Arabic Food, Dubai Cuisine and Restaurants Dining Guides Dubai

Arabic Food Cuisine of Dubai and UAE Dining Guides

Arabic food is there a special Dubai version? The answer, perhaps unfortunately for foodies who head to Dubai in the hope of sampling the local cuisine, is no. Dubai is far more a melting pot of different cultures (and their recipes) than a place to try traditional cuisine. The Arabic food available in Dubai tends to be borrowed from other parts of the Middle East, particularly Lebanon and Iran.

When you're in Dubai, it's best to enjoy the wide choice of cuisines available, and the fact that so much of it is excellent value. You won't take long to find a reasonably priced Indian restaurant, for example, and the food they serve will resemble the real subcontinent's cuisine more closely than anything you'll find at home.

But, really, whatever your favourite region is, you'll find food from there. If you're on a budget, Indian, Pakistani and Filipino restaurants are probably your best bet, but if you're prepared to pay more, you can find food from almost anywhere in the world. There are French, Japanese and Thai places, as well as steakhouses to satisfy the most dedicated meat eater. Or enjoy a plate of pasta in one of the many Italian eateries.

But if you've come to the Middle East for the Arabic food, you will probably want to try one of the Lebanese, Iranian or Moroccan restaurants. The principle behind this kind of food is mezze (also known as mezza, meza and other similar words), which is very different from the traditional three course meal. With mezze, plenty of appetisers and appetiser sized courses are all placed on the table at the same time. There are usually plenty of flatbreads and plenty of olives. This leads to a more leisurely, less structured way of eating the meal.

But why isn't there a traditional Dubai take on Arabic food?

Dubai is such a modern, multicultural, technologically advanced place that it is easy to forget how it used to be. The area was inhabited by nomadic Bedouin tribes with a very limited diet by modern standards. They ate little beyond camel meat, camel milk, fish and dates. Even given that there are many different varieties of dates in the region, this doesn't form the basis of an exciting cuisine.

However, the Bedouins have made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the largest item on any menu. This mammoth item is stuffed camel. Chickens are stuffed with rice and hard boiled eggs, then a lamb is stuffed with the chickens. The skinned, cleaned camel is then stuffed with the lamb, broiled over a charcoal pit and decorated with nuts. Legend has it that this dish (serving 80 100 people) was served at Bedouin wedding feasts. However, nobody is quite sure of the veracity of this story, despite its entrance into the record books.

However, it may have been the inspiration for the turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey, or even for the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly.

It will come as a relief to dieters that you won't be served this monstrous dish in modern day Dubai, but if you're lucky enough to be a guest at a Dubai family home, you are likely to come away feeling as stuffed as a camel.

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