The Arabic desserts you just have to try

Counting calories? This isn't for you

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If you' re on a diet... look away now. But if you enjoy the sweeter things in life, then it’s time to get familiar with these amazing Arabic desserts Dubai has to offer.

Halawet Aljuben

This fantastic Syrian dessert combines fresh cream and cheese inside soft rolls of semolina dough. The rolls are then drizzled with sugar syrup and sprinkled with pistachios. Don’t feel bad if you end up eating seven pieces on your own… we’ve been there!

Try it at: Reem Al Bawadi, Downtown


Ghazle with ice cream

How about a ball of creamy vanilla ice cream covered with a layer of soft and fuzzy Arabic style cotton candy? This dreamy dessert is a modern take on simple Arabic “bouza” or ice cream, and we salute whoever came up with it.

Try it at: Al Hamidieh, Downtown


Mafrouket Foustoq

The name might be hard to pronounce but it’s so easy to get addicted to this Lebanese specialty! The dessert contains a layer of Ashta “fresh cream” on a bed of semolina and crushed pistachios pudding… it is absolutely normal to eat a whole piece on your won… we won’t judge!

Try it at: Leila, Mirdif City Centre



These sweet small bites are a staple on every Emirati dinner table, and what’s not to love about them? Basically they are deep fried dough covered with drops of cardamom and saffron sugar syrup. They might be small in size but they are dangerously delicious!

Try it at: Global Village


Bouza Bakdash

If you're into ice cream with thick and elastic texture then Bouza Bakdash is what you're after. The recipe for this famous Damascene bouza contains milk, rose water and mastic. The mix is then covered with pistachios.

Try it at: Arabesque, Dubai Mall



Probably the most famous Arabic dessert. This highly addictive Palestinian/Lebanese/Syrian dessert is a mix of melted Nabulsi cheese covered with a layer of thick caramelised noodles or fine semolina dough. The final touch is a spoon (or ten) of sugar syrup. Don’t try to strategise your way through eating Kunafeh while counting calories… just close your eyes and enjoy the heavenly taste.

Try it at: Feras Sweets, various locations



Desserts made from dates are an obvious fixture on the Khaleeji menu. The name comes from Tamr (dates). In addition to dates, the blend contains other delicious components such as cardamom, cinnamon, butter and tahini. Modern versions of this traditional Gulf dessert include Oreo, chocolate, peanut butter and mocha.

Try it at: Tmreya, Jumeirah Beach Road

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