UAE: Food                                                      


  • With a multi-ethnical community, the UAE has almost every type of food available, from classic Asian food to European delicacies.


  • Luxury restaurants found in many of the finest UAE hotels can be very expensive. However you can find cheaper dishes in local cafés and corner stalls.


  • International fast food chains are common in larger cities.


Influence of Islam

  • Most people in the UAE are Muslim, so pork is not included in traditional dishes. Likewise, Islam does not permit alcohol consumption. However, alcohol is served in restaurants and bars in UAE hotels. Restaurants outside of hotels are not allowed to serve any type of alcoholic beverage.


Popular Foods

  • Rice, meat, and fish are the Emirians' staple foods.


  • Among the most commonly used spices are: coriander, cardamom (photo), saffron, and turmeric.


  • A favorite dish in the UAE is machbous (photo)—rice and meat seasoned with spices, onions, tomatoes, and dried lemon.


  • During Ramadan, the month of daytime fasting, harees is usually served at night. It is made from small pieces of shredded meat that are mixed with wheat and water that have been beaten to the consistency of porridge.



  • Favorite desserts include:
    • Al-halwa—made from sugar, eggs, starch, water, and oil.
    • Kul wiskut—a mixture of peanuts and sugar.



Coffee (photo) and tea are the most popular beverages and are often mixed with spices (cardamom for coffee, and saffron or mint for tea).