When you think Arabian Nights, what comes to mind? We’re guessing flashes of gold, plush draping, magic carpets, and genies in a bottle. This theme inspires endless opportunities for an unforgettable party, with you and your guests getting the chance to experience international flavors in a totally glamorous atmosphere. Save yourself the first-class flights on Emirates Airlines and celebrate with an Arabian nights theme party!
An Arabian Nights theme is a chic choice for your birthday party, a bridal shower, or even an engagement party. It allows you and your guests to totally immerse yourself in the rich colors and tastes found in Middle Eastern culture, encouraging indulgence to the max. Dressing up is highly recommended, so you can break out your harem pants and best gold jewelry and get ready for the party of a lifetime.
Here’s everything you need for an Arabian Nights theme party:
Arabian Nights Themed Entertainment
Henna Tattoo Artists
Photo: Jorietha Rabie/shutterstock.com
A mainstay of any celebration throughout the Arabian Peninsula, get creative with the help of a henna tattoo artist. These temporary tattoos are created with a dye that stains your skin with the design. There are plenty of artists that specialize in henna tattoos for all kinds of celebrations, so you and your guests can get some temporary body art to commemorate a wonderful night!
Photo: Jaroslaw Saternus/shutterstock.com
Add a touch of the esoteric to your Arabian Nights celebration by hiring a fortune teller. Those that are educated in Middle Eastern practices of fortune-telling can be hired to read tarot cards, coffee grounds, and even the fate written on the palms of your hands. What could be more tempting than taking a peek into the future?
Photo: Mary W Fire and Belly Dancer
Belly dancers are a classic addition to any Middle Eastern-themed bash. A troupe of talented dancers can mesmerize you and your guests by performing a traditional routine. You can even level up and make it an interactive experience by hiring dancers to teach you some belly dancing moves of your own!
Arabian Nights Themed Venue
Stake your place in your favorite park, field, or any wide-open (and hireable) space with a luscious event tent. These specially designed tents allow you and your guests to enjoy the elements of both an indoor and outdoor celebration. You can search for upscale tents with specific drapings, or decorate standard gazebos with your own Arabian Nights-themed flair.
Photo: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com
Combine your celebrations with stunning rooftop views to simulate your very own magic carpet ride. With a rooftop terrace, you can decorate the space with plenty of ornamental rugs, floor pillows, and other relaxing elements as your celebration is lit by golden hour. As dusk settles, sparkling stars add an extra magical dimension to your party, helping you create a night that your guests will never forget.
Want to keep your party a little closer to home? No problem. A backyard is the perfect setting for an intimate Arabian Nights themed party. Gather those closest to you and a whole lot of draping to create a relaxing imaginary trip to the Middle East.
Your backyard party gives you the chance to dress up without leaving the comfort of your home, sharing food, fun, and shisha with friends in your happy place.
Arabian Nights Theme Party Food
In recent years, hummus has become a go-to party dip but did you know that it originated in the Middle East? That makes it the perfect side for your Arabian Nights party. You can even deviate from the store-bought options and make your own, combining the traditional chickpeas, lemon, and tahini with spices of your choice. Match them up with pita flatbreads and carrot sticks, and dig in!
One for the meat lovers, shawarma consists of thinly-sliced meat mounted on a vertical rotisserie. What makes this meat dish irresistible is its versatility and combination of spices, bringing out the flavor in every single bite. You can opt for traditional lamb or mutton shawarma, or go for chicken, turkey, or beef.
Figs and Dates
You’ve always got to leave room for dessert! Figs and dates are a mainstay in the Middle Eastern diet, and you can easily dress them up to create a delectable after-dinner treat. Think combining figs with date caramel and dark chocolate with a dusting of pistachio, or simply drizzling some honey over them.
Arabian Nights Theme Drinks
Tart and cooling, limonana is a classic Middle Eastern drink that is designed to chill you out in that hot desert weather. Made with a combination of crushed ice, mint, lemon juice, and sugar, it can easily be flipped into a cocktail by adding vodka or rum. If you prefer to keep it non-alcoholic, this drink is a reliable refresher that you can sip throughout your party.
Pomegranate Molasses Cocktails
Ripening across the Middle East, pomegranates are a common fruit in this particular culinary area. For yet another touch of authenticity to your Arabian Nights party, consider picking up some pomegranate molasses. You can combine this tart syrup with soda water and lemon juice, along with the alcohol of your choice if you wish, for a delicious long drink.
Genie in a Bottle Cocktails
Make a wish! You can create awesome party favors by creating a large batch of a cocktail or mocktail of your choice (see our Arabian Nights-centric choices above) and bottling them in a corked glass. Add some edible glitter for extra sparkle and finish off with a custom tag for your guests’ names and you’ve got your very own genie in a bottle.
Arabian Nights Theme Party Creative Details
Arabian Nights Attire
One of the most fun aspects of any good Arabian Nights party is the chance to dress up. We totally recommend that you go all-out. This style calls for floaty harem or yoga pants, crop tops, billowing shirts, waistcoats, gold jewelry of all kinds (and plenty of it!), and dramatic eye makeup for guests of every gender.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stage your very own photo shoot with guests in all of their Arabian-inspired glam. You can also hire a photo booth to capture everyone in their attire.
Rich Jewel Tones
Opulence and indulgence are the order of the day for an event like this, and what’s more luxe than a good jewel tone? Your decor should incorporate a number of different textures, like velvet and silk for draping and throw pillows, but the color is key. A rainbow selection of rich colors tinged with a touch of gold is the ideal palette for your perfect Arabian Nights party.
Take your immersive event to the next level by incorporating yet another one of your five senses. You’ve already set the scene with the vibrant decor, so consider safely lighting some incense or setting up some oil burners so the rich oud of the Middle East can waft through your party. You and your guests can close your eyes and breathe deep, being totally transported by smell alone.
The use of hookah or shisha pipe is a centuries-old tradition in Arab countries. Shisha experts are available to set up mobile shisha bars where you and your friends can gather around ornate water pipes and choose a flavor of herbal shisha to smoke.
These flavors can range from fruity to synthetic (bubblegum, anyone?), so everyone’s tastes will be satisfied. Not to mention, shisha makes for a great photo opportunity. Trust us, your Insta feed will thank you.
Find more theme party ideas here on The Bash.