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15 Traditional Emirati Foods To Try in Abu Dhabi

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Are you a foodie wanting to visit the Emirates? Then the Traditional Emirati food tour in Abu Dhabi is a must-try for you. This is one of the cities of the Emirates that provides excellent tourist attractions. The city houses several beautiful beaches, monuments, architecture, and many more to attract tourists from all corners of the world. The city is a perfect mixture of tradition and contemporary culture and a paradise for travellers.

As for foodies, the city has excellent local foods that will send you in awe. The mouth-watering dishes are what the foodies will like about this city.  

Best Places to Try the Traditional Emirati Food

The core feature of any culture is its cuisine. And the best local food in Abu Dhabi reflects the vast and intriguing culture that the country has. The cooking here takes inspiration from neighbouring countries like Egypt, India, Jordan, and Lebanon. These cuisines provide an insight into the history of the region too. For example, rice and pasta were introduced to the traders entering the country.

Due to its proximity to the ocean, most dishes are mainly seafood, including Khabeesa, ballet, maqlub, etc.

Various top-notch luxury restaurants offer continental cuisines. Hence, the country's old and cultural side remains somewhat unknown to tourists. Therefore, we have created a list below where you can find what to eat in Abu Dhabi while on a local cuisine tour.


This restaurant recreates Bedouin-style architecture. The place is made with barasti booths and mud bricks rooms. It also has a mini souk that diners can use as a leisure space.

They make various dishes ranging from raqaq, and nagar mashed to ballet ma khoboz and jesheed. While eating these dishes, you will go back to when the emirates consisted of small towns situated along the Arabian Gulf, and modernization was yet to touch them. The ingredients and seasonings used here will take you back to the country's history. 


Yadoo means grandmother. Hence, the name implies the grandmother's house. This place provides homely comfort and cuisine, as the name suggests. It has comfortable sofas and simple furnishings and hosts many items. You can choose from grilled local fish options and classic cuisines like hares. It also makes a variety of matchbooks. With such comfort and tasty dishes, you feel at home. This is the best local food in Abu Dhabi and the ultimate destination for the foodies.

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Have you ever thought of having dinner on a boat? Well, you can try that here on the classic dhows. A majlis is also set up on the upper deck, along with an air-conditioned seating space on the lower deck. This would be the best way to enjoy the cultural dishes of the city with your family and friends. You will taste the cuisine and the perfectly splendid skyline along the Corniche.

These dinner cruises give you the perfect comfort and enjoyment. It provides special items like humour, local teas, and fragrant rice. Indulge in the city's beauty with a bowl filled with exceptional dishes. 


Shaikha Al Kaabi founded this place. The reason behind this was to celebrate the culture and history of the nation. The concept behind this place is unique. It serves the guests with childhood recipes made by mothers and grandmothers using local ingredients.

The semolina cans here are redesigned as cutlery holders, and the front door of this place used to belong to an old family of the country that dates back to the 1970s.

You can take various delicacies away with you to your home. They range from pickles to dates and many more. The local talents of the artists are also showcased here by totes, gift items, and postcards designed by them. This place provides a perfect outlook to the nostalgia of the old Bedouins. 


This award-winning restaurant is a reminiscence of the old Bedouin culture, which pays its respect and homage to the country's heritage. It is located at the emirates palace hotel. You can taste the cuisine along with the luxury here. The place is furnished with Bedouin emblems like kunjah knives, coffee pots, tapestries, and much more.

The cuisines that are prepared are inspired by old dishes and homemade recipes.

The menu includes staples for camel meat, zaatar, saffron, rosewater, and dates. This could be one of the best luxurious fine dining restaurants in Abu Dhabi that you would get to experience.


We all know how famous the dates that come from the Arab countries. This open-air market is the largest selling market in the entire city. The dates sold here are local and come from neighbouring nations like Oman and Saudi Arabia. You also get a wide selection range from dry to wet dates. You can get these super delicious dates at a very reasonable cost.

However, before settling on buying, you should explore all the options.

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Along with these, you can also try your taste in Abu Dhabi street food.


You can indulge in this super delicious meat wrapped in Lebanese bread. You will lose yourself with the juicy, tender, well-seasoned lamb or chicken meat. You can get them from Shawarma Street or shish shawarma behind the Corniche Towers. 


You can try out the perfect kebabs in this city. This dish is prepared with lamb, beef or chicken cooked with skewers. It is one of the most popular dishes in the country and is tried out the most by visitors. 


This kind of Lebanese pizza is packed with Middle Eastern flavours. This makes a delightful brunch or a light lunch. You can try them out at Man'oushe Street, manakish express, and Mazyad Mall for the perfect experience.

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The ultimate paradise to the foodies lies inside this small island in the Emirates. The traditional Emirati food tour in Abu Dhabi can be tried by everyone out there. Make sure to visit these places apart from the glitzy bitsy sites the next time you visit the Emirates. 

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