5 Restaurants to Visit in Dubai for Authentic Emirati Cuisine

Emirati cuisine, which has been around for millennia, is the national cuisine of the UAE. Amid the highrises and flyovers in the metropolitan Dubai, we still can find restaurants that serve authentic Emirati cuisine and showcase its rich history. Here are our recommendations.

Arabian Tea House Cafe

Outside the Arabian Tea House Cafe in Al Bastakiya, Dubai. Photo Credit: Arabian Tea House

Enjoy a cup of gahwa (traditional Arabic coffee) inside this tea house. Its concept revolves around the culture and hospitality of the people in the Arabian peninsula. Tea drinking has been part of the Abrabian history for a long time. The Arabian Tea House wants to show customers this tradition and how Emirati people of the past embraced this beverage. The menu offers a variety of tea and coffee, as well as full course meals to enjoy with your beverage. It is a perfect visit for an afternoon or evening tea.

Locations: Al Bastakiya, The Mall Jumeirah, Jumeirah Archaeological Site

Al Fanar Restaurant & Café

Inside Al Fanar Restaurant in Al Seef, Dubai. Photo Credit: Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

Overlooking the historical port Dubai Creek, this restaurant will take you back in time to the 1960’s. It offers authentic Emirati breakfast platters. Make sure to try hebab, the Emirati version of pancakes, livened up with turmeric and other spices. The restaurant also uses a special baking device called Khameer to make the pancake. Al Fanar has three different spots in Dubai, each with a unique interior and style.

Locations: Al Seef,Al Barsha Pond Park, Dubai Festival City     

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)

During a meal in SMCCU. Photo Credit:SMCCU
During a meal in SMCCU. Photo Credit:SMCCU

The centre was created in 1998 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. This is where expatriates and nationals can learn about the history of the country. The building is a restored wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. You can book various programs here, some of which include meal tours that allow you to experience local dining customs.

Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Siraj Restaurant

The interior of Siraj Restaurant. Photo Credit: Siraj Restaurant

This sophisticated restaurant with high arches and poetry written on the walls offers an ambience of cozy luxury. It was founded by Heba Rumhein, who is an influencer and business owner based in Dubai. Enjoy the Emirati cuisine with a twist of Levant while having Shisha with your friends or family. This place sure knows how to offer the best of both worlds. Try one of its signature dishes and you will not be disappointed.

Locations: Souk Al Bahar   

Logma

Desserts from Dogma. Photo Credit: Logma

Logma is ‘mouthful ‘ in Arabic. This restaurant is focused on Khaleeji cuisine, the traditional cuisine shared by Eastern Arabia. Today the regions that make up this area include: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and eastern parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman. The mission of Logma is to modernize the cuisine with its innovative offerings. The interiors of this restaurant takes inspiration from various cultural elements to create an urban look and feel. The food is presented in an urban style and the taste includes the notes of Khaleeji cuisine with a contemporary feel. Its dessert, Logma, is a must try.

Location: The Dubai Mall, City Center-Mirdif

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