Dubai is an international city with 85% of expats living there, while only 15% are native Emiratis. Therefore, you can find all kinds of cuisines and restaurants there. Whether you would like American burgers, Italian pasta, British fish and chips, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, and I could go on and on, you can all find it there. There are luxury restaurants, affordable restaurants, fast foods and all of them offer to dine in or deliver. With so many choices, it is sometimes difficult to choose what places to eat in Dubai. In this article, I will provide you with some restaurants that are recommended by friends who live in Dubai.
Authentic Emiratis cuisine
There are not so many restaurants with Emiratis cuisine, however, if you want to try the local food, you should visit Al Fanar restaurant. It is a restaurant and cafe that act as a small museum at the same time. You will not only try the local Emiratis food, but you will also learn something about Emiratis culture and history. They do serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Possible to order online as well.
Locations- Dubai Festival City, Al Barsha, Al Seef
Prices- Mid-high, starting from 20 AED, some dishes can go high to 80 AED.
Authentic Lebanese cuisine
There are several places to eat Lebanese food. If you would like to dine right next to Burj Khalifa and watch the Dubai fountain, you can choose Abd El Wahab restaurant located in downtown Dubai, Souk Al Bahar. They offer not only Lebanese cuisine, but also a variety of Middle Eastern dishes.
Location- Souk Al Bahar, the second one in Dubai Marina Pier 7
Prices- higher, starters from 23AED, main dishes from 50 to 120AED
Another Lebanese restaurant is Al Safadi. They started in the year 2000, so they are on the market for over 20 years now, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Location- they have 5 locations in Dubai, one in The Pointe Palm Jumeirah
Prices- Shawerma sandwiches 10-23 AED, main meals from 40 to 70 AED
Kababji Grill is another Lebanese restaurant. You can find it in Dubai Marina, Motor City, or DIFC. Prices are about 20 AED for starters and sandwiches, main dishes from 45 to 70 AED
One more is Automatic restaurant with lower prices where you can get sandwiches for about 10 AED and Shawerma from 10 to 30 AED. They have several locations, Jumeirah residence, Ibn Battuta Mall, etc.
I would like to mention one restaurant here, which is not Lebanese, but Iranian, but it is very popular among people living in Dubai and tourists. The reason is great food and very good prices, which you hardly find in Dubai. It is Al Ustad Special Kebab restaurant.
Location- Bur Dubai close to metro station Al Fahidi
Prices- about 30 AED for a meal
There are several Egyptian restaurants in Dubai. One recommended is Hadoota Masreya restaurant which you can find in Ibn Battuta Mall or on Sheikh Zayed Road. To recommend traditional Egyptian food, you can try Koshari, Pigeon, Hawawshi, or Molokheya.
Prices- starters from 15 to 30 AED. Main dishes from 40 up to over 100 AED. They do daily dishes from Sunday till Thursday 12:00 pm-5:00 pm where meals are served with salad, soup, soft drink, and side dishes for 49AED.
With the biggest amount of Indian expacts, you can definitely find many Indian restaurants there. I will mention a few of them. India Palace reputable Indian cuisine with 12 locations in UAE. In 2018 and 2019 they won two awards.
Locations-Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, JBR, and others
Prices-30 to 80 AED
Gazebo restaurant which won several awards, among them Tripadvisor traveler’s choice and Zomato user’s choice award.
Locations-They are all over UAE. In Dubai, they have 12 branches, for example, Mall of the Emirates, DIFC, City center Deira, Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Prices- main meals from 30-50 AED
Another one is Asha’s. However, this one is more expensive and the location is close to the airport, so not in the city center. It is possible to order as well. Prices are about 100AED and more for main meals.
In case you don’t choose from any of these restaurants or you fancy some good and well-known fast food, you can find all the brands in any of the malls in Dubai. Each Mall has a food court and there are a lot of choices.
One that I would like to recommend is Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut in the UAE is the best in the world. I tried it in several countries, but here it was the best. They have several locations, but we always ordered them.
From the sweets, you can find the old good Dunkin Donuts, Crispy Cream doughnuts, and Cinnabon. I highly recommend the traditional sweets, like Baklava, Konafa, Basbosa which you can buy in supermarkets in nice boxes to take home.
When you are visiting a certain country, you want to get the most out of it, which includes trying the traditional food. Even there are not many Emiratis restaurants in Dubai, Lebanese cuisine is very similar to Middle eastern and there are a lot of dishes to try. In any case, in Dubai, you can eat whatever food you like as there are choices from all over the world. I hope you will like some of my recommended places to eat in Dubai and if you would like to recommend different cuisine restaurants, do not hesitate to contact me. I can always check with expats living in Dubai.