8 Traditional Foods You Must Try in Dubai

Every city has its own history when it comes to food, and Dubai is no different!

The city not only offers you plenty of options for adventure or shopping at one of the luxury malls, but it also invites you to taste the delicious traditional food as well.

Are you a foodie who prefers to connect with the city through its century-old cuisine?

You’re in luck as Dubai has an unending list of delicious food that not only offers your taste buds a unique experience but takes you back to the time when they were first made.

To make your trip a truly memorable experience with unlimited traditional food recommendations, we’ve compiled this handy list that will act as your GPS to track each item.

Let’s start recommending the most famous traditional foods that you must try in Dubai, below!

Must-Try Arabic Cuisine

Sweet Arabian Delights

Sweet Arabian Delights

From casual eating orders to special festivals, the Arabian culture has a sweet dish for every occasion. Here are the dishes that signify Arabian culture’s hospitality with a list of sweet delights that you must try.

Al Jeerish

Made with wheat flour, butter, saffron, and cardamom, Al Jeerish is a traditional sweet dish signifying the magnificence of Arabian tribes.

This delicious sweet dish is popular amongst Emiratis since the nomadic tribal era of UAE and is still considered an important part of dinner table during special occasions.

This cake-like sweet delicacy offers you a blend of sweet and spicy tastes due to the specific ingredients used in it.


If you’re a fan of noodles and want to try something similar in Arabian cuisine, order Balaleet!

Mostly eaten in the breakfast, this sweet dish is everyone’s go-to option when they seek something sweet and tasty to eat.

Made with vermicelli noodles, saffron, sugar, rosewater, and eggs, this dish offers you a unique sugary taste during celebratory events.


If you truly want to experience the sweet taste of Emirati cuisine, you must taste Luqaimat!

Luqaimat is not only a tasty Emirati cuisine due to having a specialized making process but has a significant place in Emirati culture, too.

This – every Emirati’s favorite – dish is made with yeast, cardamom, saffron, rosewater, sugar, and flour offering you a tasty experience due to the honey syrup drizzled over them after frying.


Mahalabiya, sometimes spelled Muhallebi, is another awesome choice when you’re seeking Arabian sweet dishes in Dubai!

Made with sugar, rice flour, and milk, this Eastern dessert has a unique sweet taste and dates back centuries in Arabian culinary cuisine.

Not only taste, the presentation is what sets this sweet dish apart having floral notes over it that offer you an elegant feeling when served.

Spicy Arabian Cuisine

And now comes the spice-rich Arabian foods that are the symbol of tradition as well as offer you an unforgettable taste, too. Try one or try all of them and leave with a unique eating experience and your reviews about all these dishes.

Al Machboos

Let’s start with Al Machboos, a famous Arabian cuisine that is a must-try for every tourist trying to connect with Emirati culinary culture!

It tastes different than most Emirati spicy foods due to the specialized cooking recipe that includes long-grain rice, tender pieces of meat (mostly chick, lamb, or goat), and a variety of aromatic spices that result in finger-licking Al Machboos.

Al Madrooba

Al Madrooba is a perfect option for meat lovers that you’ll find at the top of the list of Arabian cuisine!

Before you take the first bite the aromatic fragrance of Al Madrooba spells a magic on you that you won’t resist trying it even if you’re full.

Made with lamb/chicken and various aromatic spices, this special Arabian dish would steal your heart with a unique taste that represents Dubai’s cuisine linking back to its vibrant past.


Often associated with spicy dishes prepared during the holy month of Ramadan Kareem, Harees is one popular Arabic food!

Harees is a go-to dish for Emiratis that is made with wheat and chicken where wheat is soaked all night before slowly cooking with chicken the next morning. This specialized cooking pattern results in porridge-like smooth chicken pieces that taste utterly delicious in every bite. To enhance the taste, Harees also contains cinnamon or cardamom which makes it even spicier.

Famous Emirati Snack

Famous Emirati Snack

UAE has its own version of fast food if you want to order something as tasty as your favorite pizzas or burgers. Here are some must-taste Emirati snacks that will compel you to suck your fingers even after hours you eat them.

Al Jabab Bread

In ancient times, when Emirati tribes used to travel across the desert, Al Jabab bread was their go-to meal!

Al Jabab bread is made from dough that includes a pinch of salt, water, and wheat flour. This flattened bread offers you a crunchy and delicious taste upon first bite helping you keep up with your hunger needs during the commute.

And the best part about choosing Al Jabab bread is that you can incorporate this snack with various other dishes, too.

Al Regag

Al Regag is another must-try Emirati snack that you should consider eating on your trip to Dubai!

Passed on to generations, this crispy yet delicious Arabic snack is made with wheat flour, water, and a small amount of salt. Also, the addition of black cumin seeds gives this snack a unique fragrance and taste when you bite it.

What makes Al Regag an irresistible option is its crispy texture that invites you to take a bit and keep on consuming.

Al Manousheh

In the list of local food options, Al Manousheh is one must-try snack that you can take with you during the commute!

Originally discovered in Lebanon, this delicious snack is made with a blend of yeast, water, wheat flour, and an amount of salt. To enhance the taste, Al Manousheh often has a topping of olive oil, cheese, or za’atar that sets this snack apart in terms of taste.

Essential Arabic Sips

Arabic Sips

In case you’re searching for something as good as your coffee or the mint margarita, here are a few options that you’d find relevant in our Arabian cuisine recommendations.


Gahwa, Arabic coffee, or Emirati coffee, this symbol of Arabian hospitality has many names and signifies the love of UAE’s locals for coffee in a traditional way.

If you happen to visit a local’s residence, which first thing they’ll offer you is a cup of this aromatic drink that represents their centuries old culture.

Made with Arabian coffee beans, cardamom, saffron, and cinnamon, this drink is brewed with several other ingredients to offer you a remarkable taste.


Just like the locals of UAE love sipping Gahwa during the evening, Jallab is another people’s favorite drink!

This tasty drink dates back to the Levant region and is considered an integral part of Arabian cuisine. Made with dates, grapes, rosewater, and molasses, this drink is garnished with crushed ice and pine nuts offering you a soothing drinking experience in the hot summers of UAE.

And with this, you’re all set to taste and rate Dubai’s traditional food during your trip to this city of unmatchable Arabian cuisine. If you’re seeking a restaurant at Dubai Mall in hopes of eating something exquisite, reserve your table at Colt Equestrian Courtyard Cafe where you’ll find a blend of awesome taste and spell spell-binding city view.

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