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popular traditional cuisines of emirates

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One of the most famous cosmopolitan cities in the world, the Emirates has several delicious dishes that you can savor. Multiculturalism can be seen in its local food scene. You can find several international dishes ranging from Lebanese, Japanese, Indian, American, and so much more. But the real pleasure lies in experiencing the popular traditional cuisines of emirates. Even the locals do not try the traditional food every day, especially those living in cosmopolitan cities like Dubai.

In this article, we will talk about the popular UAE traditional food recipes and discuss some of them. 

Best Traditional Cuisines Of Emirates

Like anywhere else, the food describes the culture and tradition of a particular country. However, the same has seen significant changes over the last few decades. Due to modernization, the food habit is nearly forgotten in the big cities inside the emirates. For example, the before used camel, goat, and other animal’s meat have been replaced by chicken meat nowadays.

However, there is still a certain amount of population in the emirates that tries to save the culture and heritage of the nation by providing such delicious delicacies. Let us have a look at them one by one.

For Breakfast


This dish is a combination of sweet and salty elements and is a perfect breakfast food. This dish is made with omelet and vermicelli. For added flavors, rose water, cinnamon, saffron, sugar, cardamom, and orange blossom is added. Certain spices are also added to top up the taste, and the omelet is put at the top of the prepared dish. This dish can be labeled as a breakfast food as well as a dessert. This is the most famous dish prepared during iftar and eid celebrations around the emirates.

For breakfast, the dish is served hot while it is served cold if eaten as a dessert. There are times when garbanzo beans and black eyed beans are also accompanied by baleelat. This is the best food that you can try for an emirati food dubai.

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Beidh Wa Tomat Or Shakshuka

In layman terms, shakshuka is just scrambled eggs with pepper and tomato on top of it. You can also find thyme and coriander on top of the tomato. Many people also try a different method to prepare a shakshuka by making a poached egg instead of scrambled eggs. This is a highly nutritious breakfast that can be eaten every day.

Chabab Bread

You can also call this as emirati pancake. The main ingredients of this dish are flour, melted butter, eggs, and yeast. Some turmeric and fennel can also be added to enhance the taste. The name is derived from its color. The bread is cooked until it turns yellow or light brown on both sides and gets the name chabab from there. This dish is usually served along with the chami cheese. Chami cheese is made from buttermilk and tastes salty. This dish is also garnished with sesame seeds sometimes. 

Khameer Bread

This bread is probably the softest bread in the entire planet. The khameer bread is a puffy, round flatbread with two layers that separate really easily. These breads are sweetened using dates instead of sugar. Fennel, saffron, and cardamom are used as flavoring agents in these breads. In the old days, the Arabs used coal ovens to make these. You would need to have a oven nowadays to make these. This is one of the most delicious emirati food recipes that should be tried by everyone.



Khuzi food or ghuzi is the national dish of the emirates. This is the perfect lunch that you can have in the emirates. It is fulfilling and contains roasted lamb or mutton that is served upon the bed of rice. This iconic dish is paired with nuts and vegetables. You can also learn how to make khuzi and try out the recipe when you get back home. There are several restaurants such as Bu Qtair Fish Restaurant that serve this dish in single or even smaller servings that are enough to calm the foodie inside you. 


This is a most needed dish during the ceremonies. The dish is also very ancient, and the preparation method is time consuming as well as unique. The total time to prepare this dish can go up to 3 hours and may take even longer if meat is added in it. Hareeth is basically milk porridge with ghee and meat. It is always served hot and can be eaten plain or with a little sugar.

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Samak Mashwi

This is basically the emirati way to grill a fish. It is cooked on a dome like a barbeque made with clay. Date paste that is mixed in the marinade gives this dish a unique taste. The fish is cooked unscaled, the scales are removed before the serving process begins. 

Al Machboos

This dish is made with red meat, shrimp, or chicken that is boiled in stock and later dried lime powder. Just when the meat is tender, the pieces are totally removed from the pot, and then the rice is added and cooked in the same pot. Once when the rice gets cooked, the meat is then added together along with some chopped onions, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and several other vegetables. The dish is cooked over a low heat for at least two hours to give it a really delicate texture and unique flavor.



These sweet dumplings made of milk, butter, flour, and sugar are a perfect treat to you after a delicious main course. Though they contain a lot of calories, they are worth a try. The flavorings of these sweets are done with cardamom and saffron. The name literally translates to small, or bite-sized. Do not forget to try out this popular cuisine when you visit the emirates. 


This is a classic dessert that is made with pumpkin. This dish is mildly sweet and people who do not have much of a sweet tooth may find this extremely delicious. As you may have known till now that cardamom is the central ingredient for any food in the emirates. Along with cardamom, rose water and honey is added to enhance the flavor. This is one of the best UAE traditional sweets that you will try in this country. 

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These popular traditional cuisines of emirates are as tasty as they sound. A visit to this wonderfully cultural country would go to waste if you do not try at least some of the famous cuisines mentioned above. So don’t wait, pack your bags and get ready to indulge in the mouth-watering experience that you are going to enjoy so much in this country.

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