If you’re planning a trip to Dubai, you need to make sure that you have a good grasp on Emirati cuisine. The food that you will find in the region will be unlike any food you’ve ever had, so you need to prepare yourself for an experience. Dubai is not short of great eateries; however, you should make sure that you find a place that suits you.
Food In Dubai Is Inspired By Asian & Middle Eastern Dishes
There is not just one style of food in Dubai. Here you can get any style of food you desire. The main restaurants in the region take inspiration from Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. That means that you can try everything from Indian to North Korean food in the area. Make sure to research each restaurant before you book your table to find the best places. Dubai is a luxurious place, so everywhere you go will be high-class.
Camel Is A Popular Dish
Have you ever thought of eating a camel? Well, now you can. In Dubai, camel is a common and popular dish. Many Emirati dishes include camel as one of their main ingredients. You can try stuffed camel, which is a famous dish in the area. A chef stuffs a whole camel with herbs and spices and then roasts the meat for a meal that’s rich and tender. The fact that there are so many camels in the area means the meat is cheap to buy — which also means if you want to save money on food, you should eat loads of camel on your vacation.
Pizza. Photo courtesy of Jag_cz via Shutterstock.
If You Don’t Like The Local Food, Opt For Takeout
If you visit Dubai, but don’t like spicy food, you may have a problem. Many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes contain chilies and spice. Don’t worry, you will still find something to eat in the area. Few people realize they can order takeout to their hotel rooms in Dubai. That means that you can get pizza takeaway in Dubai with ease.
Dubai Has Delicious Street Food
When walking around Dubai, consider trying the local street food. As a rule, food in Dubai tends to be quite expensive. The area is famous for its rich tastes and expensive lifestyle, and you’ll spend a small fortune if you eat in nice restaurants every single night. Street food is an inexpensive and tasty option, and many people who live in the area eat street food every day.
The region is a hub for business. That means that people are always busy. Street food has become popular in the area because it is quick and easy to eat.
Simit. Photo courtesy of berna namoglu via Shutterstock.
Make Sure To Haggle On The Price Of Your Food In Dubai
When you are buying street food or food from a local restaurant, it is okay to haggle over the price of your dish. Many Westerners don’t like haggling, as they think it makes them look cheap. My tip? If you want to save money on food in Dubai, get comfortable with it. When somebody brings you the bill, you can question it. Ask if you can get a discount or whether they will accept a little less than the asking price. Make sure that you’re not too pushy, though, as this could come across as rude.
Eating In Hotels Is Less Authentic
It’s a good idea to venture away from the hotel when traveling through Dubai. Often hotel cuisine is different from the cuisine in the rest of the area. The chefs at your hotel are likely used to cooking for Western tastes, meaning milder and less authentic cuisine.
Eating at your restaurant for a couple of nights is fine, but make sure that you try some local cuisine. There are many delicious Pakistani, Indian and Chinese restaurants in the city worth exploring.
Shawarma. Photo courtesy of Ververidis Vasilis via Shutterstock.
Shawarma Is Delicious & Cheap
If you want to have an authentic Emirati dish, you should try some Shawarma. The meal is a type of spicy meat served in a wrap and is considered fast food in Dubai, so you must try it while you’re out and about. If you’re not too keen on spicy food, you might find the dish a little too strong. Some extra mint sauce and salad will help to combat this.
If You Like Pork, You’re Out Of Luck
As Dubai is a Muslim region, you will not find any pork dishes in the major restaurants. Instead, lamb, camel, beef and chicken are popular options. Just know that local chefs tend to use lots of heavy spices when they cook meat, so be prepared and adaptable.
Contributed by Rohit Agarwal.
Dubai skyline top photo courtesy of Ashraf Jandali via Shutterstock.
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor’s, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn’t really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.