Dubai is undoubtedly one of the most technological and modern cities in the world; that’s why every year thousands of travellers from all around the world pick this city as their holiday destination. It's also home to a wealth of high end restaurants with celebrated dishes from all over the world and a variety of cultural influences.
However, this high-tech Arabian haven is a mixture of ancient Arabic cultures, habits and traditions waiting to be discovered and explored. Here's our absolute favourite foods to be found in Dubai:
Luquaimat is a typical Arabic dessert. It consists of small pastry balls, deep fried and decorated with sugar. Most Arabs enjoy them in the holy month of Ramadan, but this delicious dessert can be found anywhere at any time! They are also suitable for diet-freaks, as, despite being deep fried pastry, they only have 46 calories each!
Machbous is a very famous dish throughout the Arab nations. It’s usually made up of rice and chicken, but the intense and distinctive flavour of this dish is thanks to the spices added. In order to cook a tasty and flavoured Machbous, it’s essential that spices, such as Bahrat and Loomi, are used. The other ingredients can vary, but the dish normally includes black pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. The obtained broth is the perfect rub for the accompanying lamb, chicken, beef, and fish. Finally, either olive oil, lemon juice or rose water are added. It’s truly a burst of different flavours.
Harees is probably the Emiratican dish, as it´s not just a type of food. In fact, it also has a cultural and traditional significance, as it is usually eaten when breaking the fast or before going to the mosque to pray. Ingredients for this simple but filling dish are mainly Harees Grains, also known as wheat berries. Finally, it is usually combined with simply lamb or chicken and eaten as it is. You´ll be surprised by how delicious it is; don’t judge a book by its cover!
Arayes is one of Dubai´s most common appetizers. It´s a snack and it is usually served with soup, hummus and olives. This middle-eastern dish, which looks like a Mexican Quesadilla, is made by folding flat bread layers. In the middle, a spiced mince filling called Kefta is spread. As long as you’re not a vegetarian, this also makes a delightful midnight snack!
This dish, originally from India, is also very common in Emiratican cuisine. Pakora look like round samosas and it is usually served as an appetizer or a snack. Thanks to its magical taste and simplicity, people of all ages just love it. In fact, this deep fried gram flour dough, filled a micture of anything from onion, aubergine, potato, spinach, plantain, paneer, cauliflower, tomato and chilli pepper is a balance of simplicity and extravagance. Try this easy snack, and spot its wide variety of flavours and tastes!
If you'd like to explore Dubai for yourself, head to our Dubai destinations page for more holiday inspiration.