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Dubai for Foodies

Dinner with a View
Dubai for Foodies
Dubai is a foodie oasis in a desert of shawarma and falafel. You can find both those dishes in abundance, of course, but Dubai is full of diverse gastronomic surprises and cuisine from all around the world.
By Baxter Jackson, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Jochen Tack/age fotostock
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    Dinner with a View
    Dinner with a View
    Restaurateurs in Dubai take their dinner aesthetics very seriously. Housed in Dubai Mall's oriental Souk Al Bahar, Abd El Wahab offers a Levantine evening with front-row seats to the mall's water fountains. For a more nautical experience, the city's popular Dhow Cruise's meals come with a panoramic view of the glitzy city.
    Photo by Jochen Tack/age fotostock
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    Dubai’s Café Scene
    Dubai’s Café Scene
    The Middle East is famous for its café culture, and Dubai is no exception. Check out The Sum of Us, one of Dubai's artisan cafés, which is perfumed with the scent of almond lattes and salted caramel French toast. For a wildly different atmosphere, pay a visit to Reem Al Bawadi for slightly kitschy Arabic decor, excellent fruity shisha, and an array of backgammon tables for customers to play.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Traditional Emirati Cuisine
    Traditional Emirati Cuisine
    Emirati cuisine is a growing market in Dubai that connects visitors with traditional cuisine. If camel milk isn't enough you can try camel meat—either as a burger or in a curried dish—in Arabic-style dining rooms at Local House Restaurant in Al Bastakiya; locals are few and far between. Popular traditional Emirati cafés and restaurants include Khameer & Dough and Logma with their modern take on traditional foods. 

    Photo by age fotostock
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    Tantalizing Indian Food
    Tantalizing Indian Food
    Indians represent more than 30 percent of the population of Dubai, and there are plenty of Indian restaurants. While there are many high-end options for Indian cuisine, some humble Indian restaurants provide more bang for your buck and a dining experience that you'll be sharing with a more diverse segment of Dubai's Indian residents. For fish lovers, Bu Qtair is not to be missed, with flavors that will endure in your memory for a while. 


    Photo by Jan Baldwin/age fotostock
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    Persian Delights
    Persian Delights
    Iranian influences in Dubai are palpable; you can taste them at the unassuming Special Ostadi Restaurant (SOR). The characters lining the walls—celebrities, singers, and pretty girls—testify to the fact that SOR has been cranking out the best kebabs this side of Tehran since 1978.
    Photo by Andre Baranowski/age fotostock
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    Americana in the City
    Americana in the City
    American influences on Dubai cuisine are visible in the city's growing number of burger joints. Join many Emiratis and burger lovers at the benches of Salt in Kite Beach for juicy sliders. And for food truck lovers, check out the Last Exit, with its fried goodies and American-style decor.