Traditional and International cuisine the UAE Cuisine – useful data

Traditionally, the UAE national cuisine is a mixture of the Middle East and Asian dishes. However, there has been a significant European influence, so the cuisine is quite diverse and cosmopolitan. The experience of trying both local and international dishes in the UAE will be a real pleasure for any gourmet.

The traditional national cuisine of the UAE is rich and nourishing and is mainly comprised of meat (chicken, lamb, and mutton), grain, dairy, vegetables and, of course, seafood. Fish and seafood are extremely important ingredients in the Emirati cuisine. The same refers to rice. If you are looking for something more exotic you can also try camel milk and camel meat. The most common beverages are coffee and tea. Coffee is served with spices. Note that alcohol is served only in hotel restaurants and bars.

You can begin your acquaintance with the UAE national cuisine by trying some street food – there are numerous stalls selling various snacks typically wrapped in lavash or pita. An absolute street food must try in Dubai is cheese Manakish. It’s a simple snack made of dough and cheese on top and sometimes meat.

Traditional and International cuisine the UAE Cuisine
Image - Manakish (image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGwmbSBxQOI)

Emirati national cuisine also offers a variety of delicious desserts. Raisins, honey and dates are common ingredients. If you are looking for true oriental sweets, you’d better go the market. Here you can try dates with almond or honey, bread with raisins and many other great dishes. Umm ali is a festive Emirati dessert served on special occasions or to honor someone. It is a kind of a pudding made of dough, coconut, almonds, raisins and cream.

Traditional and International cuisine the UAE Cuisine
Image – Umm ali desert (image source: http://qasralsarab.anantara.com/al-liwan/)

Apart from the traditional cuisine, the UAE has specialized European restaurants and cafés that serve Italian, French, Spanish or any other dishes characteristic of other countries of the world.

Note, that during Ramadan, restaurant and cafés would not open till sunset. In Ramadan it is not allowed to eat from sunrise till sunset according to the religious beliefs. Other restrictions are related to eating pork. However, there are specialized restaurants where pork is served as well.


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