Exploring the Local Cuisine of Dubai

The cuisine of Dubai is a delightful combination of traditional Arabian flavors and modern culinary influences from all around the world. From the classic flavors of lamb and dates to the exotic tastes of seafood, there is something for everyone in the Emirate’s diverse culinary scene.

Dubai is known for its traditional Arabic dishes, such as hummus, tabbouleh, and kibbeh. These dishes are made from fresh ingredients, like chickpeas, bulgur wheat, and ground lamb, and are often served with flatbread. In addition to these staples, Dubai also has a wide variety of regional specialties, including the spicy fish stew called machboos, the creamy rice dish called mujadara, and the traditional dessert luqaimat, which is made with date syrup, cardamom, and saffron.

In recent years, Dubai has become a hub for international cuisine, too. From Italian trattorias to Indian thalis, there are countless restaurants in the city that specialize in global flavors. But it’s the traditional Emirati dishes that are the real stars of the show. From the juicy kebabs served at roadside shawarma stands to the saffron-scented biryani that’s prepared in royal households, there are plenty of delicious dishes to explore.

No matter what type of food you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in Dubai. From the traditional flavors of the Middle East to the international cuisines of the world, the city is sure to satisfy all of your cravings.

Dubai’s Mujadara Recipe


-1 cup of long grain rice
-1/2 cup of brown or green lentils
-2 tablespoons of olive oil
-1 large onion, diced
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon of ground cumin
-1 teaspoon of ground coriander
-1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
-1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
-3 cups of vegetable broth or water
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
-1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the rice and lentils to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth or water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentils are cooked through.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Serve warm.

Dubai’s Luqaimat Recipe


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Honey or date syrup for serving


  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, cardamom and saffron (if using).
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the ghee, warm water, yoghurt and warm milk and mix until the ghee has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  4. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is soft and pliable. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out into a thin sheet about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Cut the dough into small circles about 2 inches in diameter.
  7. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Carefully drop the dough circles into the oil and fry until golden brown.
  9. Remove the Luqaimat from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
  10. Serve the Luqaimat warm with honey or date syrup.

Dubai’s Chicken Machboos Recipe


-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-2 onions, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander
-1 teaspoon ground turmeric
-1 teaspoon ground cardamom
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1 teaspoon ground cloves
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-2 cups long-grain basmati rice, rinsed and drained
-4 cups chicken broth
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-2 Bay leaves
-1-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
-1/4 cup slivered almonds
-1/4 cup raisins
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, rice, and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken, almonds, raisins, and parsley; cover and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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