Dubai is full of excellent restaurants serving all manner of delicious Arabic cuisine, but finding true Emirati dishes can be something of a challenge. Look out for the following exotic-sounding dishes, which are still enjoyed by many Emirati families today.
Harees - small pieces of meat, cracked wheat and water. The ingredients are placed into a large pot and slow cooked until the meat is tender and then blended together to make a thick pasty consistency similar to porridge.
Machboos – onions and meat, seasoned with spices, salt and dried lemon (loomi). The ingredients are boiled until tender at which point the meat is removed and rice added. The meat is later returned and cooked for another one to two hours. Chicken and lamb machboos is one of the most popular lunchtime dishes.
Lugamat – fried dough balls smothered in date syrup.
Asseada – made from semolina and saffron.
It’s always polite to adhere to local customs especially when eating at an Emirati restaurant. Food in the UAE is traditionally eaten with the right hand – the same applies when offering food or drink to others.