Food Lover’s Guide to Dubai
Dubai is a gastronomic melting pot, blending culinary influences from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. From savoring Arabic meze to taking food tours that showcase its multicultural cuisine, here are Dubai’s don’t-miss foods and experiences.
Variety is the spice of life in Dubai’s cuisine. That said, many meals start with Arabic***meze***—assorted small dishes such as***moutabel***(eggplant dip),falafel(chickpea balls), and***khubz***flatbread. For mains, locals love***mandi***—chicken or lamb with nuts, rice, and yogurt. Other staples include Indian-inspired curries and***shawarma***—lamb, chicken, or beef wrapped in pita bread—often served during dinner on Dubai’s desert tours or as on-the-go snacks. For the ultimate Middle Eastern fast food, however, try a local classic—a camel-meat burger.
Dubai does a mean line in sweets, desserts, and nonalcoholic drinks, too. Try ummali***(bread pudding) anddates coated in chocolate*—the latter often camel-milk chocolate. It’s also hard to miss the ritual Arabic dates andghahwa***(coffee). This traditional greeting features strong, freshly brewed coffee in small, handleless cups accompanied by fresh dates. Finally, to quench your thirst, you can’t beat Dubai’s favorite: ice-coldmint lemonade*made with lemons, sugar, and fresh mint leaves.
- Join a food walking tour to sample Dubai’s culinary mash-up, from camel burgers to Asian-inspired snacks.
- Discover the key role of coffee and dates in Emirati culture on a guided visit to the Al Fahidi quarter.
- Feast on lamb shawarma during dinner at a desert camp.
- Cool off after exploring old Dubai with a glass of sharp, mint-infused lemonade.
- Take a dinner cruise on an Arabian dhow boat and savor local staples such as moutabel and umm ali.