5 Foods that are Typically, Traditionally Dubai

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It’s often said that there is no such thing as “Dubai Cuisine”. Or at least, there’s no single cuisine that you could say is typical of Dubai.

The Emirate has everything, from top-end French and Asian food right through to Indian, Iranian, African and Lebanese.

But native to Dubai? Well, you’d be surprised. Here are some foods that are typical of Dubai, even if they can be found elsewhere…


Many of the Dubai properties we sell have date palms in the gardens, and these are the best you’ll ever taste – if you own the palm. Catch them at the right time (i.e. before they hit the ground) and they’ll be succulent and most importantly – free.

However, if you’ve ever passed through the airport, you’ll have seen the array of dates on offer, and many of them are indeed local. Covered with chocolate, stuffed with nuts, Dubai locals can’t get enough of their dates.

Camel Milk Chocolate

Al Nassma is the only seller of Camel Milk chocolate in the whole world – so this is 100% authentically Dubai. It’s new, too, having been established in 2008, it took four years of research before being produced for the first time.

Here’s the science bit: it’s full of potassium, magnesium, vitamins and minerals, manganese, sodium, zinc, iron, it’s low in fat and it has high antibacterial properties.

Yep, that’s the camel milk, not the chocolate. But it’s the same thing. It’s chocolate, it’s healthy, it’s Dubai – AND it’s now on sale at Harrods in London.


There is little more Middle Eastern than Harees, which might not sound very attractive, but bear with us.

It has the consistency of porridge – it’s basically boiled, cracked or coarsely ground wheat which is mixed with meat. It can be thicker, almost to the consistency of a dumpling, and the first documented recipe was in the 10th century, so way before Dubai.

Often served during Ramadan, Harees is one of Dubai’s most popular meals.


People in Dubai have a sweet tooth, and there is nothing sweeter than Khabees. Typical of the Emirates, it’s a sweet, toasted flour recipe which is often eaten at breakfast. It smells a bit of rosewater, and it’s not as mass-produced as the baklawa you’ll find on the streets – a lot of people prefer to make their own Khabees.


While not necessarily being from Dubai itself, Shawarma is one of the most popular fast foods in Dubai. You’ll find it everywhere in shopping malls and fast food outlets around the Emirate.

More like a kebab, you’ll find it either in pita bread or wrapped up tightly in a thin wrap, and you’ll get a choice of sauces, most of them quite hot.


Find out more about what is in each area by visiting our community pages. Whether you’re looking to rent in Dubai or buy a property in Dubai, Espace Real Estate is a number 1 Real Estate Agent in Dubai and boast an award winning professional service.


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