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10 Best Dubai Foods Everyone Should Try

Dubai is one of the most renowned cities in the world, famous for its luxury, desert safari,  vibrant nightlife, hotels, and great food. But have this ever struck your mind, “what's the food like in Dubai?”

If you are someone who loves to try new meals, you have probably had Greek or Indian dishes. But Dubai foods? It’s still a little bit of a mystery to many visitors. Whether you are a foodie lover planning a trip to Dubai, or a local popped by a restaurant to try out a new Dubai meal, you are sure to have something that piques your interest. From Emeriti cuisine to a delightful mix of Indian, Iranian, and Lebanese flavors to meals bursting with herbs, Dubai dishes are not just delicious but super-healthy too. We’ve put together a list of the best local Dubai foods that most visitors don’t know about. So, let’s get ready to sink your teeth into the mouthwatering food options:

Harees

Have you ever tried Harees? It's one of the most beloved dishes of Dubai that often graces Emirati diner tables. This traditional dish is a labor of love often served at special occasions, banquets, and weddings. Made with minced wheat, meat, ground cumin, salt, water, onions, and sometimes chicken, Harees offers a truly authentic taste of Emirati heritage. The recipe, passed down through generations, highlights the rich UAE culinary traditions. If you haven't tasted it yet, you're in for a treat.

Majboos

Visiting Dubai and missing out on Majboos is no exception! A true favorite among Emiratis, Majboos is a delectable dish prepared with various meat, typically chicken with basmati rice. It's brimming with bold flavors of mixed vegetables and Arabian spices. Majboos is one of our greatest staples, as a highlight during Ramadans and family gatherings.

Luqaymat

Luqaymat is one of the beloved staples of the traditional cuisine of Dubai, especially during special occasions and cultural events. These sweet pastries are a must-have in restaurants and homes alike. Imagine delicate golden balls melting down in your mouth, and that's exactly what Luqaymat does. Prepared from sesame seeds, sugar, a bit of yeast, salt, turmeric, sesame flour, and flour, the batter is left to rest and then fried to perfection, followed by the drizzling of syrup. Some say Luqaymat originated in the Arab world and was known as Halwa al-Luqaymat or Awama, while the Greeks called their versions loukoumades. The sharbat or honey-like syrup, is used to finish them off and it originally came from Turkey.

Madrouba

Madrouba is a famous meal in Dubai, Bahrain, and Oman. The chicken one is the most famous, but you can also find it with lamb, crushed grains, or fish. This is one of the best food to eat in Dubai is prepared with tomatoes, spices, yogurt, onion, and garlic with a hint of butter. Named Madrouba meaning beaten in Arabic, it's beaten into a smooth mash at the final stage. It's perfect for all ages because it's easy to digest.

Thareed

Emirati Thareed is a staple of Gulf cuisine, specifically in Dubai. This hearty dish includes chunks of vegetables and bread immersed in a rich meat broth. Often served on special occasions, Thareed is loaded with protein and vitamins. Its combination of vegetables, meat, and whole wheat bread makes it not only delicious but also a great energy booster. The high vegetable-protein content makes it incredibly healthy, perfect for anyone looking for a nourishing meal with a traditional taste.

Meat Biryani

If you're a fan of biryani, you're in the right place. This dish is popular all across the Gulf, and Dubai is no exception. Originally an Indian dish, biryani has spread to East Asia and the Arab world, continuing to win hearts with its heavenly taste. It is prepared with fragrant Indian spices and basmati rice and can be enjoyed with various meats and chicken. There are many varieties, including Katchi, Southeast Asian, Sri Lankan, and Iranian, each bringing its own unique and perfect taste to every bite.

Chicken Saloona

Amongst the Western cuisine waves, Saloona remains a beloved option across the UAE. When in Dubai, missing out on this Emirati stew is not a chance. It is known for its simple preparation, amazing flavor, and delicious taste. Saloona is rustled up with turmeric, grated ginger, onion, white rice, spices, chili, minced garlic, olive oil, and chicken pieces.

Oozie

Oozie is one of the star dishes from the Gulf region and is served especially on special occasions such as festive celebrations and weddings. It is the best food in Dubai to be enjoyed during Ramadan, at Emirati tables as families gather to break their fast. It is prepared with rice and stuffed into delicate pastry pockets or paired up with chicken. It's most often paired with yogurt and salads or garnished with roasted or fried nuts. This dish is a delectable fusion of textures and flavors that you must try.

Jasheed

Fish is a significant part of Emirati cuisine, especially along the coast, where fresh catches are routine meals. Jasheed, often made with small sharks but also other fish is a notable dish. It is served with clarified butter and white rice. The fish is cooked with spices until the skin peels off, then cleaned and simmered with cinnamon, dried lemon, garlic, onion, ginger, and bazar spices. After shredding the fish and mixing it with the spices, it is cooked until tender. Voila! Jasheed is ready to be savored.

Tahta Malih

Tahta Malih is a beloved traditional dish in Dubai. Its authentic flavors have stood the test of time, much like the preserved fish used to make it. In the past, this salted and preserved fish, known as Malih, was essential when fresh fish was scarce. Popular varieties include herring, queenfish, mackerel, and tuna. However, be cautious: Tahta Malih is quite salty, so it's best enjoyed in moderation, especially if you have high blood pressure. Despite this, it's a classic dish often prepared with yellowfin tuna and found throughout Dubai.