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A Foodie’s Guide to UAE Cuisine

The UAE is home to a diverse cuisine. As more and more people relocate to the Emirates from around the world, restaurants and eateries offering dishes specific to different countries have emerged all across the region. That said, the UAE has some delicious food items of its own that you must try once you move there.

Shawarma

This Arabian delight is no longer only famous in the UAE. In fact, you’ve probably heard of it or even tried a variant of it in your hometown. The simple yet delicious dish has gained fame all across the world and Marvel’s favorite superhero Tony Stark even mentioned craving shawarma in the first Avengers installment, after they got done with the battle.

You don’t have to be fighting intergalactic species to want a dose of this Arabic food item. In fact, in the UAE you’ll find a shawarma stand pretty much everywhere to satisfy your appetite. The dish is quite similar to Turkish döner kebabs and Greek gyros.  The spiced meat is delicately grilled on a vertical spit. It is then either served in the form of wrap with fresh vegetables and dressing, or on a platter. You may have tried shawarma at your local Arabic restaurant back home, but trust us, nothing comes close to the authentic Middle Eastern flavor that you’ll find in the UAE. 

Falafel

Another popular dish you can’t miss out on when you’re in the UAE is falafel. This is more of an appetizer or a quick bite type of a dish than a full meal, but is nevertheless a hit among the locals.

Falafel refers to fried ball-shaped patties that are made from chickpeas and an assortment of herbs. These round snacks may be served as a side dish with the main course of rice or meat, or in a platter of their own alongside hummus or some other dips. Although a fried item, falafel makes for a light meal, and is readily available throughout the Emirates both in restaurants as well as in the form of street food.

Another popular dish you can’t miss out on when you’re in the UAE is falafel. This is more of an appetizer or a quick bite type of a dish than a full meal, but is nevertheless a hit among the locals.

Stuffed Camel

Ever wondered what the largest meal you’ll find on a menu across the world is? That status is held by the Middle Eastern dish of a whole stuffed camel.

That’s right. An entire camel stuffed with lamb, which may also be stuffed with chicken or eggs. Sounds like a mouthful? It is! Not only is stuffed camel the largest dish in the world, but it’s also a celebratory and a luxury food item that’s prepared on special occasions in the UAE. This means that you’re less likely to find it on a menu on a regular Saturday night or a Tuesday evening. However, the dish is prepared during festivals, cultural events, and Bedouin ceremonies, and is a must-try item.

We’ve got some more suggestions lined up for you in part two of our blog series. Stay tuned for some scrumptious Middle Eastern delights you absolutely have to try when you’re in the UAE!

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