15 Cuisine Options for First-Timer Tourists in Dubai

Dubai, a city often referred to as a junction of cultures, is also known for its multiple cuisine options!

And as a first-timer in Dubai, you’ll find an unlimited supply of ideas to try once you head to malls, restaurants, and souks (yes, that’s what we call markets here in Dubai).

Out of your unending To-Do list as a tourist, seeking different flavors could really be a memorable experience that will compel you to visit this city of wonders again. Knowing your curiosity about the food options and cluelessness about what to try first, we’ve compiled a list for our guests (switching between tourists and foodies) to help them order the delicious cuisine spread across the city.

So, let’s begin with our recommendations that will make your trip a truly memorable event!

Emirati Cuisine – A must for every first-timer

Since you’re in Dubai, starting your foodie-cum-tourist journey with Emirati cuisine options would be a perfect start. So, here are the must-try Emirati cuisines for all first-timers!

Al Machboos

Al Machboos

Al Machboos is one notable Emirati food option that every first-timer tourist would find tasty since it contains spiced cooked rice and meat (mostly chicken or lamb). The dish offers a mouthwatering taste as it contains various spices and herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, and dried lime.

Plus, this special dish is an integral part of UAE’s history so you’ll find it extremely helpful for connecting with this land’s culture and cuisine.

Al Manousheh

Next, on our list of Emirati cuisine options, is the famous Al Manousheh!

This flatbread, having cheese, za’atar, or minced meat as toppings, dish offers you a delightful eating experience that you’d have not experienced before.

Al Manousheh offers you a blend of flavors and spices once you take the first bite since it’s made with various ingredients mixed in a careful arrangement to obtain such unique fragrance and taste.

Camel Biryani

You may have heard of Biryani, a famous Indian spicy food, but have you eaten a camel biryani before?

In Dubai, you’ll find a Middle Eastern version of biryani having tender pieces of camel meat mixed with spicy rice.

Besides the tender camel meat pieces, the biryani also has a blend of spices and the fragrant rice cooked at a specific temperature that gives it a unique taste.

Emirati Coffee

Since we’re talking about the famous Emirati cuisine, the list won’t be completed without the mention of Emirati Coffee!

Also known as Arabic coffee and Gahwa, this aromatic drink is made with Arabic coffee beans usually flavored with cardamom or saffron.

The Emirati coffee is a perfect option to reenergize yourself after you take a long tour of the city exploring different districts and famous shopping malls.

Non-Emirati Cuisine Options – An endless array of foreign food options!

Foreign Food Options

Whether you’re coming from an Asian country or traveling all the way from Europe, Dubai will welcome you with all foreign food options.

Indian Cuisine

If you’re feeling clueless what to order in Indian cuisine, there are plenty of options that you may try.
In case you haven’t tasted an Indian food before, try ordering the Hyderabadi Biryani that’s full of spices or the Butter Chicken that will explore the blend of spices in your mouth in the very first bite.
Also, you may go for the Dosa, an Indian specialty food, or Chicken Tikka if you’re into spicy foods.

Chinese Cuisine

If you’re perplexed while choosing a Chinese food, the possibilities are endless since the Chinese cuisine brings a plethora of items.

Try the delicious Peking Duck or the Kung Pao Chicken that offer you an unforgettable taste.

Or, alternatively, you may go with the Dim Sum which is a famous Chinese food amongst frequent Chinese food lovers.

Italian Cuisine

If your plans include an Italian dish but the unlimited choices are confusing you what to order, here are the suggestions.

Italian cuisine is famous for offering a variety of pizzas especially the wood-fired pizza. Or, you may opt for a Pasta Carbonara, too, in your dinner.

And in case you’re craving for something sweet in Italian cuisine, order a Gelato with a flavor of your choice and conclude your dinner with something sweet.

Equestrian Cuisine

If you’re into horses and seeking to try something exquisite, consider the equestrian cuisine that is gaining popularity even here in Dubai!

This unique cuisine includes a variety of dishes to offer you an appealingly different dining experience for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The idea behind this specific cuisine is to pay homage to everything equestrian and provide the customers an ideal ambiance to enjoy their meal and share their love for horses with like-minded diners.

French Cuisine

So, you’ve decided to order a delicious meal from the French cuisine but have no clue what would that be, right?

If you’re trying the French cuisine for the very first time here in Dubai, try the Coq au Vin that is one famous option.

Or, you may opt for Escargot, Croissants or the Crème Brulee that are a safe bet if you don’t want to try something new and get disappointed by your choice.

Mediterranean Cuisine

The Mediterranean cuisine is another popular food option if you’re starving and hoping to eat something really tasty!

Having a blend of various dishes at your disposal, you can either go with the Greek Souvlaki that’s known for offering a memorable taste or choose the Lebanese Mezze.

Or, you may order the Moroccan Tagine that is one famous dish when it comes to the Mediterranean cuisine.

Street Food Options – For on-the-go eating experience!

Street Food Options

And here are some finger-licious food recommendations that you can order on a budget while wandering around Dubai’s streets and taking some tasty memories back home.


Falafel is one of the specialty snacks that you’ll easily find in every souk and food street while exploring Dubai. Made with chickpeas, herbs, spices, and onions, this mouthwatering street food option is an ideal choice when you’re on the move and feeling hungry.


If we say Kebabs the king of street food, it wouldn’t be wrong as they offer you a tasty and memorable experience. Then, they come with various options such as chicken kebabs, beef kebabs, or lamb kebabs so you won’t feel limited while ordering them during your trip to Dubai.

Order some yogurt and enjoy your kebabs either with rice or flatbread!


If you’re craving to eat something sweet, Luqaimat is another great option when it comes to street food in Dubai!

These small deep-fried dumplings made with flour, yeast, saffron, and sugar offer you a tasty eating experience while you’re searching for the best street food options in Dubai.

And the best part, that enhances their taste, is the honey/date syrup sprinkled over them for an aromatic experience for the consumers. You’ll feel the unique taste Luqaimat offer in the very first bite as you devour them during your trip to Dubai.


If you’re traveling from an Asian country, you won’t be surprised to see Samosas at a food stall in Dubai!

Made with potatoes and peas, this triangular snack offers you a tasty experience instantly satisfying your appetite after a long walk around Dubai’s streets. In short, this spicy yet tasty snack offers you a delicious eating experience on the go during your ventures as a first-time tourist in Dubai.

So, challenge your friends for a samosa-thon or plan a samosa date with your better half on your trip to Dubai.


Challenging pizzas, burgers, and fried chicken, the Shawarma is a go-to street food option for tourists in Dubai!

If you can’t decide what to order while going through the menu and feeling extremely hungry, simply order a shawarma having marinated meat, garlic sauce, and fresh vegetables. You can buy the roll and eat it during the walk to a nearby souk or order a platter according to your appetite the choice is yours.

And like kebabs, you can also choose between chicken, lamb, or beef shawarma and treat your taste buds.

And with this, you’re all set to make your first trip a truly memorable experience while finding (and tasting) all these amazing cuisines available in Dubai.

Reserve your table at Colt Equestrian Courtyard Cafe, one of the best restaurants in Dubai, if you’ve picked equestrian cuisine, today!

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