Blog Details

Emirati Dishes You Must Not Miss When Visiting Dubai

Emirati Dishes You Must Not Miss When Visiting Dubai

Dubai’s food scene is a melting pot of flavors, blending traditional Emirati recipes with influences from Persian, Indian, and Levantine cuisines. The local dishes are characterized by their use of fragrant spices, fresh seafood, and tender meats, often cooked to perfection with a touch of hospitality that is quintessentially Emirati. Whether you're dining in a high-end restaurant or a humble eatery, these dishes are sure to leave a lasting impressio

Emirati: Don't forget to give Emirati cuisine a try for a complete  gastronomic experience - The Economic Times

Must-Try Emirati Dishes in Dubai
1. Al Harees
What is Al Harees?
Al Harees is a traditional dish made from wheat, meat (usually chicken or lamb), and a pinch of salt. The ingredients are slow-cooked together in a clay pot until they form a smooth, porridge-like consistency.

Why You Should Try It
This dish is often enjoyed during the holy month of Ramadan and festive occasions like Eid. Its simplicity and rich flavor make it a comforting and satisfying meal.

2. Al Machboos
What is Al Machboos?

Al Machboos, also known as Majboos, is a spiced rice dish similar to biryani. It features basmati rice cooked with meat (chicken, lamb, or fish), tomatoes, and a blend of aromatic spices including cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.

Why You Should Try It
The combination of tender meat and flavorful rice makes Al Machboos a hearty and delicious dish. It's a staple at family gatherings and celebrations.

3. Balaleet
What is Balaleet?
Balaleet is a traditional breakfast dish that consists of sweetened vermicelli noodles flavored with saffron, cardamom, and rose water, topped with a thin egg omelet.

Why You Should Try It
The contrast between the sweet noodles and the savory omelet creates a unique and delightful taste experience. It's a perfect way to start your day with a touch of Emirati culture.

4. Luqaimat
What are Luqaimat?

Luqaimat are sweet dumplings made from a dough of flour, yeast, sugar, and saffron, which are deep-fried until golden and crispy, then drizzled with date syrup or honey.

Why You Should Try Them
These bite-sized treats are popular during Ramadan and other celebrations. Their crunchy exterior and soft, sweet interior make them a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Lamb machboos

5. Machboos
What is Machboos?

Machboos is a spiced rice dish that can be made with chicken, lamb, or fish, combined with tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices such as loomi (dried lime), saffron, and turmeric.

Why You Should Try It
Machboos is known for its complex flavor profile and aromatic spices. It's a dish that truly represents the fusion of flavors in Emirati cuisine.

6. Shawarma
What is Shawarma?

While not originally an Emirati dish, Shawarma has been adopted and adapted into the local cuisine. It's made from marinated meat (usually chicken or lamb) that is roasted on a vertical spit and then shaved off to be served in pita bread with vegetables and sauces.

Why You Should Try It
Shawarma is a popular street food in Dubai, and its savory taste and convenience make it a must-try for anyone exploring the city's culinary landscape.

7. Madrouba
What is Madrouba?

Madrouba is a creamy porridge made from rice, chicken, and a mix of spices, cooked until the ingredients blend into a smooth consistency.

Why You Should Try It
This dish is comfort food at its best, often enjoyed during Ramadan. Its rich flavor and texture make it a favorite among locals.

8. Saloona
What is Saloona?

Saloona is a traditional Emirati stew made with meat (usually lamb or chicken), vegetables, and a blend of spices including turmeric, cumin, and coriander.

Why You Should Try It
This hearty stew is typically served with rice and is perfect for those seeking a warm and flavorful meal.

Emirati Food: 15 Must-Try Dishes in Dubai | Will Fly for Food

9. Khuzi
What is Khuzi?

Khuzi, or Ghuzi, is a whole roasted lamb served on a bed of spiced rice, garnished with nuts and raisins.

Why You Should Try It
As one of the most popular dishes in the UAE, Khuzi is often prepared for special occasions and large gatherings. Its impressive presentation and delectable taste make it a memorable dish.

10. Samak Mashwi
What is Samak Mashwi?

Samak Mashwi is grilled fish, often marinated with spices and herbs, then cooked to perfection.

Why You Should Try It
Given Dubai's coastal location, fresh seafood is abundant. This dish highlights the natural flavors of the fish while adding a touch of Emirati spice.

11. Esh Asaraya
What is Esh Asaraya?

Esh Asaraya is a sweet dessert also known as "bread pudding." It's made from bread soaked in sweetened milk and topped with cream and nuts.

Why You Should Try It
This dessert is rich and indulgent, perfect for those with a sweet tooth looking to try something uniquely Emirati.

12. Thareed
What is Thareed?
Thareed is a traditional bread stew made with meat and vegetables, where pieces of flatbread are soaked in a flavorful broth.

Why You Should Try It
Often compared to a hearty stew, Thareed is a comforting dish, especially popular during Ramadan.

13. Chabab
What is Chabab?

Chabab is Emirati-style pancakes made from a batter of flour, eggs, sugar, and saffron, often flavored with cardamom and turmeric.

Why You Should Try It
These pancakes are typically served for breakfast and are delicious with date syrup or honey.

14. Khameer
What is Khameer?

Khameer is a traditional Emirati bread that is soft and slightly sweet, often enjoyed with cheese or honey.

Why You Should Try It
This bread is perfect for a light snack or breakfast, offering a taste of traditional Emirati baking.

15. Jasheed
What is Jasheed?

Jasheed is a dish made from shark meat, cooked with a blend of spices and often served with rice.

Why You Should Try It
This unique dish showcases the diversity of Emirati seafood cuisine and is a must-try for adventurous eaters.

Emirati CHEBAB recipe/ Emirati Breakfast Recipe

16. Chebab
What is Chebab?

Chebab is similar to Chabab, but these pancakes are usually thinner and sometimes served with date syrup or jam.

Why You Should Try It
Chebab offers a delightful way to enjoy a sweet and traditional Emirati breakfast.

What is the most popular Emirati dish?
Al Machboos and Khuzi are among the most popular Emirati dishes, often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings.

Where can I find traditional Emirati food in Dubai?
You can find traditional Emirati food in various local restaurants and food festivals across Dubai. Some well-known places include Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe and Arabian Tea House.

Is Emirati cuisine spicy?
While Emirati cuisine uses a variety of spices, it is not overwhelmingly spicy. The flavors are balanced and aromatic, making the dishes flavorful but not overly hot.

What is a traditional Emirati breakfast?
A traditional Emirati breakfast may include dishes like Balaleet, Chabab, and Khameer, often accompanied by dates and coffee.

Can I find vegetarian options in Emirati cuisine?
Yes, there are several vegetarian options in Emirati cuisine, such as Saloona (vegetable stew) and various salads and bread-based dishes.

What is the best time to enjoy Emirati cuisine in Dubai?
Emirati cuisine can be enjoyed year-round, but experiencing it during Ramadan or other cultural festivals can offer a deeper insight into the traditions and hospitality of the UAE.

Exploring Emirati cuisine is an integral part of experiencing Dubai. From the rich, savory flavors of Al Machboos to the sweet indulgence of Luqaimat, each dish tells a story of the region’s history and cultural heritage. So, when you visit Dubai, make sure to embark on a culinary journey that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also enrich your understanding of the Emirati way of life.

Direct Booking