7 Dubai Spots To Get An Awesome Local Meal

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Want to try the best in Arabic dishes here in Dubai? Then you need to turn to a local food expert. Luckily, we have one. Our in-house expert, Ola, gives you the lowdown...

The most amazing thing about the Arabic kitchen is how varied and diverse it is. Each Arab country has its own main dishes, ingredients and spices. Moroccans love to use sugar and fruits in their main dishes, but Emiratis would never do that. Syrians and Palestinians are experts at preparing complicated and sophisticated main courses, while the Lebanese are the undisputed champions of “Mezza” and appetizers. You can get the best of all these worlds, right here in Dubai.

Al Jalboot (Emirati)

This hidden gem in the heart of the Fishing Harbour on Jumeirah Beach Road offers all the traditional Emirati dishes with a focus on seafood. There you can enjoy the Tahta Fish (Emirati rice with fish), Arseiyah Chicken (mashed rice with chicken and gee) and finish off with Luqaimat (sweet fried dumplings). The best part is that you can enjoy all that in quiet surroundings with an incredible view of the old fishing harbour.


Yasmeen Al Sham (Syrian)

Being a Syrian myself, I can smell a good Syrian meal a mile off, and this place in Downtown Dubai never fails me. The food there is prepared by a Chef who hails from Aleppo, a city famous for 100 types of Kibbeh. I tried the Waraq Enab (vine leaves stuffed with rice and meat) and the Koussa bil Laban (courgettes stuffed with rice and meat, then plunged in a sea of savoury boiled yogurt). Both tasted like homemade dishes and had a rich and authentic flavor that made me come back for more!


Almaz by Momo (Moroccan)

How about enjoying the best of Moroccan cuisine with a fabulous view of the Arabia Sea? The newly opened branch in JBR offers a huge variety of our favorite Moroccan dishes such as Chicken Pastilla (cinnamon chicken wrapped in light pastry) and Couscous Mechoui (slowly cooked marinated lamb shoulder with vegetable broth). We know… we are drooling too.


SimSim (Palestinian)

You can’t go wrong with Palestinian food. It has everything you need from vegetables and grains to protein and a welcome dose of carbs and sugar! Apart from the falafel salad and shawarma, SimSim on JBR Walk is best known for its authentic Mansaf (lamb cooked in yogurt broth) and Musakhan (wraps of chicken marinated in onions and sumac). If your vital signs are still in order after all this don’t miss out on the Kunafeh (cheese pastry topped with sugar syrup and pistachio).


Samad al Iraqi (Iraqi)

This place is not for the fainthearted or the fitness fanatics. At Samad on Jumeirah Beach Road be prepared to experience minor symptoms of a food coma, but all for the sake of fantastic Iraqi dishes! We totally recommend this place for meat lovers. Be prepared to indulge on a variety of Maskouf, mixed grill, fish and Kibbeh. But the most sinful thing on Samad’s dinner table is the freshly backed Iraqi bread… oh bread… how much we love you!


Zahr el Laymoun (Lebanese)

This restaurant in Souk al Bahar is a great spot to reward your taste buds with the famous Lebanese hot and cold mezza such as fattoush, hummus with meat, saj manakeesh and spicy potatoes. After satisfying yourself with the savoury stuff it’s time to load up on the sweet stuff. We highly recommend the Jabal Lebnan (ice cream topped with cotton candy and crushed pistachio)… whoever thought of combining these deserves a medal.


Al Marhabani (Yemeni)

If you are looking for an authentic foodie experience, this is the place to be. Al Marhabani on Jumeirah Beach Road offers the famous Mandi, Madhbi and Madfoon dishes (meat, chicken or fish cooked three different ways, with rice and spicy tomato sauce). It’s a place where if you love grilled meat, you can rejoice and celebrate the amazing flavours of traditional Yemeni cuisine. If you want to make your experience more authentic then be prepared to eat with your hands while sitting on the floor. We do recommend you wear comfortable trousers and clean socks!


Now read: The 6 Top Places To Get Arabic Coffee

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