largest shopping exhibitions in the region, showcasing over 200 leading retailers and 25 international brands.

Organised by the Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Ramadan Nights 2022 will also feature a plethora of activities and events, including cultural, heritage, religious and health awareness programs, spanning over an area of 15,000 square meters.

In addition, visitors can enjoy delicious local, Arab, and international cuisines at Iftar Corner, pay a visit to the Heritage Village, which features a variety of traditional products such as handicrafts, incense, Ramadan dishes, and drinks, or go to the gaming arena that provides a host of entertainment activities suitable for the entire family.

ALSO READ: Saudi extends use of Eatmarna app for Ramadan pilgrimage

The shopping experience at Ramadan Nights will be enhanced by the opportunity to win a luxury Suzuki Jimny as well as other valuable prizes in various raffle draws held throughout the exhibition. Visitors and shoppers must spend a minimum of AED 200 to be eligible for the draw, which also includes the chance to win purchase vouchers and gifts through different contests.

Brand Bazaar, Nine West, Naturalizer, Hush Puppies, Baby Shop, Kiabi, Toms, X-Pearse One, Al Mandoos Trading Company, and Home Style are among the several other retailers and brands participating in this year’s Ramadan Nights, providing a wide range of products and goods on offer, including clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, perfumes, healthcare products, electronic goods, household appliances, furnishings, interiors, textiles, sports equipment, and toys.

Ramadan Nights will open its doors to visitors from 17:00 until 1:00 throughout the holy month. (WAM)

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Arab News News Ramadan

Soaring prices derail family budget in Middle East

Mideast countries feel pinch of soaring food prices during Ramadan. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which came at a time when economies worldwide are still grappling with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, also poses a challenge to regional food security

 Rising food prices and a worsening economic situation have forced many Middle Eastern families to limit their Ramadan budgets, resulting in lower meat purchases and other traditionally popular food.

During the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims usually make various kinds of food for the fast-breaking meal, known as Iftar. This year, with the Russia-Ukraine conflict compounding the economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer choices for many families in the Middle East.

 Rana Itani, a 34-year-old divorced resident of Beirut, said she could no longer afford the food that her two kids are fond of due to Lebanon’s ongoing economic woes.

“My parents provide me with food now. They either send it to me or my kids, and I go to their place,” Itani, who works as a secretary at a private company in the Lebanese capital, told Xinhua.

Itani, who has been working for the company in Beirut’s Hamra neighborhood for 12 years, is paid 3.5 million LBP (2,308 U.S. dollars) monthly. She also gets 1.5 million LBP from her ex-husband for their children’s school tuition.

“The money I earn is barely enough to cover living, education and health costs … I pay 2 million LBP for the house rental and 1.6 million LBP for power generator fees.” Itani sometimes receives financial help from relatives yet remains short of cash due to the skyrocketing prices of commodities.

“Prices have gone up tremendously … I cannot buy vegetables or fruits. This Ramadan is different,” Itani said, adding that she has been trying to find an extra job to earn more money.

Lebanon has been facing an unprecedented financial crisis amid a shortage of foreign currency reserves, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut port explosions in 2020 that destroyed a big part of the capital city.

In 2021, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia said that the poverty rate in Lebanon was up to 74 percent, while the UN Children’s Fund reported that 77 percent of households did not have enough money to buy food.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which came at a time when economies worldwide are still grappling with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, also poses a challenge to regional food security.

“Many countries rely on supplies from Ukraine and Russia for their food import needs, including numerous least developed countries and low-income food-deficit countries,” Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, director of the trade and markets division of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Disruptions to Ukrainian and Russian grain and oilseed production and exports and restrictions on Russia’s exports can significantly impact global food security, noted Ben-Belhassen.

“FAO’s simulations suggest that international food and feed prices could rise by 8-22 percent above the baseline levels, and the number of undernourished people could increase by 8-13 million people in 2022/23,” he said.

For several weeks, markets in the Gaza Strip have witnessed a remarkable increase in staple food prices, mainly poultry, with the cost of chicken reaching 5.5 U.S. dollars for the first time in years. The item cost 1.5 dollars per kg at most before Ramadan, according to residents.

Soaring prices have made it difficult for many Palestinians to make the meals they prefer during Ramadan.

Sohaila Abdel-Hady, a mother of seven from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, can’t afford to cook chicken for her family. She chose frozen bovine meat imported from Israel as a cheaper alternative.

In the Egyptian capital Cairo, the family of Mahmoud Ahmed, a 40-year-old security guard at a residential building, has not eaten meat for almost one month.

“We are used to cooking meat, rice and other dishes on the first day of Ramadan, but we have not eaten meat since the beginning of the holy month,” the father of four told Xinhua, complaining of rising prices.

“This Ramadan is not as happy as the previous ones because of lack of money and the surging prices of all goods,” said Ahmed, whose monthly salary is around 200 dollars. “My children want to eat meat and chicken … I can buy 1 or 2 kg of frozen meat for the whole month.”

 To soothe the markets, governments in the region have enacted policies to encounter soaring prices for necessities, including diversifying food imports, increasing food subsidies and lowering food taxes. Some countries have shored up their food stocks and reduced reliance on food imports.

In Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, the market price of a ton of flour increased to 11,000 Egyptian pounds (600 dollars) in March, up from 9,000 pounds a month earlier, according to official data.

“A conflict usually impacts the global economy and causes a surge in the price of most commodities, but it mainly affects those countries that import most of their goods,” Abu Nakr al-Deeb, an Egyptian economist, told Xinhua.

He noted that most Middle East countries rely heavily on Russia and Ukraine for food imports, mainly grains, adding that prices will not rapidly return to normal even after the conflict ends.

Al-Deeb said the conflict has raised fuel prices such as gas, oil and coal, posing a great challenge for non-energy-producing countries.

ALSO READ: RAMADAN BUZZ AT TURKISH BAZAARS

“This conflict plunged many countries of the region into a state of stagnation and affected the exchange rate of local currencies against foreign currencies, especially the U.S. dollar,” he said.

The expert said governments in the region have taken a series of measures to maintain the flow of supplies and control the prices of commodities, mainly food.

In Egypt, which imported 80 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine in 2021, the central bank decided to raise the key interest rate by 1 percent for the first time since 2017.

For three months, the Egyptian government has also set a fixed price for unsubsidized bread to ensure food security for those who mainly depend on the staple, al-Deeb noted.

“Such measures can ease the burden,” al-Deeb said, “but still, the crisis is ongoing.”

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Arab News Ramadan Saudi Arabia

Saudi extends use of Eatmarna app for Ramadan pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia will use a mobile application to facilitate visitors’ pilgrimage to Mecca during the holy month of Ramzan, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said…reports Asian Lite News

Travellers observing Umrah, a form of pilgrimage to Mecca, can book their Umrah ritual via the application Eatmarna and enjoy a smoother and safer experience, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Eatmarna, which translates to “let’s perform Umrah,” was originally developed to manage visits during the Covid-19 pandemic when social distancing regulations were in place, Xinhua news agency reported.

The application’s success in ensuring equal access for all worshippers and providing a seamless experience has led the ministry to continue its use after the lifting of restrictions.

ALSO READ: Ramadan brings cheers to Hyderabad after two years

In March, Saudi Arabia announced removing all Covid-related travel restrictions. Travellers no longer need to provide PCR tests or proof of vaccination to enter the country. Institutional quarantine requirements have also been removed.

Meanwhile, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Holy Mosque provides a healthy and safe environment that helps worshippers to perform their rituals, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The entire Grand Holy Mosque is disinfected, sterilised 10 times per day with the participation of more than 4,000 workers. The Presidency uses 130,000 liters of disinfectants and approximately 35,000 liters of steriliztion products to sterilize all surfaces and carpets. Additionally, the Grand Holy Mosque was furnished with 25,000 carpets, it was reported.

As many as 11 smart robots are also used to sterilise the Grand Holy Mosque.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Holy Mosque seeks to harness artificial intelligence and interactive screens to serve the worshipers and Umrah performers, the report added.

Categories
India News Ramadan

Mumbai’s Ramzan Bazar rolls out red carpet

As the government has lifted all the pandemic related curbs from this month, and the annual food market is set to manifest itself in full glory…writes Quaid Najmi

After an unprecedented ‘shutdown’ for two consecutive years (2020-2021) due to the Covid-induced restrictions, Mumbai’s famed Ramzan food market in and around Mohammed Ali Road is all ready to buzz just like it did before in its around 250-year-old history.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has lifted all the pandemic related curbs from this month, and the annual food market is set to manifest itself in full glory at Mohammed Ali Road, Minara Masjid, Bhendi Bazaar, and other bylanes, to whip up the favourite goodies for the foodies, from the first day of the holy Ramzan month of fasting on Sunday/Monday.

Local Congress MLA Amin Patel is the moving spirit behind the ‘revival’ of the food bazaar that is ‘house-full’ from sunset to sunrise, making it a memorable, adventurous culinary night-out for the thousands of patrons from Mumbai, other states and even foreigners for the entire month.

“This week, I met all the stakeholders, requested for strict hygiene and cleanliness, physical distancing, regular sanitising and twice day-time fogging of the entire region, adequate fire-safety norms and uninterrupted power supply… All the concerned departments will fully cooperate,” Patel told IANS.

For the past two Ramzans, the market was closed and deserted, the centuries old glitter and lights were missing as people crouched indoors during the first and second waves of the pandemic, unwilling to take chances.

“We are ready to roll out the red carpet for our beloved patrons and food-lovers whose presence we missed the past two years,” said Abdullah Rehman Khan, owner of the decades-old landmark ‘Mashaallah Cuisine’, which nestles under the shadow of the 25-decade-old Minara Masjid, where the trend started in a small way.

Khan reveals a bonus this time as many unheard and untasted varieties will be introduced for the vegetarians, non-vegetarians, sweet-lovers and snackers, with the specialised ‘Khansamas’ (traditional Master Chefs) wracking their creative skills to dish out brand new mouth-watering savory delights.

Electronics engineer Mohsin Shaikh — who runs the 100-year old family business, ‘Minara Paan Shop’ — is optimistic that the Ramzan food market reopening will signal the beginning of good days again for lakhs of families who depend on it for survival.

“There will be the usual select, enticing, aromatic 400-plus non-vegetarian items, over 100 assorted desserts and beverages, employing more than 5,000 people, many more indirectly, all supporting their families back home, helping churn the economy in these tough times,” said Shaikh, whose outlet is renowned for the 50-plus ‘tobacco-free’ yummy paan concoctions.

Veteran Urdu scribe Aejaz A. Ansari, a resident of Nagpada, said the Ramzan market’s history is intertwined with the awe-inspiring Minara Masjid, where it started, initially with just a handful of tiny food stalls that gradually mushroomed over the decades and centuries.

“In the past six-seven decades, it acquired a cult-status for its sheer food variety, the unique preparation styles, unmatched taste, attracting food-buffs from all over India and abroad,” said Ansari, charting out his own family ‘iftaar’ menu for the entire holy month.

Khan said certain dishes are specially prepared or available here only during Ramzan, many of which are ‘secret family recipes’ handed down from generations which people flock to savour.



Around 25 per cent of the crowd are Muslims, 60 per cent non-Muslims and the rest are tourists/foreigners.

“The main market spawns around one km on each side of Minara Masjid, the rest is a spill-over that emerges to cater to massive Ramzan demand. There are around 100-plus food stalls in the main market, and the rest another 400-odd sellers. It’s a veritable ‘national integration through food’ celebration during Ramzan,” Khan said.

“The overall theme is lip-smacking Mughlai cuisine, and we have specialised ‘visiting’ biryani chefs from Lucknow, nihari doyens of Delhi, tawa food experts from Bahraich (UP), gravy masters, and more such food exponents,” said Javed Makhdum of Bhopal, one such migratory maestro of non-veg food mixes.

The food market — with 90 per cent non-vegetarian offerings — attracts around 40,000 people daily, the number zooms up to 100,000 on weekends, and the month closes with a stupendous 1.50 million hungry but satisfied customers in that swarming district.

“Usually, each person spends around Rs 500-800 for a hearty meal, so calculate the massive business generated here. Thousands of families work only in the Ramzan month and comfortably survive the remaining 11 months. That’s due to the ‘barkat’ (benevolence) of the Minara Masjid,” Khan said.

Given the current all-round inflationary trend, rising costs of all inputs, including manpower, most outlet-keepers, including Makhdum, admit that there will be “at least a 50-60 per cent” hike in the prices, but are confident that the tummy will rule over the pockets of the patrons.

Die-hard food connoisseurs, some drive down from neighbouring states and others fly down from places like even Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Goa and Hyderabad, besides the locals, return home pleased, with tasty and tall tales of their wild nights of gluttony here, said Ansari.

Regular celebs here include Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Suniel Shetty, Katrina Kaif, Mahesh Bhatt, Alia Bhatt, Ayesha Takiya-Azmi, Remo D’Souza, Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

But local restaurateurs whisper how they don’t really prefer to entertain these celeb entertainers who “disrupt the whole market ambience with their brief starry appearances”, so now many bigwigs prefer to pick up parcels quietly in their dark-tinted glass vehicles, depart without fan-fare to enjoy their delicious fare elsewhere.

At times, open-mouthed catering college students troop here on ‘field assignments’ or frowning professional chefs of top hotels/restaurants quietly visit, their critical eyes scouring the area as the hungry minions dare to devour streetside delicacies without a care.

The food bazar has spawned many clones in Mumbai and other cities, but people like Khan swear that the ‘ronak’ (splendour) of the Mohammed Ali Road market surpasses that of the Ramzan mega-food congregations in Istanbul, Dubai, Cairo, Jakarta or Casablanca…!

ALSO READ: Ramadan brings cheers to Hyderabad after two years