Food Options in Dubai
Living in Dubai can enable you to have a gastronomic adventure every day of the week as you sample foods from India, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. Every type of cuisine can be found here whether in the food courts of the many shopping malls, in the restaurants of five-star hotels, or tucked away in the winding streets of the different neighborhoods of the city. Dubai gives you a unique opportunity to taste authentic dishes from every corner of the world without having to stray too far from home.
One type of cuisine you may find difficult to track down is authentic Emirati dishes. Dubai was a small trading post for hundreds of years and the local dishes reflect the blend of influences that crossed through its gates. It is a blend of Asian and Middle Eastern styles with the distinctive flavors of cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, limes, and the dried fruits that are frequently used. Dubai’s location also means that fresh fish is an important part of Emirati cuisine together with meat, including camel meat, and rice. The local food, however, is typically found in the homes of the local Emiratis rather than in the restaurants around the city.
The sheer size of the ex-pat community means that there are many stores and supermarkets eager to serve them. The larger supermarkets stock products from all over the world, catering to both Western and non-Western shoppers. You will find all the familiar brands as well as many you have never heard of. You will also be able to find all the fruit and vegetables you know from back home as well as some that you may not even recognize. There are some fruit and vegetables that are produced locally, but nearly all of the produce is imported. This can make grocery shopping quite expensive and it goes partway towards explaining why people in Dubai have among the largest carbon footprints in the world.
For the more adventurous, outdoor markets and specialist groceries do exist. Some are way off the beaten track; these places let you see a whole new side to this determinedly modern city. At the same time, you will be able to sample an array of new and exotic tastes.