Arabic cuisine offers a wide range of interesting flavours and dishes. Below you will find a general idea of what to expect when eating in the UAE.
Arabic cuisine is standard fare throughout the UAE but, due to a huge influx of expatriates and tourists in Dubai and to some extent, Abu Dhabi, more international foods can now also be found in these emirates.
Mezze – a mixed starter which is normally served in restaurants and usually eaten with the hands, with the help of bread to scoop up the food.
Hummus - chickpea dip/ spread
Kibbe - meat patties made from minced lamb, bulghur wheat and onions
Tabbuleh - salad of couscous or bulghur with diced tomatoes, onions, mint and parsley
Baba ganush - aubergine or eggplant dip
Kussa mahshi -stuffed courgettes (or zucchini)
Warak enab - stuffed vine leaves
Pitta bread -unleavened bread
Felafel - chickpea patties rolled into balls, often served in pitta bread at corner stalls
khuzi - a stuffed whole roast lamb on a bed of spiced rice
Kebab Kashkash -a dish of meat and spices in a tomato sauce is favorite in UAE.
Matchbous - spiced lamb with rice
Esh asarya - a kind of cheese cake with cream topping
Grilled chicken - also very popular at hotels and roadside cafes, and this is spiced up with relishes and other accompaniments such as Khubz (Arabic bread) or hummus (chick pea paste), etc.
Despite strict Muslim practice, the more “Westernised” of emirates, such as Dubai now offer alcohol in liquor stores and 5-star hotels. However, in Sharjah you can only drink in your home or in an expatriate bar called the Sharjah Wandereres and as a resident, you will need a liquor license allowing you to purchase alcohol.
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