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How to eat like a local in Abu Dhabi

Apart from the Hummus, Falafels and the Shawarmas!

By traveltheworld worldPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Image by nemo frenk from Pixabay

Trying out new foods in a new place is all part of an adventure travel experience! When in Abu Dhabi, there is an amazing local cuisine you can check out. This is a fusion between international cuisine and traditional Arab cuisine. It is rightfully known as a foodie's paradise! This article will highlight all the food items you need to try that will get your taste buds craving for more!

Milk and dates

Want an energy booster? Then try out some milk and dates which are known among the locals as an energy booster. As well as a delicious snack! This is commonly eaten pretty much every single day during the month of Ramadan. This is how the local begin their meals. Besides, dates are grown all over the country in abundance! It's pretty much seen all over the parks and you can get this delicious dessert fruit anywhere you head to in the country!

Al Harees

This is quite a simple dish which serves meat. Typically, this dish utilises lamb as its main meat. It also uses wheat. Harees is prepared mostly during special occasions like during the month of Ramadan and weddings. It takes quite some time to prepare it but it is known to be well worth the time and effort. The cook starts by simmering ground wheat and meat with salt for a few hours. Once the meat has been fully cooked and dissolved into wheat, this delicious mixture will be placed inside a clay pot and then buried inside the ground surrounded by hot coal and cooked for a few hours! Once this process is complete, you can top this dish with mouth-watering ghee, and enjoy! If you are looking for an Abu Dhabi restaurant that serves traditional and authentic food, you will be met with countless choices! For a fine dining experience, you can check out properties like Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara for an authentic meal!


This is another foodie favourite. Simply put, this is a dish of vegetables and meat soup. But do not worry it is not as simple when it comes to its flavours! The cook prepares it by boiling the meat with a broad range of fresh spices and onions. During this process, fresh produce like bell peppers and eggplant will be added. And crushed tomatoes add a dose of flavour too! This dish is known to be very nutritious and healthy and is enjoyed by the local Emiratis. It can either be used as a starter or even as an entire meal.


You must take advantage of the local food when in a coastal city. And Abu Dhabi is quite famous for its seafood!! Abu Dhabi has numerous fish markets where you can find an endless variety of fish. The local staple here will be the Madrooba, a dish that is prepared with salt-cured fish! This dish is prepared by first rinsing the fish and then boiling it in a traditional Arab spice blend. Afterwards, flour will be added that thickens the broth completing the dish. The dish as expected will be topped with fresh ghee. Grab a slice of freshly baked flatbread and dig in!


Do you love your pizzas? Well then, you must try out the Manakeesh which is a delicious staple in the Arab world. A large price of flattened dough will be sprinkled with cheese, fresh herbs or ground meat! You can either enjoy it for your breakfast, lunch or even as a snack! The Manakeesh is found pretty much everywhere from street vendors to upscale restaurants! It is just that good! A true Arabian delight!


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