7 Culinary Delights to Understand Dubai’s Bedouin Lifestyle

Cruising, skiing, shopping, and unlimited options to try during your Dubai trip are all artificial adventures. 

As a tourist, you seek a connection with the place you’re visiting and that’s not possible until you know the city’s true history. Since you’re in Dubai, you must understand the Bedouin lifestyle to connect with this city’s roots on a deeper level. 

And what’s the better way to connect with a city’s culture than trying the traditional cuisine? 

Before Dubai emerged as a futuristic city with its skyscrapers and mesmerizing architectural wonders, it was known as a coastal area. The city had a very distinct lifestyle and a unique Bedouin cuisine, too, that is still very popular amongst Emiratis. As a tourist, you must know what type of food Emiratis used to eat back in the day to properly understand Dubai’s culture. 

We’ve compiled a list of traditional cuisines that you can try to connect with the real Dubai. 

Must-Try Bedouin Cuisine

Bedouin Cuisine

Curious to know about the famous traditional foods that represent the real Bedouin lifestyle? 

Here are the essential dishes that you must try during your trip to Dubai to understand the cultural values that make the city unique from other tourist destinations. 

Let’s dive in and explain how these foods taste, are made, and were first discovered in the region!


Let’s start with a sweet Arabian dish that the nomads used to eat back in the day and still devour with the same zeal – Aseedah!

A Bedouin dish discovered out of limited resources, Aseedah is one essential option that you must try during your trip to Dubai.

This sweet dish includes wheat flour, water, and ghee in its ingredients that offer you a memorable taste upon the first bite. Dates (or date syrup) are sometimes used to add a slightly different taste to the final product. It’s the ghee that contributes to its delicious flavor along with offering nutritional elements upon consumption. 

Speaking of its discovery, Aseedah was popular as a nomad dish due to the ease of carrying it on long desert trips under harsh sunlight. 

The specialized-making process gives you a tasty dish that can either be eaten as a dessert or used as a snack.

Al Jabab Bread

Made with wheat flour, water, and salt, the Al Jabab Bread (or simply the Jabab) is another delicious food that you must try while visiting Dubai!

One of the many reasons for suggesting Al Jabab Bread is its unique texture and subtle salty taste that makes it a preferred dish when it comes to traditional foods

Al Jabab Bread took its name from “Jabba” which means to pat or clap!

Interestingly, people used to pat on the dough for making Jabab Bread back in the day which led to the naming of this dish “Jabab”. They used to eat this bread with various options like grilled meat or stews that make it tastier. 

Gers Ogaily

If you’re seeking to order something as sweet and creamy as a cake, the Arabs have their version in the shape of Gers Ogaily!

This delicious Bedouin dish is made with saffron, cardamom, ghee, sugar, and vermicelli noodles that are blended together to offer you a finger-licking experience.

And the best part about Gers Ogaily is the range of flavors that you can try!

It has a very balanced sweetness that stays with you for a long time pushing you to taste it again.

This traditional dessert, which is often spelled as Gers Ogailyah, became a part of celebrations amongst the Arabs due to the ease of making and the mouthwatering aroma it offers. 

So, while you’re seeking a true connection with the Bedouin lifestyle, you must taste Gers Ogaily to understand why Emiratis love this particular dish so much.


If understanding Dubai’s maritime is on your “To-Do list” while you’re on a trip in the city, order a plate of Jisheed!

This particular food has been an integral part of UAE’s tribal life and connects back to the city’s maritime heritage when most of the tribes used to hunt fish for their survival. 

Jisheed (or Jisheed Al Samak) is prepared with fish, spices, onions, tomatoes, and oil at a very slow pace so the dish would offer you an ideal taste.

This seafood can be served in a variety of ways such as with a plate of rice along with several other dishes. In short, Jisheed offers you a blend of taste and healthy lifestyle in one dish along with giving you a peak into the Bedouin lifestyle. 


As you study Bedouin culture in detail, you’ll discover they celebrate a lot!

This fact can be proven by the types of sweet dishes you’ll discover in their cuisine such as Zalabya. 

This sweet dish is often spelled zulbia or zalabia in different Middle Eastern regions that are as old as Arabian history. Originally coming from Eygpt, Zalabya found its place in the Bedouin lifestyle due to its sugary properties that complete your celebrations. 

Dough and sugar syrup are fried until they develop a brown color giving them a mouthwatering appeal. As you bite them, you’ll feel a blast of sweetness in your mouth taking you to a whole new world.


You’ll find a lot of delicious yet spicy dishes in Arabic cuisine and Majboos is one of them!

Majboos is also known as Kabsa or Makbous in some Arabian countries such as Saudi Arabia. Its name comes from the word “Jubsa” which means “to press or squeeze” just like its preparation. 

Made with basmati rice, chicken meat, onions, garlic, chilies, spices, and tomato pastes, this spicy dish is famous amongst Emirati food lovers. All of these ingredients are mixed together while cooking majboos which result in an unforgettable taste. You’ll also find vegetables as an additional ingredient for increasing the nutritional aspects of the food.

Mostly served on special occasions, majboos is an ideal choice for those who prefer spicy food. In fact, you’ll find it on the table at family gatherings and festive celebrations.


If you’re seeking a good option to order in terms of drinks, Jallab can be an ideal choice!

Jallab is not just restricted to UAE as you’ll find it (or its variations) in other Arabian countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine where people cherish this tasty drink and mostly consume it during special occasions or festivals. 

What makes Jallab apart from other drinks in Bedouin cuisine is the ingredients it contains such as dates, grapes, rosewater, pine nuts, and carob. And the inclusion of ice gives it a soothing effect upon the very first sip. 

The date syrup is mixed with water before adding grape juice, rose water, and carob syrup. Some people also prefer to add garnished pine nuts (usually visible on the surface) that give Jallab an appealing presentation.

Not just a traditional drink, you’ll find Jallab the first option of the host when you’re invited to a local citizen’s house, too.

With this, your roadmap to unlock Dubai’s Bedouin lifestyle reaches an end, signaling you to begin your traditional exploration. If you’re seeking a restaurant in Dubai Mall that serves Equestrian cuisine, reserve your table at Colt Equestrian Restaurant & Cafe for a serene and memorable dining experience, today.

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