Food To Try In Dubai, UAE

food to try in dubai

With its gorgeous coastline, stunning variety of attractions, and impressive architecture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is truly astounding. Soar to the top of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and enjoy the breathtaking views that stretch into the Persian Gulf, and tour Bastakiya Quarter, Dubai’s historic district nestled among the city’s shimmering skyscrapers. Explore the bustling bazaars of the Gold and Spice Souks where wares glitter jewel-bright, or shop in the massive Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping areas in the world. After a busy day of sightseeing places like the Burj Al Arab, the Wild Wadi Water Park, or skimming the wintry slopes of Ski Dubai, soak up the sunshine and sink your toes in the sand on Jumeirah Beach. Dubai is a city that celebrates uniqueness, and that applies to the food scene too. Feast on local specialties that burst with fantastic flavor and taste the convergence of cultures in the city’s amazing restaurants. See the list below for the foods you have to try in Dubai, and where to find them!

1. Al Machboos (spiced meat and rice)

Keep your friends close, but keep your food closer - Delicious emirati spread for dinner plans تناولوا بعض الوجبات...

Posted by Al Fanar Restaurant on Sunday, 7 October 2018

This dish is famous throughout the Gulf area for its delectable flavor and tender texture. With a relatively simple list of ingredients, Al Machboos consists of rice, onions and meat. The hearty meal is prepared by first cooking the meat in boiling water with spices, salt, and dried lemon called Loomy. When the meat is tender, the rice is added and the whole dish is cooked for another one to two hours.

Al Fanar

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 11:30 pm

Address: Ground Floor, Dubai Festival City Mall, Canal Walk, Dubai, UAE

Website: Al Fanar

Average price range in USD: 70 USD

2. Shirin Polo (Persian sweet rice pilaf)

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Source: Photo by user Chaojoker used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Also known as Shekar Polo, Shirin Polo is a beautiful rice dish that is sweetened with nuts, candied citrus zest, fruit, and sweet carrots. The colorful dish’s name comes from the language called Farsi, with “shirin” meaning sweet and “polo” meaning rice. The dish is comprised of saffron rice with blanched almonds, crunchy pistachios and chewy raisins as well as thin slices of carrot. Candied citrus zest creates a tantalizing fresh aroma, and a delectable sweetness. The vibrant colors of this dish make it look beautiful and tasty, and you can often find a plate of Shirin Polo at special occasions like weddings or Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration.

Farsi Restaurant

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Address: Shop#2, Al Waleed Paradise Bldg. Cluster R, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, UAE

Website: Farsi Restaurant

Average price range in USD: 52 USD

3. Iranian Sangak (Iranian leavened flatbread)

For a simple snack, try a slice of sangak! The national bread of Iran, sangak is a type of whole wheat, leavened flatbread. This bread was once the bread of the Persian army, and references to sangak date back to the eleventh century. Found today in many Iranian bakeries, sangak can be served plain, or topped with sesame or poppy seeds, and is usually paired with kebabs, strained yogurt, cheese, or labneh (yogurt cream cheese).

Abshar Iranian Restaurant

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Address: Opposite Miraj Islamic Art Center, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, UAE

Website: Abshar Iranian Restaurant

Average price range in USD: 55 USD

4. Al Harees (Cooked, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat mixed with meat)

Al fanar harees
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Krista used under CC BY 2.0

For a taste of traditional Emirati cuisine, try a bite of Al Harees. This classic Arabic dish is typically served during special occasions such as Ramadan or weddings, and is made of wheat, meat, and salt. Like Al Machboos, this dish is simple to cook. Harees starts with wheat and salt being mixed in a pot, and then left to boil for several hours. After the concoction becomes thick and porridge-like in consistency, meat such as lamb, chicken, or mutton is added, and the dish is once again boiled or baked for a few more hours. Sometimes, spices like cinnamon, salt, and pepper are also added. Al Harees is typically topped with ghee, a type of clarified butter.


Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 8:00 am - 12:00 am

Address: SMJ1 Building,Sheikh Zayed Road,Al Safa 1, Dubai, UAE

Website: Khaneen

Average price range in USD: 62 USD

5. Manousheh (Lebanese topped flatbread)

Freshly baked Manoushe.. The smell of home, when you're far away from home

Posted by Manoushe Street on Saturday, 10 November 2018

Similar to a thin-crust pizza, manousheh is a Lebanese dish that can be topped with a variety of things. This delicious little treat can be served rolled or open and flat, and its name derives from the dip shapes in the dough that will keep your toppings in place. While manousheh is traditionally served as a breakfast dish, it is tasty enough to eat at any time of the day. Toppings vary from sweet to simple to savory, but you will typically see cheese and herb mixes sprinkled on top of freshly baked flatbread.

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: Open 24 hours

Address: Burj View Towers, Dubai Fountain St.,Dubai, UAE

Website: Manoushe Street

Average price range in USD: 27 USD

6. Tabbouleh (parsley and grain salad)

Source: Photo by user cyclonebill used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are craving something refreshing and zesty, tabbouleh is just the dish for you. This vegetarian salad is very popular across the Levant, and is a medley of herbs, grains, and vegetables. While there are many variations of this dish, tabbouleh typically consists of very finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, slices of onion, and bulgur, drizzled in an invigorating blend of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Tabbouleh is served cold, and is a perfect meal when the day’s temperature forecast is blistering.

Em Sherif

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Address: Lower Lobby Level, Dowtnown, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd،, Dubai, UAE

Website: Em Sherif

Average price range in USD: 109 USD

7. Chelo Kebab (meat skewers)

Chelo Kabab Soltani Berlin Kourosh
Source: Photo by user Benreis used under CC BY 3.0

This ancient, Iranian dish remains very popular today. Chelo kebabs are a rice and meat dish that can be found in many restaurants throughout Dubai. This hearty meal consists of a meat skewer seasoned with sumac powder, and accompanied by rice, as well as a flat bread, which is typically lavash. Onions and grilled tomatoes can also be added.

Special Ostadi

Opening/closing hours: Saturday - Thursday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm, 6:30 pm - 1:00 am, Friday: 6:30 pm - 1:00 am

Address: Al Mankhool Road، near Al Fahidi Metro Station, Bur Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Website: Special Ostadi

8. Baba Ganoush (eggplant dip)

Baba ganoush and pita
Source: Photo by user takaokun used under CC BY 2.0

Like Tabbouleh, Baba Ganoush is a popular Levantine dish that can be found in restaurants throughout Dubai. Usually served as a starter or appetizer, this vegetarian dish has a subtle smoky flavor from the eggplants that are baked over an open flame. The warm, soft eggplant is then mashed and mixed with velvety tahini and olive oil to create a creamy, flavorful dip. Fresh pita bread is the perfect accompaniment for this delicious dish.

Al Hallab Restaurant and Sweets

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 12:00 am

Address: The Dubai Mall, 2nd floor near the waterfall, Dubai, UAE

Website: Al Hallab Restaurant and Sweets

Average price range in USD: 46 USD

9. Knafeh (sweet cheese pastry)

Source: Photo by Flickr user Jeff used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This Palestinian dessert is a combination of sweet and salty flavors, and is a must-try dish in the region. The flavor profile is attained through soaking a thin pastry in a sweet syrup that is then layered with cheese. Clotted cream and nuts, pistachios in particular, are also sometimes added to this unique treat.

Feras Al Diyafa Sweets

Opening/closing hours: Saturday - Wednesday: 8:00 am - 1:00 am, Thursday - Friday: 8:00 am - 2:00 am,

Address: Al Barsha 1، Opposite Al Salik Gate, next to Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE

Website: Feras Al Diyafa Sweets

Average price range in USD: 24.50 USD

10. Khanfaroosh (spiced tea cakes)

Gur9 3gaili (Qurs Ugaili)
Source: Photo by user boulanger.IE used under CC BY 2.0

Khanfaroosh were once a rare luxury, but luckily, you can now try one of these delicious hotcakes any time you please! These little sweet treats are a traditional dessert that are fried in ghee, and made with saffron, rose water, and cardamom for a delicious, aromatic flavor. Soft and small, the teacakes are a perfect snack.

Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Café

Opening/closing hours: Monday - Sunday: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm

Address: Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Bastakiya opposite Musalla Post Office, Dubai, UAE

Website: Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Café

Average price range in USD: 57 USD

The delicious flavors of Dubai

Like so much of Dubai, the food scene is rapidly changing, growing, and increasingly creative. From traditional dishes to regional favorites, Dubai is filled with exciting eateries to try. Start your food expedition at these restaurants, and get a taste of what makes the food scene in this city so great!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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