dubai food

The Ultimate Dubai Food Guide for Tourists in 2024

Dubai is one of the most well-known treasures of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With thousands of tourists flocking to its local tourist hotspots and luxurious hotels every year, people treat it like a wonderland at the heart of the country.

Other than its tourist spots, Dubai has a lot to offer when it comes to food. With a mix of Iranian, Lebanese, and Arabic cuisine, you are sure to find something to your taste. Whether you are a fan of street food or sit-down restaurants, you will not be disappointed. There is something for everyone, from vegetarians to meat-eaters. 

The range of dishes on offer is sure to leave you spoilt for choice! And the best part is that many of the dishes represent the rich culture and tradition of Dubai. So, not only will you be able to satisfy your hunger, but you will also be able to learn more about the local culture. If you’re visiting Dubai in 2024, be sure to try some of these delicious foods.

Non-Vegetarian Dubai Cuisine

Meat lovers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to Emirati cuisine, as there are plenty of dishes that include meat. For vegetarians, there are several dishes that will suit their needs, including Falafel, Shawarma, and Kofta.

guide for food in dubai

Here are some of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Dubai:


Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish that is made from thinly sliced meat, such as lamb, chicken, or beef. It is usually served with a variety of sauces, including tahini, garlic, and lemon. If you want to get to know Dubai better, this dish should be at the top of your list!


To those unfamiliar with Kofta, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern food that is made with ground meat, spices, and nuts. It’s typically served with rice or bread. The dish is believed to have originated in Persia, and the name “kofta” comes from the Persian word “küfte” or “köfte,” which means finely chopped meat. Kofta is a very versatile dish, and there are many different ways to make it. It can be made with beef, lamb, chicken, or even fish. The meat is usually mixed with spices and herbs and then formed into balls or patties. The koftas can then be grilled, baked, or fried. It’s usually served with a variety of sauces, including tahini, garlic, and lemon.

Kousa Mahshi

One of the most well-known main course dishes from Dubai is called Kousa Mahshi. Kousa Mahshi is a Lebanese dish that is a combination of rice, meat, and vegetables. It is a very hearty dish that is perfect for a winter meal. The rice is cooked with lamb or beef, and the vegetables include potatoes, carrots, peas, and corn. This dish is usually served with a side of hummus or tzatziki sauce.

shwarma - food in dubai


Manousheh is a type of flatbread that is popular in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. It is made from unleavened dough and is typically topped with za’atar, which is a blend of spices, including oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds. It’s the closest thing to traditional pizza in Dubai but with an added zing due to its unique ingredients. Check out the food in Dubai when you visit the city. You’ll be surprised at its amazing dishes!

Chelo Kebab

Looking for the best food in Dubai? Be sure to try Chelo Kebab! This delicious dish is made with aromatic saffron-scented basmati rice and served with a pat of butter on top. Chelo kebab is a traditional Persian dish that is made from ground meat (usually lamb or beef) and rice. It’s often served with a yogurt-based sauce and is definitely one of the city’s most famous foods, and definitely worth a try!


Oozie is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is made from chicken or lamb that has been cooked in a special sauce. The sauce is made from a variety of different spices, and the dish is served with a side of rice or bread. If you’ve ever attended a wedding in Dubai, this is one of the dishes you’ll encounter there.

Vegetarian Dubai Cuisine

Dubai isn’t just a beautiful city; it’s also a vegetarian-friendly place. There are many delicious vegetarian dishes in Dubai, including falafel, hummus, and tabouli. These dishes are often served with pita bread and are perfect for a light meal or snack. Vegetarian food in Dubai is often very healthy and flavorful, and you can find many different options to suit your taste. Here are some of them:

Baba Ganoush


Falafel is a popular vegetarian dish and is deep fried and made from either fava beans or chickpeas. They are usually served with bread and make for a great meal. However, it is important to ask about the ingredients used to make the falafel, as every restaurant has its own unique recipe. Contact a local tour company to help you find the best restaurants around the city.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is a delicious vegetarian dish from Dubai that is made from tomatoes, onions, olive oil, tahini, and smoked eggplant. This dish is gut-friendly and an excellent appetizer. If you’re just looking for a light meal or snack in the middle of the day, you’ll never go wrong with a serving of Baba Ganoush.

Shirin Polo

Shirin Polo is a vegetarian dish from Dubai that is made from rice, carrots, peas, and potatoes garnished with yellow onions, orange and tangerine zest, and saffron powder. It’s quite a very simple dish to make, and it’s also very healthy. This dish is perfect for those who are on a budget, as it is very inexpensive to make.

For those who are looking for a vegetarian specialty in Dubai, trying this dish will make your day. You can try it with pistachio ice cream or berries to enjoy a fulfilling experience.


This is a classic Lebanese dish that is perfect for vegetarians. It is made with vegetables, herbs, and spices and is served with pita bread.

Fattoush is a salad made with fried pieces of pita bread, popular in Dubai. It is often eaten as a guilt-free indulgence by health-conscious individuals. Tourists and residents in Dubai often crave this dish due to its hearty flavors and deliciousness.


Tabbouleh is a salad made with bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, and mint. It is a popular dish in Dubai and is often served as a side dish or appetizer. If you’re a little health conscious and you’re looking for a guilt-free meal that’s packed with flavor, a serving of tabbouleh is just right for you. 

Delectable Dubai Desserts

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious dessert to try on your next trip to Dubai, you’ll want to check out some of the city’s famous desserts. From traditional Arabic sweets to modern fusion creations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of the most popular Dubai desserts that you won’t want to miss.

dubai dessert


Do you love donuts? What about a delicious dessert to go with your tea? Khanfaroosh is a traditional dessert made with egg, flour, saffron, cardamom, yeast, and rose water. You can find it all over Dubai. So next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, try Khanfaroosh! It’s often flavored with cardamom or other spices and served with a dollop of clotted cream or ice cream. If you want to go on a jet ski ride or a boat tour, this is the perfect dish after spending time under the sun. Get in touch with your local jet ski tour guide today!


Have you ever had a cheese dessert? Knafeh is a traditional Arabic cheese dessert made with soft, white cheese like Akkawi or Nabulsi. It’s often flavored with rose water or orange blossom water and served with simple syrup. You can find it all over the Middle East and in some Arab restaurants in the United States.

Esh Asaraya

This is a cheese pastry from Israel that’s made with a mixture of cheeses, eggs, and spices. It’s similar to knafeh, but the cheese is mixed with eggs and spices instead of being layered. 


Mahalabiya is a traditional pudding made with milk, rice flour, and sugar that’s thickened with cornstarch. It’s usually served with sweet syrup or honey. This is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s a rich pudding sprinkled with rosewater and pistachios and usually served cold. If you heat it, the taste will change dramatically, and it’ll lose its rich flavors, so don’t ask the waiter to do so. Ask your local tour agency for some restaurant recommendations.


Luqaimat is small, deep-fried dumplings made of butter, milk, sugar, flour, saffron, and cardamom. They are very popular in Dubai, especially during the month of Ramadan, and are usually served as a dessert. These fried dough balls are soaked in syrup and are usually served with strong tea, especially in winter. They are very sweet and addictive – the more you eat, the more you want!


The Unique Qualities of Emirati Cuisine

There are many unique qualities to Emirati cuisine that make it special and worth trying. For one, Emirati cuisine is very diverse, with influences from many different cultures. This diversity is reflected in the wide variety of available dishes, from traditional Emirati dishes to more modern fusion dishes.

Another unique quality of Emirati cuisine is the use of spices. Emirati dishes are known for their strong, bold flavors, and this is thanks to the use of spices such as cumin, cardamom, and cloves. This makes Dubai food a favorite among tourists visiting the city or just going around on a jet ski and enjoying the view.

Finally, Emirati cuisine is also known for its use of fresh, local ingredients. Emiratis are very proud of their local produce, and this is reflected in the dishes that they create. Local ingredients such as dates, honey, and camel milk are often used in Emirati dishes, giving them a unique flavor you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for a cuisine that is unique and full of flavor, then Dubai food is definitely worth trying. You won’t be disappointed!


The unique qualities of Emirati cuisine can be attributed to the country’s rich cultural heritage and diverse culinary influences. Emirati cuisine is known for its use of fresh, local ingredients, as well as for its unique flavor combinations. These methods make for a delicious and unique meal, making them perfect for completing your vacation to this well-beloved city.

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