7 Must Try UAE Traditional Food When you Visit Dubai

Dubai is a city filled with various ethnicities. Over 80% of the population of the UAE are non-native residents. Dubai is home to many dishes from all over the world. From Lebanese, American, Indian, Italian to Chinese, Philippines, and even Japanese, Dubai has dishes from every corner of the world. Though, the UAE traditional food embraces the country’s culture and reflects it.

While you might want to visit Dubai to see various attractions such as Burj Khalifa or  Dubai Desert Safari, many miss on the various dishes in the country. Dubai has many delicious and culturally rich traditional food. Many famous restaurants in Dubai offer local foods. Here are 7 must Try UAE traditional food when you visit Dubai.

Famous UAE Traditional Food

Breakfast Dishes


Balaleet is a UAE traditional food breakfast dish is made of mainly eggs and vermicelli. It is sweetened with cardamom, sugar, saffron, and rose water.

This dish is served hot as a breakfast dish but can also be served cold as a dessert for its sweetness. Balaleet is often the go-to breakfast dish for locals and can also be eaten for suhoor during the holy month of Ramadan. 

Balaleet, UAE Traditional Food

Main course Dishes


Ghuzi (also known as khuzi) is the national dish of the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the most known UAE traditional food dishes. Its main ingredients are lamb or mutton, rice, roasted nuts, and raisins. The dish is made by roasting a lamb or mutton and is served with rice and decorated with roasted nuts and raisins.

This dish is one of the most popular Emirati dishes and is often served at wedding celebrations and large family gatherings. You can find this dish at many famous restaurants in Dubai that offers Dubai traditional food.  



Harees is one of the simplest yet delicious UAE traditional food dishes. The dish uses 3 main ingredients: Wheat, butter, and meat (usually mutton). The meat is cooked with wheat and a pinch of salt is added.

The mixture is cooked well until the meat has melted into the wheat. The mixture is then thickened over coal. This gives the dish a unique texture along with a remarkable taste.

Harees, UAE Traditional Food


This dish is similar to the biryani dish. However, it is set apart with its unique combination of spices that are used to give the dish a special taste. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, cardamom, saffron, and many others are used to cook the dish.

The main ingredients of the dish are rice and meat (chicken can also be used). The hidden ingredient that sets this dish apart is the addition of dried lemons (known as loomy) into the dish. This gives the dish a strong taste along with the other ingredients mentioned.



Thareed is a Dubai traditional food stew dish made by locals in the UAE. The dish is mainly made with meat or chicken as well as various slow-roasted veggies. The meat is first boiled in water then fried onion, crushed garlic, and loomy (dried lemons) are added to the pot.

Other spices and ingredients are added into the mix such as tomato paste and salt. Once the meat is cooked well, chopped slow-roasted vegetables are added to the meat. Lastly, the stew is set on top of thin Emirati flatbread known as rigag.

Thareed, UAE Traditional Food

Desserts Dishes


Luqaimat is probably the most known UAE traditional food dish and is very popular among the locals. These crunchy yet soft treats are often served with honey dip or date syrup is known dibbs.

The main ingredients are flour, milk, yeast, and water. They are often fried which gives them the delicious golden-brown look. This dessert is often server on special occasions such as weddings and Eid Al Fitr.



Batheeth or batheetha is a UAE traditional food dish that is mainly made of dates. It can be made in a biscuit form or rolled in a ball shape and is often served with gahwa or Arabian coffee.

The main ingredients of this dish are date paste, wheat flour, and butter. This dish is often the go-to dessert that is served by locals to their guests.

Batheeth, UAE Traditional Food

Famous Restaurants in Dubai That Offer Traditional Food

Al Bait Alqadeem

Al Bait Alqadeem (Old House) is one of the most famous restaurants in Dubai that offers local and Arabic dishes. The restaurant was built on an old building that was constructed in 1909. The restaurant has a unique old themed style that reflects its famous Dubai traditional food dishes.

Al Bait Alqadeem

Al Fanar Restaurant

Al Fanar Restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in Dubai that offers various Dubai traditional food dishes. The restaurant was first constructed as a café in 2011. The café offered various Emirati coffee and desserts such as luqaimat.

The café was then reconstructed to become a restaurant that offers many different local dishes. The restaurant has an incredible old themed design that fits well with its cuisine.

Al Fanar Restaurant, UAE Traditional Food

Read More: Different Styles Of Restaurants In Dubai 2020

There is a lot of good UAE traditional food that can’t be missed. Dubai is filled with various cuisines and cultures but the Emirati traditional food stands out. Don’t miss out on this one of a time opportunity to enjoy the local food at one of the famous restaurants in Dubai and learn more about the culture and heritage of the UAE.

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