10 Things to eat in Dubai and where

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The emirate of Dubai is one of the most sought after destinations by luxury tourists and grandeur. In this country everything stands out for being great and majestic, like the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world or like the New Year celebrations, with the impressive fireworks show, as well as the tallest hotel in the world.
These attractions have made tourism one of the main industries of the country, but not only: Dubai is also the nation made up for over 80% by foreigners. Here because a gastronomic tour it can be a pleasantly varied experience full of surprises. Here we have selected the 10 dishes not to be missed in Dubai.


  1. Dates
  2. Camelccino
  3. Harees
  4. Falafel
  5. Shawarma
  6. Kabsa
  7. Balaleet
  8. Koshari
  9. Baklava
  10. Cous cous
  11. Where to eat: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Dates

The plantations of these dates are located in Saudi Arabia, which produces them over 20 varieties. They are excellent for breakfast but beware: it is true that they are fat-free, but on the other hand they are a very high-calorie food! The dates of Bateel are famous, in a very refined restaurant, but in general they can be purchased in supermarkets and markets.

  • Recommended for: breakfast, snack
  • Average cost: about 30 Euros per portion
  • Main ingredients: dates

2 - Camelccino

Similar to that of cow but slightly saltier, the camel milk it is low in fat and is increasingly used. In Dubai it is possible to taste the cappuccino made using this product.

  • Recommended for: breakfast, snack
  • Average cost: about 5 Euros
  • Main ingredients: camel milk, coffee, spices

3 - Harees

Among the cornerstones of Arab cuisine, this dish consists of some kind of pudding made from wheat and meat, usually bovine. To get the ideal consistency it is necessary a long and patient preparation. Each area has its own recipe, enriched with cardamom, onion or turmeric and cinnamon.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: about 9 Euros
  • Main ingredients: wheat, beef, spices

4 - Falafel

Now cleared also in Europe, they are the famous ones meatballs with legumes, which are then fried and spiced. To prepare them you need to chop broad beans, chickpeas and beans, add onion, garlic, cumin and coriander.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: about 2 Euros per portion
  • Main ingredients: legumes, onion, garlic, spices

5 - Shawarma

It is none other than the well known kebab, dish brought to Europe by the Turks. In Dubai it is prepared on a large spit and consists of a mix of lamb, sheep, chicken, goat or beef, also coated in sheep fat.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: about 3 Euros
  • Main ingredients: lamb, sheep, chicken, goat and beef

6 - Kabsa

It is a rice-based dish with the addition of meat, spices but also vegetables and dried fruit. The meat can be kid, lamb, camel or the more traditional chicken and beef. Instead of meat there can also be fish or shrimp. The dish can be prepared with the "mandi" technique, where the meat is cooked in a hole in the ground, or following the "mathbi", which implies the cooking on stones heated from a brazier, or the "madghut" method it provides the use of the pressure cooker. Spices are essential: cardamom and saffron, pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon and many others are used, as well as onions, sultanas and pine nuts.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: about 5 Euros
  • Main ingredients: rice, kid meat, lamb, camel, chicken and beef, fish, shrimp, dried fruit

7 - Balaleet

It is discs of very thin dough made using ingredients such as eggs, onions, cinnamon, with the addition of sugar and oil. This dish is typical for breakfast.

  • Recommended for: breakfast
  • Average cost: about 5 Euros
  • Main ingredients: eggs, onions, cinnamon, sugar and oil

8 - Koshari

They are gods vegetarian baked noodles with chickpeas and lentils, served with a tray of savory condiments.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: about 4 Euros
  • Main ingredients: legumes, spices

9 - Baklava

You have probably tasted it by ordering it in some place that offers kebabs, this one typically Middle Eastern dessert, which can also be found in the Balkan tradition. The dessert is prepared with a few simple ingredients: phyllo dough, sugar syrup (or honey) and, according to the different variants, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts. In Dubai it is used as gift to offer to guests.

  • Recommended for: breakfast, snack
  • Average cost: about 2 Euros
  • Main ingredients: filo pastry, sugar or honey, dried fruit

10 - Cous cous

A dish originally from North Africa, but now widespread throughout the world, couscous is based on durum wheat flour. The recognizable grains are steamed and then rehydrated before consumption. There are several variations, which involve the use of vegetables but also meat, fish and fruit.

  • Recommended for: lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: about 4 Euros
  • Main ingredients: durum wheat semolina, vegetables, meat, fruit

Where to eat: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

Dubai, a modern and cosmopolitan city, in the culinary field it does not give up its traditions. Alongside places offering international dishes, in fact, there are restaurants offering meat and fish cooked as they once were and small bars ideal for street food based on falafel, shawarma and other specialties.

While in the Marina area there are refined and luxurious places, in Deira and Bur districts you can still find cafes serving exquisite street food.

1 - Al Fanar

  • Description: a restaurant inspired by the Emirati past, featuring a red ceiling and traditionally dressed waiters. The menu is illustrated and based on typical dishes
  • specialty: rice with lamb, sauteed fish in sauce
  • Average price: from 42,00 AED (about € 10,40) per person
  • Address: Ground Floor, Dubai Festival City Mall, Near PFChang's, Canal Walk - Get Directions / Website

2 - 101 Lounge & Bar

  • Description: inside a pavilion on the private port of One & Only The Palm with a view of the Dubai skyline, it is ideal for aperitifs, lunches and dinners; the price is quite high
  • specialty: grilled fish, paella
  • Average price: from 150,00 AED (about € 37,00) per person
  • Address: West Crescent, Palm Jumeirah One & Only The Palm - Get directions

3 - Sind Punjab

  • Description: Indian restaurant opened in 1977 in Meena Bazaar, the atmosphere is familiar and the cuisine is excellent
  • specialty: chicken in butter and dal makhni (lentil and bean stew)
  • Average price: from 40,00 AED (about € 10,00) per person
  • Address: Bukaz Bldg, 29 Al Esbij St - Get Directions / FB Page

4 - Al Ustad Special Kebab

  • Description: a place frequented by sheikhs and shoe shiners that has always satisfied everyone's palates with its excellent kebab; the waiters are quick and serve in a room lined with photographs
  • specialty: kebab, yogurt marinated chicken with rice
  • Average price: from 35,00 AED (about € 8,50) per person
  • Address: Al Musallah Rd - Get directions

5 - Ravi

  • Description: Five-star chefs, taxi drivers and ordinary people come to this restaurant in the Jumeirah area to taste the Pakistani specialties on offer; the prices are rock bottom, the environment simple but it won't disappoint you
  • specialty: mutton tikka and chicken masala biryani
  • Average price: from 25,00 AED (about € 6,00) per person
  • Address: At Satwa Rd, Satwa - Get Directions / Fb Page

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