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Restaurants & Shopping in Dubai

Eat & drink

Shopping and food are two realms of Dubai that are replete with both the traditional and the contemporary. Being one of the top tourist destinations in the world and growing fast, Dubai offers modern renditions of traditional dishes to suit the palate of an international audience.

A famous, abundant staple of Emirati cooking, Margoogat is a rich, tomato-based stew that mixes quintessential Arab flavours and spices. Generally made with chicken or sheep, this dish is regularly arranged and served in at Iftar, the night feast that breaks the everyday fast during Ramadan, and combines different vegetables with herbs like turmeric, cumin and bezar (creating a garam masala like flavor blend) for heaps of spice. Most restaurants across Dubai have their own rendition of the dish which are well worth a try but the best place to try this dish is at Aseelah at 476 Baniyas Road.
A beloved dish across the Arabian Peninsula, this conventional rice dish is a delicacy in Emirati cooking. Carefully arranged in enormous pots with meat and onions, the dish is characterized by the sweet-smelling kinds of baharat (a run of the mill Arab zest blend) and loomi (dried limes). Despite the fact that it's generally arranged with chicken, you can regularly discover sheep and fish varieties. Al Barza Restaurant & Café (Jumeirah Street) offers a delicious serve of this dish along with grilled shrimp varieties.
For a reprieve from the bread-and-meat dominant Emirati staples, Tabbouleh is a fiery serving of mixed greens produced using tomatoes, green onions and cucumber, and prepared with fresh mint and lemon juice which add the perfect amount of zest to the salad. A reviving addition to practically any supper, it is the perfect alternative for vegetarians in Dubai or foodies searching for more varied choices.
Al Harees
Another customary Arabic dish that is especially famous during Ramadan, Al Harees is a porridge-like dish that comprises ground wheat and meat. An exquisite treat that is typical at festivities and social events, the ground wheat and meat are cooked for a considerable length of time until they solidify, and are then bested with ghee to serve up a hearty meal. Even though the dish is served only during festivals like Ramadan, there are a few restaurants that serve up the dish and one of the places where travellers can enjoy it is Al Jawareh Traditional Restaurant.
Often eaten as a dessert, this sugary Levantine baked dish is loved by locals and tourists alike. Made of fresh noodle-like cake or finely-shredded semolina dough, soaked generously in a sugar-based syrup, Kanafeh is normally layered with cheddar and sprinkled with pistachios. The dish is best enjoyed warm and gooey straight from the skillet and goes perfectly with a dollop of thickened cream.
A dish that is also popularly known as the pizza of Dubai, Manousheh is perfect for those with adventurous palates, especially when looking for dishes that are traditionally from Dubai. It is usually selected as a delicious breakfast dish. The dish comprises stretched batter or flatbread, loaded up with authentic ingredients like salty Akkawi cheddar, gritty zaatar herbs, and olive oil. To get the perfect taste of the dish, it is often recommended that this dish be accompanied with sweet jam and minced lamb.

For the shopaholics, Dubai serves up an entire festival called the Dubai Shopping Festival giving the world a chance to shop for clothes, accessories, gold and almost anything else that can go up for sale. From ultramodern malls to the age-old traditional souks, shopping is an integral part of a true Dubai experience.

Dubai Mall
The largest mall in the world, Dubai mall offers various precincts for different products for ease of shopping. Boasting of 1200 stores of apparel, decor, crafts and accessories, a visit to this mall is a must, even if it is just for window shopping. Along with housing some of the most premium brands in the world the mall also houses the Underwater Zoo, Dubai Aquarium, Ice rink, Reel Cinema, Theme park, Dubai fountains and numerous restaurants.
Ibn Battuta Mall
Named after the famed Arabian explorer, Ibn Battuta, this mall is the biggest themed mall and is divided into sections based on countries with sections for Egypt, India, China, Tunisia, Persia and Andalusia. The sections denote the countries travelled by the explorer and each of the sections houses shops with items from the regions. The China section also has an exhibition centre which hosts many cultural events every year.
Gold Souk
Gold is abundant in Dubai and this can be seen in the famous gold souk located in Deira, adjacent to Dubai Creek. Gold enthusiasts can spend hours browsing through the range of jewellery items made of gold from necklaces, earrings, bangles, anklets etc, some minimalistic, some extravagant.
Spice Souk
The spice souk stands nearby the gold souk and is lined with several spice shops teeming with a variety of spices with the likes of saffron, turmeric, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander and sumac. The alleyways are narrow and burst out with flavours that are tempting to the senses. The shops also sell traditional tobacco, hookah pipes, flavoured basmati rice, dry fruits and exotic nuts.
Textile Souk
Bur Dubai is renowned internationally as the home of some of the most expensive and elaborate textiles. The shops lining this area have almost all kinds of textiles from around the world including cashmere, silk, wool, cotton and ready-made attires. The area is also ideal for those looking for souvenirs to take back home with them.
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