Dubai, aptly described as the modern cosmopolitan city of skyscrapers, is a foodie’s wish come true. That’s because there’s not one single style of food that you will get here. It’s a beautiful mix of cuisines from the Middle East and the rest of Asia.
The fact that it is one of the uber-luxurious places in the Arabian Gulf ensures that even the gastronomical delights are all about high-class quality. Keen to know more? Without further ado, let’s explore seven interesting facts about the food in Dubai.
1. You can find Delicious Street Food in the Emirati Food Oasis
While street food is often the first choice for people on the go, Dubai’s street foods are known for their versatility and flavorsome taste.
From Iranian and Lebanese delicacies to Indian, Arabian, and local Emirati flavors, this place is a melting potpourri with appetizing aromas across the streets of Jumeirah, Al Barsha, and more.
Stop by at the Global Village for Indian chai, Thai pie, hot chips, Turkish ice cream and more. Meena Bazar in Bur Dubai serves authentic bhajis, samosas, and biryanis. The 2nd December Street is another hub for shakes and juices at pocket-friendly rates.
The Al Karama Market, Al Mateena and Muraqqabat Streets in Eastern Dubai, Ripe Market near Dubai Police Academy, and Sheikh Zayed Road, are a few other notable places famous for their mouth-watering street foods.
2. Camel Milk & Meat are Popular
This is a one-of-a-kind treat that awaits you in Dubai. Yes, many of the popular dishes in this Emirati city contain camel meat or milk as the main ingredient.
Remember, the local Emiratis may still be eating camel meat but they do drink camel milk or savor flavored ice creams made from camel milk. In the past few years, camel milk has gained a lot of attraction in the international community for its health benefits.
You’ll find food items with camel meat and milk in many premium restaurants as well as with street food vendors. So, relish burgers, biryanis, broth, sliders, and stews made from camel meat while in Dubai. In fact, one of the most celebrated and important dishes in the region is the Stuffed Camel. For vegetarians, there is a range of camel milk chocolates to try.
3. Presence of Healthy Food Delivery Options
Dubai is a cultural hub and people from all over the world live and work here to make it one of the best cosmopolitan cities on the planet. To cater to the healthy eating habits of the growing expat community in the city, a number of healthy food delivery companies have come up with nutritious diet plans that get delivered to your doorstep as per your meal preference. You can click here to see different meal plan options and order online.
They serve ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat food that is known for being tasty and filled with rich nutrients. Consequently, many working expats in Dubai have subscribed to healthy meal plans aligned with their fitness goals. It also saves them a lot of time and energy.
The interesting part is that such food delivery companies offer meal plans of different types that suit your eating preferences like non-veg, vegetarian or vegan food, keto diet, gluten-free diet, and more. They take care of your dietary intolerances and allergies and offer free consultations with experienced nutritionists in-house.
4. Savor Arabic Coffee or Qahwa
If you are in Dubai, you simply cannot give the local coffee a miss. This is served free of cost in many places. Hotels, high-end restaurants, government offices, and other places.
And not just in Dubai, this is one drink that you can taste almost everywhere in the United Arab Emirates. It’s known locally as Qahwa. It is brewed in the traditional pots called dallah and then poured into small handleless cups called fenjals.
The natives will tell you the numerous benefits of this drink. It is known to detoxify the body and helps in weight loss.
It is added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural World Heritage list. Among natives, the Qahwa ceremony at home is a sign of hospitality and is regarded in high esteem by the host and guests.
5. Shawarma, the Authentic Delicacy
One of the most popular foods in Dubai is Shawarma. The dish is made by roasting a lamb or a bird and served with an assortment of tasty garlic sauce or toumeya, pickles, and French Fries.
It is a dish that is relished during late-night stops at the local food stalls or in a fine dining outlet. The best quality is served at the cafeterias.
Remember, it is not a traditional food in the UAE. However, the craze for Shawarmas has witnessed several outlets specializing in the dish and serving it for decades now.
6. You Can Dine with a Local Emirati
A program started by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, takes you to an enriching experience of dining with a local Emirati family. It was started to bridge the cultural gap between the people of different nationalities working in Dubai and the local community.
It was started in 1988 it became a part of the Global Initiatives by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015. It is called the Cultural Meals Program and visitors can pick from Cultural Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner as per their preference.
7. During Specific Religious Dates, Food Outlets Might be Closed
During Ramadan, many outlets in Dubai are closed down, especially during the daytime. This is because Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. However, inside shopping malls and in many hotel-based restaurants, food is served to non-Muslims during Ramadan.
Earlier, all F&B outlets were supposed to remain closed during the daytime. However, the rules have been relaxed in the last few years.
Dubai is a great place to shop and dine, and there are enough choices for visitors and expats. The next time you are in the city, remember to check out a few of the facts mentioned here.