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Where to go in Dubai to experience authentic Emirati food

Arabian Tea House Sharjah, Dubai

Get a tase of traditional Emirati flavours in our Dubai foodie guide

Boasting more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes, Dubai is home to a huge variety of foodie experiences, including award-winning restaurants and homegrown concepts. Despite the stereotypes, it’s not just about upmarket, expensive restaurants in Dubai. There are plenty of traditional Emirati restaurants offering regional cuisine, too, if you know where to look. Here’s where and what to try for a taste of Dubai’s culture.

Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

With four locations in the city, including its Al Seef venue, Al Fanar serves a menu of authentic Emirati dishes based on age-old recipes and local ingredients. Traditional architecture backdrops this popular restaurant by recreating old-world Arabia with rustic-style decor and a varied menu.

Dish to try: Al Fanar seafood tray featuring grilled sea bream, prawn biryani, deep fried fish roe and calamari on white rice.

alfanarrestaurant.com

Al Fanar Restaurant, Dubai
Al Fanar Restaurant, Dubai

Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant

In the heart of Old Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood sits the restaurant and museum of Al Khayma. Awarded a Bib Gourmand by MICHELIN, Al Khayma has a particular focus on Emirati flavours while hosting traditional cooking classes.

Dish to try: lamb machboos where lamb pieces are marinated with Emirati machboos spices with saffron rice.

alkhayma.com

Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant, Dubai
Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant, Dubai

Logma

Meaning ‘mouthful’ in Arabic, Logma at Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue is a contemporary take on Khaleeji and Emirati cuisine. Logma’s offerings range from conventional street food to innovative twists on classic dishes.

Dish to try: chicken shawarma paratha featuring shawarma slices, lettuce, tomato, pickles and coleslaw served in flatbread.

Logma, Dubai
Logma, Dubai

Arabian Tea House

The Arabian Tea House in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood has been serving authentic Emirati and Arabic cuisine since 1997. Diners can enjoy traditional dishes as well as many varieties of tea and drinks in a setting reminiscent of an old Arabian home.

Dish to try: biryani deyay/laham made with fresh chicken or lamb cooked with rice and aromatic Gulf spices served with yoghurt.

arabianteahouse.com

Arabian Tea House Archaeological Site, Dubai
Arabian Tea House Archaeological Site, Dubai

Al Bait Alqadeem Emirati Heritage Restaurant

Al Bait Alqadeem, translating to ‘The Old House’, treasures family recipes and cultural favourites. Diners can enjoy authentic Arabic fare in open spaces and period architecture. Located close to the Gold Souk, the restaurant makes for an ideal pit stop between browsing
for goods.

Dish to try: shawarma created with thinly-sliced meat wrapped in khubz, a traditional pita-like bread.

albaitalqadeem-dubaisafari.com

Al Bait Alqadeem, Dubai
Al Bait Alqadeem, Dubai

Emirati food to try in Dubai

Dubai offers many varieties of bread, mezze, dips and salads. Traditional main dishes include machboos – a much-loved national favourite made with rice and either meat or fish and flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Visitors can also try fraeeth, a dish consisting of meat and vegetables layered with slices of bread.

Chebab, an Emirati version of a pancake, is cooked with saffron and usually served with a cream cheese spread and honey or date syrup. During celebrations like the Holy Month of Ramadaan, guests can enjoy the popular porridge-like dish, Harees. This traditional dish blends slow-cooked meat, cracked wheat and salt. Another hearty Emirati dish to try is madrooba, which is a combination of salted fish, spices and a thick sauce. For dessert, try the Emirati luqaimat, which features fried dough served with date syrup.

visitdubai.com

Arabian Tea House Archaeological Site, Dubai
Arabian Tea House Archaeological Site, Dubai

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