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Don’t-Miss Dishes in Dubai

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Dubai

Dubai’s crossroads-of-the-world location and cosmopolitan nature lends its cuisine incredible diversity. From dishes rooted in Bedouin and Emirati hospitality to spicy Asian combinations—many inspired by the latest international culinary trends—here are some of the traditional and contemporary foods to try while you’re in the emirate.

Machboos

An all-time United Arab Emirates favorite, this spiced meat-and-rice classic reigns supreme throughout Dubai. Distinctive for the heady aromas of the Arabic spice blend baharat and loomi (dried lime), it’s usually made with chicken, shrimp, or lamb.

Camel Burgers

While many tourists initially shy away from these meaty snacks, camel burgers are hugely popular with locals. The juicy, low-fat meat is great in burgers and sliders—find budget-friendly options in Deira’s cafés or souped-up, brioche-bun versions at Dubai’s upscale restaurants.

Dates

Sink your teeth into the oldest Arabian snack of all—sweet, sticky dates. Usually served as a greeting or finale to a meal alongside Arabic coffee, they come in myriad varieties, including versions stuffed with nuts and draped in creamy, camel-milk chocolate. Splurge on luxe boxed selections at Dubai’s Bateel outlets for the perfect take-home souvenirs.

Luqaimat

Tucking into these irresistible fried dough balls has to be one of Dubai’s greatest culinary treats, especially when they’re smothered in date sauce—which they almost always are. Savor them at their classic best at traditional restaurants and top-end hotels.

Arabic Coffee

Strong, black, and pungent gawha (Arabic coffee) is inextricably bound up with Bedouin hospitality and history. Poured from ornate pots into delicate, handleless cups, it’s often served as a complimentary refreshment in hotels, on boat trips, and on visits to Bedouin-style desert camps in the dunes.

Shawarma

These cheap and cheerful meat-filled pita wraps are Dubai’s best-loved hunger-busters. Hit any shawarma joint—you’ll find them almost everywhere you look in old Dubai—and glory in their yummy fusion of chicken, lettuce, fries, and tahini.

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7 Tours and Activities

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The 10 Tastings of Dubai With Locals: Private Food Tour

The 10 Tastings of Dubai With Locals: Private Food Tour

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65
Take your taste buds on a journey around Dubai’s multicultural cuisine on this private food tour. Learn about the city’s historical culinary influences while exploring souks and traditional eateries, and enjoy up to eight food stops to try local specialties and goodies. Sample fresh prawns cooked in spices, dig into a camel burger and savor saffron ice cream, lemon mint juice, stuffed vine leaves, traditional coffee, and more.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$133.44
Price varies by group size
From
$133.44
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Authentic Emirati Cultural Meal and Talk in Old Dubai

Authentic Emirati Cultural Meal and Talk in Old Dubai

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74
Delve into traditional Emirati culture over a delicious local meal on an engaging experience in Dubai. Visit the charming Al-Fahidi neighborhood in old Dubai’s Al Bastakiya district, and take a seat in a delightful, wind towered courtyard. After Arabic coffee and dates, enjoy a tasty feast of local specialties, including syrup-soaked ‘ligamat’ donuts. As you eat, enjoy a question-and-answer session with a local expert, covering local culture. Learn about Emirati dress, food and daily life, and leave with a deeper understanding of Dubai’s past and present.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$32.98
From
$32.98
Taking safety measures

Middle Eastern Food & Culture Walk in Old Dubai
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Middle Eastern Food & Culture Walk in Old Dubai

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114
Exploring the Middle Eastern cuisines of old Dubai’s food scene is difficult without a guide to steer you to the right dishes and restaurants. With this small-group half-day tour, enjoy the must-tries and hear their backstories. Plus, visit a range of Middle East restaurants to ensure you experience a culinary cross-section—difficult to achieve on DIY food tours. Tastings of 10 different treats included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.87
From
$115.87
Taking safety measures

Dubai Street Food Tour

Dubai Street Food Tour

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3
Give Dubai’s hotel menus a miss and experience the city's lively street food scene on an evening walking tour. Delve into Dubai’s oldest districts, and stroll through souks and neon-lit markets to visit the locals’ favorite food haunts, admiring the city lights on route. Sample a hot Indian snack and scrumptious 'shawarma' wrap, scout for goodies at the Spice Souk, and enjoy a mutton kebab for dinner at a popular restaurant. Tastings, dinner, and water included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$165.00
From
$165.00
Taking safety measures

Original Street Food Tour of Dubai: Private Tour

Original Street Food Tour of Dubai: Private Tour

star-4.5
6
Delving into Dubai’s street food scene independently may give you just a partial picture of what the locals eat. This walking tour takes you to the top food haunts, so you can be sure to try some of the city’s favorite multi-ethnic street treats. Head deep into the Bur Dubai quarter and taste “falafel” chickpea balls, Afghani bread, and pita-wrapped kebabs, and more; all with useful tips from your guide.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.43
From
$71.43

Walking Tour: Emirati Art and Cultural Tour From Dubai
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Walking Tour: Emirati Art and Cultural Tour From Dubai

Discover traditional Emirati culture and art on a 4-hour tour of old Dubai, with a local guide. See the mud-brick wind towers and courtyards of Al Bastakiya and Al Fahidi, visit boutique art galleries, and admire the beautiful Diwan Mosque. Savor Arabic coffee and fresh dates during a fascinating interactive question and answer session about Emirati life and culture; see Deira’s glittering Gold Souk, and explore women’s role in Emirati life and art at Dubai’s Women’s Museum. Numbers are limited to 15 for a small-group experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.00
From
$79.00
Taking safety measures

Private Dubai Street Food Tour .
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Private Dubai Street Food Tour .

star-4
5
Dubai is a melting pot of traditional and modern Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern culinary influences. This small-group walking tour takes you into the city’s oldest districts to discover and taste the foods that make it tick. Stop at food carts for Indian snacks, explore atmospheric souks, and sample Lebanese fare at a restaurant busy with locals as your guide unravels the intricacies and history of the dishes served up. Food tastings and drinks included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$219.00
From
$219.00
Taking safety measures