Dubai Food And Cuisine: Exploring The Local Dishes

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of 7 emirates. The capital Abu Dhabi is the largest and the wealthiest of all its peers. This is a country located in Western Asia at the end of the Arabian Peninsula. UAE shares its border with Oman and Saudi Arabia. Dubai is the most populous and renowned international hub. Dubai gained fame and focus lately in the 21st Century. It is the fastest-growing tourism and business centre in the Middle East. The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa stands proudly in the heart of Dubai. Here in this article, I will talk about the Food & Cuisine of Dubai.

Dubai extracts its food from the books of its neighbours. Emirati Cuisine is the local cuisine of The United Arab Emirates. This gastronomy is endorsed from different parts of the world, mostly its immediate neighbours. Though it has many varieties included from the Middle East and the Asian cuisines. The Omani and Saudi Arabian Cuisines have played a vital role in shaping the food culture of Dubai. Whereas the oriental cuisine made its way into the area recently when the world switched to a more vegetarian way of living. 

Traditional Food And Cuisine Of Dubai

The conventional Dubai cuisine uses more meat, grains and dairy that are homegrown. Due to arid climate conditions, the soil favoured easy to grow and extensively consumed crops like tomatoes and cucumbers. A readily available and heavily relied on harvest, the dried lemon commonly known as Loomi is found in most food. Northern regions grow mangoes. Camels are their major mode of transport. Dubai highly prizes its Camel’s milk. But a Camel’s meat is reserved only for special occasions. Goat, chicken and fowl meat is actively indulged in Dubai. 

Spices form a key part of cooking in Dubai. Do not skip the Spice souk on your visit to Dubai. You will be transfixed by the display. And the smell will revitalize your senses. Saffron, cardamom, turmeric and thyme are the essentials of cooking in Dubai. Rice has become a part of diet only after the traders shifted base to Dubai and started devouring it. 

Food & Cuisine Festival In Dubai

Dubai holds an annual Food festival, started in 2014. The objective of this festival is to make Dubai the food capital of the region. The festival offers a massive spread of Cuisines from more than 200 nationalities. Generally held during the end of February and March. This festival will be run from March 3 through March 19, 2022. The world-famous chefs participate in this festival to showcase their culinary skills. The festival will be held across Dubai and not on a particular spot.

Street Food In Dubai

Street food is intense in Dubai. And it cannot be missed. There are numerous options to indulge in street food in Dubai. Egyptian, Lebanese, Asian, and what not is on the menu of endless stalls that serve street food in Dubai. Green olives, Pita, Hummus, Falafel, Shawarma are the real delicacies of street food varieties. The famous seaside dishes are the prawns and shrimps. If you are interested in Arabic food & cuisine, then simply add date sauce to your dishes and relish the flavour. 

Dubai Dates

varieties of dubai dates
Varieties of Dubai Dates

Dates are the signature product of Dubai. There are more than 20 varieties of Dates available in the country. UAE is one of the leaders in producing dates. This has given Dubai and the rest of the country an added advantage over the export and demand of the same. The numerous health benefits of dates have made it more popular than ever.

Also Read: Exploring Bhutanese Culture And Traditions

seafood are widely consumed food & cuisine

Sea Food In Dubai

Seafood served in Dubai is incredible. Starting from the seafood pizzas to platters the choices are endless. Freshly rolled crabs, the Dubai caviar, shellfishes, oysters are a few luscious options to try out in Dubai. The street seafood in Dubai is sure to give the Michelin star restaurants a run for taste. The handmade pasta coupled with a few dishes are a treat to savour. Fish, rice and meat are considered the national dish of Dubai.

Drinks in Dubai

Sparkling Wine is widely consumed in Dubai

When it comes to nightlife, only a few cities can match up to Dubai’s standards. The Turkish cocktails can cheer up one’s mood in a wink. The sparkling wine goes a long way in paving the climate of the party-goers. Offered almost everywhere in Dubai as a complimentary drink is an Arabic coffee. But the signature Qahwa is purchasable at various cafes, it is a traditional coffee made with lightly roasted coffee beans and cardamom. It is generally served with the local dates. Liquor is allowed to be served only inside licensed restaurants and bars.

Traditional Food & Cuisine In Dubai

Dubai is an amalgamation of many cultures. This place is a food-lovers paradise. The innumerous variants of dishes are sure to spoil one for choices. But a handful of pots simply cannot be skipped. Let me introduce some such food & cuisine.


Shawarma rolls are a favorite delicacy among food
Shawarma Rolls are a favourite non-veg delicacy

However much familiar you are with this dish, there is no place that will make it better than in Dubai. A bread rolled in beef or lamb, depending on your preference, this item is served with sliced chicken. The other fillings include fresh veggies and sauces which make it irresistible.


food and cuisine dubai
Manakish | Image Courtesy-

Cheese and lots of cheese. This is a very famous and popular Lebanese snack. It is a flatbread cooked in a huge oven. Many spices, vegetables, oils and meat complete the plat.


food and cuisine dubai
Luqaimat | Image Courtesy-

Dessert dumplings made of soft dough. This sweet crunchy smasher is made up of a mixture of ingredients. Butter, milk, sugar, cardamom, saffron, flour and yeast. The soft dough achieved is then cut into small balls and deep-fried. The month of Ramadan sees high consumption of it.


food and cuisine dubai
Image Courtesy: Neel Beverages

This is the national tea of the UAE. Often served with a snack and found on any roadside stall. A tea addict or not everyone will certainly appreciate this drink.


falafel is a loved food & cuisine dubai
Falafel deep-fried balls

The Middle East invention but a world favourite. The falafel is a delicacy that is a convenient alternative to enjoy at any time of the day. Served with a special sauce, these are deep-fried chickpeas patties. Consume it as it is or roll it into a wrap. A quick easy-to-go food.

These were a few snappy on the go grabs that will tickle your taste buds and make you want more. Dubai services many such food items. Make sure to try a different item each time. And Yes, do not forget to share your experiences in the comments. I am lost for food here.


Dubai is very happening when experienced at a slow pace. Take your time to appreciate and indulge with the people and place. Do not be in haste. Avoid visiting the restricted areas.