What is Dubai’s Famous Food?

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A platter of meat showing some of Dubai's famous food
Dubai is a great place to experience authentic Arabic cuisine.

Often hotel cuisine is different from the cuisine in thе rest of the area, so make sure you enjoy the local food when traveling through Dubai as well. Note that even if you are travelling alone in Dubai, you can still explore food markets if you feel comfortable doing so.

The chefs at your luxury hotel in Dubai will likely cater to Western tastes, making the food milder and less authentic. On another note, Dubai is a Muslim region, so you will not find pork dishes in most restaurants. Popular options are lamb, camel, beef, chicken and seafood.

A chef offers a customer to taste Dubai's famous food
Often hotel cuisine is different from the cuisine in the rest of the area.

What Are Dubai’s Famous Foods?

Dubai is the destination for travellers wanting to indulge in the city’s traditional Arabic cuisine. The most popular authentic Emirati dish is the deliciously cheap Shawarma and is considered fast food in Dubai. The meal is a type of spicy meat (chicken, beef or lamb) served in a wrap, so you must try it while you’re out and about. If you dislike spicy food, you might find thе spices a bit too strong, so some extra mint sauce and salad will help to lighten the spices.

A boat, lit up by coloured lights, sits on the harbour and serves amazing Dubai food
There are so many options for eating out in Dubai.

If you’re searching for an authentic food experience in this city, you should also try the following local delicacies: 

Gahwa – an Arabic coffee, served in the UAE and represents hospitality and generosity when greeting guests. It is rich with the scents of cardamom and cloves.

Kanafeh – a sugary pastry made of crisp noodle-like pastry or finely-shredded semolina dough, soaked in a sugar syrup, and layered with cheese and topped with chopped pistachios, is best eaten straight from the pan.

Luqaimat – sweet deep-fried dumplings with a similar taste and texture to doughnuts, and served with a sticky date sauce and topped with sesame seeds.

Al Harees – a traditional Arabic dish that’s especially popular during Ramadan. Al Harees is a savoury porridge-like dish made of ground wheat and meat slow-cooked for hours until set. They are served on flat plates and topped with ghee (clarified butter).

Manousheh (or manakish) – a flatbread which is crispy outside with a soft, chewy centre and is eaten for breakfast in Dubai.

Tabbouleh – a zesty salad made from tomatoes, green onions and cucumber and seasoned with fresh mint and lemon juice. It is healthy and refreshing with any meal. Commonly available at any Arabic restaurant.

Camel meat & camel milk – saltier than cow’s milk, it is rich in protein, low in cholesterol, and high in vitamin C and iron. Modern chefs in Dubai like it for its robust, exotic flavours and have increasingly used camel in burgers and stews.

Al Machboos (Majboos) – a traditional rice dish and delicacy in Emirati cooking, with rich aromatic flavours is cooked in large pots with chicken, lamb or seafood, onions, Baharat (an Arab spice mix) and loomi (dried limes).

Dubai is the destination for travellers wanting to indulge in the city’s traditional Arabic cuisine.

Gopher Burrow