UAE are definitely the area that cherishes good cosine. Apart some of the best chefs in the world being there and cooking for you in many restaurants and hotels, preparing some of the dishes that they invented and making all of your senses literally dance inside your body, there is also traditional cosine that is probably much more interesting. Dishes in UAE and Dubai, to be more specific, are inspired by Asian and Middle Eastern cosine. They use a lot of spices and herbs. When you eat in Dubai, assuming that you are not eating somewhere where food is adjusted to Western taste, you should expect food to be very strong in every possible meaning of the word. It is often very hot; hot food makes you sweat, and by sweating you lose some extra heat from your body, which is useful in a desert. Food can also be very herby; they eat a lot of meat, so herbal spices are useful when it comes to digesting. Don’t expect to eat pork in Dubai or anywhere in UAE. It is not in their tradition. And it is not even socially excepted, nor polite, to cook pork for yourself when you’re having guests who are Muslims.
It is advised for those who visit UAE to use some probiotics if they never had real Middle Eastern food, because this spicy food might be hard for their stomachs at first.
One of the good tips for saving money in Dubai is to try to eat as much street food as you can; first of all because it is much cheaper than food in restaurants and hotels and second of all because all the street food in Dubai is absolutely traditional, tasty and high quality and it makes it possible to get a real taste of domestic cosine.
Most used spices inDubai are: Sumac, Ras el Hanout(known also by its nickname – “main stuff in the shop”) and Dukkah.
Traditional dishes that are a must if you go to UAE are : Stuffed Camel, Al hares, Shawarma, Humus and Al Machboos.
Stuffed camel sounds like a joke, but is actually very popular , especially on some important occasions like weddings; camel is stuffed with herbs and spices, but often there are other cooked animals to be found inside, like a chicken.
Al Harees is always on the table during Ramadan. It has a structure like pudding, and it consists of meat and wheat; those are cooked together until they become almost liquid, and after you put it off the stow it firms and gets its pudding-like structure.
Shawarma is present even in the street food kiosks. Every house or restaurant hase some unique way to prepare shawarma. It looks like kebab, only without meat. In the wrapping you will find tomato, garlic sauce, always some mixture of spices, and pickles.
Humus is my personal favorite. It is more a dip than a dish, but it can go with anything. Main ingredient is chickpeas, olive oil and lemon juice. Depending on taste you use certain amount of garlic. You can always add an extra touch to your Hummus by adding pistachios, almonds, nuts, or almost anything that comes to your mind. In Dubai restaurants you will usually get pita bread with hummus, which is similar to Mexican tortilla.