Dining in Dubai

Dubai's dining choices vary from familiar global and western brands, local casual eateries, five-star seafood restaurants and exotic Michelin-star establishments. Proportionately, the restaurants in Dubai largely reflect the city's population: rougly about 15% of the restaurants serve traditional Emirati cuisine. The city is filled with an array of international cuisine and dining experiences to please palates from any corner of the world.

And the best news, Adventurers, is that most ALL of them will deliver!

On day one of my most recent journey, I had plans to have dinner at Al Marhabani, an Emirati restaurant I discovered during research prior to my journey.  I was on a mad quest for Mandi dishes and foods native to the region - in particular lamb - and yet I was severely jet-lagged, and the restaurant was not close to my hotel.

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To my delight, I didn't have to go anywhere. I inquired to the hotel concierge who handled everything. He contacted the restaurant for me, and then patched them through to my room so I could order what I wanted.


In about an hour, the concierge delivered dinner right to my door and took payment for the restaurant. And in in the convenience of my room, I enjoyed the most succulent, tender traditional Arabian lamb and chicken dinner, served with rice and fresh vegetables; and garnished with house-made tomato puree and fresh yogurt. Utensils were included, but the traditional way to enjoy this feast is by hand.


In the older parts of Dubai, you'll find restaurants (that may or may not deliver) from places like Yemen, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh.

These are smaller, often family owned and operated establishments that have fantastic food and offer an affordable, authentic cultural dining experience.

The simplest way to enjoy food native to this part of the world is to book activities that include meals. Excursions like the Dhow dinner cruises and the Sunset Dune Dinner Safari offer traditional Arabian cuisine as part of the experience.

If you are researching other cultural dining experiences in Dubai, pay closer attention to reviews from people who live in that region rather than tourists. While every opinion is important, locals know better than anyone how their food should look and taste.

Now...imagine having a pizza delivered to you in a Maserati. Restaurants of all types offer food delivery service in Dubai. From fast-food to finer establishments, restaurants deliver their cuisine via motor bikes and luxury cars.

Popular Casual Dining Restaurant Brands in Dubai

The following brands are well-known around the world. If you can't live without them (I'm talking to YOU, Starbucks fans!), you won't have to when you're in Dubai:
  • Arby's
  • Burger King
  • Charley's Grilled Subs
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Five Guys Burgers
  • Hardee's
  • KFC
  • McDonald's
  • Nando's
  • NY Fries
  • Papa John's
  • Pizza Hut
  • Starbucks 
  • Subway
  • TGI Fridays
  • Wagamama
  • Wendy's

Popular High-End Dining Experiences

If a posh dining experience, combined with an exquisite view of the city is in order, make dinner reservations at At.Mosphere at the Burj Khalifa. Located on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, you'll feel like you're dining on top of the world.

Nobu, a popular high-end international brand with locations worldwide also has a home in Dubai at the famed five-star Atlantis the Palm Resort. This ultra-chic hot spot is renowned for serving up the best japanese food in Dubai.

Popular Snacks & Sweet Treats

I recall the first night of my first visit to Dubai. I had been out exploring, and returned to my hotel room to discover that housekeeping had come to turn down the bed for the evening. On my pillow were two small wrapped packages. After I took a hot bath, I climbed into bed to enjoy some television and chocolates.

To my surprise, they were not chocolates. What I discovered were two individually-wrapped dates.

Dates are by far one of the most popular treats in Dubai. Considered a delicacy and a staple, this fruit plays a key role in Middle Eastern hospitality culture and are often given as gifts. The UAE alone produces 400 different varieties of dates. They are often used in multiple recipes and date-inspired dishes.

Another popular snack in Dubai is regag bread, and I was able to find a purveyor of this treat at Al Labeeb Grocery, a quaint little shop in Jumeira 3 near the Sunset Mall.

Below is video of the master in action making the bread. I started the video too late and missed the beginning when he rolls a perfect, fluffy ball of dough along a round griddle, just enough to merely coat the grill with a very thin layer so it turns out crispy. Then he cracks an egg on top, then adds cheese and fish sauce.

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  1. Hi! Nice post! I must say this is an interesting post! Also, you have great writing style! I cannot wait to get my Dubai visa. I am excited to plan dining in Dubai!
    Dubai, I am coming!

  2. Visiting Dubai with my parents has been a childhood dream of mine. That dream will be fulfilled next month as I recently got my Dubai visa. I am planning to surprise my parents with a short yet fun-filled getaway. I am preparing a travel itinerary & was looking for blogs that suggest good places to eat & relax. That is when I came across your blog. We would love to visit Ajeeb Snacks & relish some mouth-watering delicacies of Dubai.


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