In Festival City, Al Fanar is the go to dining destination for expats with out of town guests hoping to sample Emirati food. With the mannequins in traditional garb and fiberglass camels, the décor smacks of a museum diorama but the grub is hearty mix of surf & turf - grilled squid, lamb stewed with dates and lentil soup (just to name a few.) Along Jumeirah Beach Road Mama Tani serves up khameer breads stuffed with sweets/meats and hot drinks made with camel milk in a modern and inviting ambiance packed with Emiratis. If camel milk is not enough, how about a camel burger? At the Local House Restaurant in Al Bastakia, camel meat is served (burger or curried) in Arabic style dining rooms. Locals are few and far between.
By Baxter Jackson, AFAR Local Expert
Feast on the Best of Emirati Cuisine
What better way to get to know a country and its people than its food, which in Dubai means meals that start with tables laden with mezze—tabouli (bulgur wheat salad), baba ghanoush (an eggplant dip), and kibbe (ground lamb patties)—and end with desserts rich with honey, dates, nuts, and spices . Make sure to bring your appetite when you go to Al-Fanar, near the Festival City, which has become a popular option among both locals and visitors alike. The restaurant provides a chance to sample some of Dubai’s most delicious dishes, like jesheed (baby shark cooked with onions and spices), robyan mashwi (grilled jumbo prawns), and, for dessert, leqaimat (fried dough balls with date sauce). In addition, the restaurant offers a glimpse of life in old Dubai before the skyscrapers and the city’s recent boom. The dining rooms are lined with arches and many design touches are inspired by the houses of pearl merchants and the city’s souks. After dinner take a stroll along the creek, the center of life in old Dubai.
Sponsored by Department of Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing
Ground Floor, Dubai Festival City Mall, Near P.F.Chang's, Canal Walk - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
+971 4 232 9966
Sun - Sat 6:30pm - 1am