Dubai is a beautiful city to visit and live in. It is such a treat to scale the world’s tallest manmade structure, bask under the Emirati sun while riding a camel and trekking the sand dunes, and go on shopping sprees which the city is famous for. However, aside from all these wonderful activities, one of the things you will surely enjoy is Dubai’s food culture.
The Emirati cuisine is a delicious blend of Asian cuisine and the Middle Eastern. Meats are often the star of dishes, but vegetables are certainly strongly featured, too. The food in this region is unlike any type of food you have had in other countries, so you just need to be prepared and be in for a treat.
What to eat in Dubai?
If you are visiting Dubai, you may want to try some local Arabian food. Dubai has many restaurants that serve these specialties. You can try dishes like stuffed zucchini, tabbouleh, hummus, roast lamb, and vine leaves stuffed with white rice. These dishes are served with the usual spices that Middle Easterners love such as turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. Dates are often found served in restaurants as they are considered a staple food.
You could also try other dishes such as shawarma and ghuzi. Shawarma is meat (usually lamb, beef, chicken, turkey or veal) flavored with spice marinade, skewered and grilled for many hours to tender perfection. Meanwhile, ghuzi is roasted lamb on rice, and served with vegetables and nuts. These two are popular among the locals as well as tourists. Shawarma has even become popular in other countries and is served in many restaurants and food stalls.
Dubai is also known for its mouth-watering desserts. Have you heard of Umm Ali? Umm Ali originated in Egypt and has become one of the most sought-after desserts in Dubai. It is quite similar to the American bread pudding, but made more complexly flavorful with the addition of nuts, cinnamon and cardamom. Served warm or cold, you can have it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it even more interesting.
But let us focus our sights or palate on mouthwatering Arabian food and the restaurants you should make a reservation at.
Here are top 3 Arabic Restaurants that you must visit in Dubai
Have you tried eating scrumptious Arab food while being entertained by actors and belly dancers? Visit Al Hadheerah, a restaurant located at Al Qudra Road, about an hour’s drive away from the airport and surrounded by the beautiful sand dunes. You will surely love the experience.
Al Hadheerah serves buffet dinner from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Mondays to Sundays. They serve whole lambs, barbecue chicken, grilled fish and their must-try kebab. There is also an array of vegetable dishes for vegetarians. It is great for family dinners or a romantic night with a special someone.
The Amaseena has earned a certificate of excellence from Tripadvisor as it has garnered top reviews from its guests. This culinary treasure is located at The Walk at the Jumeirah Residence is open from 7 p.m. until midnight daily.
Amaseena serves Lebanese, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. You will surely enjoy your food with the soft sea breeze and the sound of the gentle waves as they crash on the shore. Spend a minimum of 125 AED per person and you will be treated to a night of culinary excellence.
Located at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, The Courtyard is a favorite among tourists and locals. They serve Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Lebanese food with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options. The Courtyard is open daily from 12 p.m. until 2 a.m. This downtown venue is popular for their Arabian food, shisha, and a relaxing ambience that is perfect for family and friends.
Dubai has become one of the most visited cities in the Middle East and it is no wonder that fancy restaurants can be found in every corner. You can never go wrong with these three choices, but you can also try to explore the city on your own and try out other places. Who knows what you are going to find?
Kumar Samtani is the co-founder of MenuPages.ae, one of the most in-depth online guides to Dubai’s flourishing restaurants. With an educational background in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the prestigious University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Kumar’s expertise lies in process improvement & operations management for all types of organizations. He is also an experienced entrepreneur with business interests in consumer goods, hospitality supplies & real estate.