The Rise of the Corporate Iftar

Corporate Iftars have not yet taken off in South Africa. But in the Middle East and other Muslim countries it is common for large corporates to treat the whole company, Muslim and non Muslim to Iftar dinners during Ramadaan.

Muslims are usually a minority in most South African corporates, being only 2.5% of the population. However in South Africa, we have had freedom to practice all aspects of our religion for many years. This has fostered a greater understanding, tolerance and camaraderie in the workplace around the concept of Ramadan.

During my own time in corporate, I was often cajoled by my non Muslim co-workers to bring boeber (pez) and savouries to work. I did this happily, proud to share my heritage in the office.

Why host a Corporate Iftar?

It’s important that a company supports all its employees. An event like this acknowledges their Muslim employees and the importance of Ramadaan to them.

  • An Iftar gives employees a chance to connect with each other on a cultural level, promoting diversity and inclusion.
  • An Iftar can also help strengthen bonds between colleagues and allow them to get to know each other better, further improving the workplace environment.
  • An event like this can add more meaning to your employees’ religion and culture, helping them feel welcome at work.
  • An Iftar allows staff at all levels to join in their company’s culture and values during Ramadan.

In Cape Town I have heard of a few companies that do corporate Iftars. So Johannesburg and Durban, you need to catch up.

This year the Hyatt group of hotels comprising Hyatt Regency in Cape Town, Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton and Hyatt House Johannesburg Rosebank, have a specific focus on corporate Iftar bookings. Read more about it here.


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