Dubai for Foodies: 10 Best Things to Try

Dubai is on the fast track towards gaining the recognition of being a foodie’s paradise. With thousands of restaurants and numerous cuisines to choose from, your craving for something savory or sweet (and everything in between) will be easily satisfied.

You don’t even have to wait in line at a popular restaurant or café to eat your fill; there are many restaurants that will deliver excellent meals and food products right to your doorstep.

But which dishes and fares should you put on your list of must-try foods in Dubai if you’re here on a gastronomic journey? Here is a list, from a leading food service company in the UAE, of the top 10 you should sample:

1.   Ghuzi

 Ghuzi, or khuzi, is the UAE’s national dish. It is made of roasted lamb or mutton served on top of a bed of rice with spices. A variety of vegetables and nuts are also added to the dish. In restaurants, the roasted meat is served on kebab skewers, with the other garnishes on top of the rice.

Ghuzi is a complete meal in itself. It is a good dish to start with if you’re a foodie on a quest to know more about the hearty, traditional side of Dubai’s food scene.

2.   Al Harees

Another must-try traditional Emirati dish, al harees is a slow-cooked one-pot dish that consists of boiled wheat with salt. Once the wheat gains a smooth, porridge-like texture, tender, tasty chunks of lamb, mutton, chicken, or veal are added and the dish is baked for another several hours. A variety of spices are also added to boost the flavor of the dish.

Al harees is another delightful, tasty, and filling offering that will help you learn more about traditional Emirati cuisine and culture.

3.   Shawarma

Shawarma is another Arabic dish that many restaurants and eateries in Dubai have perfected. If you’re hankering for this meaty wrap, you can select chicken, beef, or lamb for the main protein. Slices of pickles and tomatoes and a drizzle of garlic sauce are added for texture and flavor.

There are now some restaurants in Dubai that serve shawarma with a special fruit shake — a great deal if you’re a foodie on a budget.

4.   Mutton Achari Handi

Aside from Emirati and Arabic dishes, you won’t be disappointed by the different cuisines you can enjoy in Dubai – something that you certainly look forward to as a foodie. Start by trying a popular Pakistani dish: mutton achari handi.

This dish consists of mutton cooked with fresh green chilis and a variety of spices. What you’ll get is a bowl or plate of tender mutton with a tangy, pickled aftertaste. This is one of the most popular dishes to try in Dubai today.

5.   Bihari kebabs

Indian is the most popular cuisine in Dubai today. Bihari kebab is one of the dishes that has helped propelled this cuisine’s popularity.

These kebabs have their roots in the Indian state of Bihar. The skewered pieces of meat are infused with exotic spices, yoghurt and tenderized papaya. They melt in your mouth and make you want to order more.

6.   Koshari

If you haven’t tried any Egyptian foods before, you’re in luck; you will find one of the most popular Egyptian dishes in the world in Dubai, and it’s called koshari.

Koshari is a dish made of baked noodles or rice and drizzled with traditional Egyptian condiments, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions, and vinegar. This Egyptian comfort food is often served with feteer, a traditional Egyptian pie made from flour and sugar and topped with a variety of garnishes.

7.   Manousheh

If you’re craving for a slice of pizza with a twist, you definitely have to try manousheh. Commonly served as a breakfast dish, this Lebanese savory pastry is made from stretched dough and stuffed with flavorful toppings such as zaatar herbs, olive oil and Akkawi cheese. It is a dish you must simply enjoy for breakfast.

8.   Cheong Fun

Cheong fun is a type Chinese dimsum. Shrimp, duck, Chinese barbecued pork, and other types of meat are tightly wrapped inside rice flour wrappers and made into rolls. They are then steamed or deep-fried. These tasty bites are quite addictive and are a must-try for any foodie.

9.   Luqaimat

Once you’re ready for dessert, start with some luqaimats. These deep-fried dumplings are drizzled with date molasses, making them salty and sweet at the same time. Luqaimats are considered by many as the “official sweet of the Emirates.”

10.   Baklava

As a foodie, you may already know your way around baklavas. But you’re certainly in for a treat if you try these sweet pastries in Dubai.

This special dessert, which is made of layers of filo dough,  filled with chopped and sweetened nuts, and drizzled with sugar syrup or honey, is a favorite in Dubai. Just make sure you choose a bakery known for their best-tasting baklavas.

Dubai has so many delectable things to offer to serious foodies. If you haven’t been to this city yet, then it’s high time you do — a culinary journey to Dubai is one of the best experiences you will have in your lifetime.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.

 

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6 Iconic Hikes You Should Do Before You Die

I’ve come to realize a long time ago that hiking from a fun and healthy hobby quickly transforms into a lifestyle and once you get into it, there’s no turning back. For many people, hiking seems like too much work, when in reality it helps you understand that our everyday lives seriously need a pause button from time to time and this is one of the best ways to hit it.

Throughout the years, as my passion for hiking and trekking grew, I found myself exploring new exciting trails all over the world and a bucket list started to form. I’ve had the pleasure to witness the wild beauty that numerous hikes around the planet have to offer but somehow, the list of places I want to see only grows. Here are six of the most memorable hikes that every formidable hiker should conquer if they get the chance to do it.

1.     Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

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You’ve seen it everywhere – on posters, movies, and commercials, but still, witnessing the vastness of Grand Canyon isn’t something anyone can describe, you have to live it. Even if you’re quite new in the world of hiking, there are trails in the canyon you can try out without any fear you’ll overestimate yourself – Bright Angel Point Trail that only takes about half an hour is a good example. If you’re in for more of a challenge, then give Widforss Trail a shot and be prepared to be amazed at the variety of scenery you’ll come across. This round trip trail is 10 mi. long and it takes about six hours to explore it fully, but you will definitely have stories to tell after you come back. Don’t forget to bring your camera because one thing’s for certain – Grand Canyon has nothing if not mesmerizing views and you will definitely want to capture that.

2.     Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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I strongly believe that traveling to Africa is a life-altering experience, not just because the culture and life are so different there, but because the spirit of this continent seeps into your bones. When you become confident enough and decide to get to the highest peak of Africa, know that you will need 7-9 days for the climb, depending on which route you take, as well as your stamina and fitness. While Kilimanjaro is known as a “walk-up mountain”, you still need plenty of time to get used to different climates and ecosystems you’ll go through on your way to Uhuru Peak. You will see everything from rainforests and moorland to cultivated land and snow as you reach the summit. Wild animals, never-ending skies and pilgrimage-like feeling of the hike will stay with you long after you return to civilization.

3.     Mount Fuji, Japan

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Here’s a mountain that has inspired artists from all over the world and today it remains an incredibly famous site only 60 miles from Tokyo. This mountain is made up of three active volcanoes and surrounded by five lakes, and as you approach it, you can’t help but feel the awe. If you’ve got thirst for Japanese culture and hiking, then taking on Fuji is the best “killing two birds with one stone” moment. You can climb this sacred mountain only during July and August every year unless you want to face harsh and unwelcoming weather conditions that can easily threaten your life. Don’t take this hike for granted though, as there are some quite demanding parts, no matter which course you take. Make sure to come prepared, with plenty of hiking food and equipment, though you’ll have plenty of stops along the way, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4.     Mont Blanc in the Alps, France and Switzerland

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They say that Mont Blanc is one of the deadliest mountains in the world and many wholeheartedly agree with this notion. There’s an unyielding allure to places that are notorious for taking lives and King of the Alps is definitely one of those spots, which is why you need to be very, very prepared before you head out into this adventure. The weather is treacherous even during the hiking season from June to September, and you need to be prepared when it comes to hiking and climbing gear. Your fitness levels and agility will also be tested because the White Mountain with its peak at almost 16,000 feet will challenge you in every way possible, but the hikes that lead you through Italy, France and Switzerland will show you the sights and astonishing beauty that can’t be found anywhere else.

5.     Mount Elbrus, Russia

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The Russian Caucasus Mountains hide the highest peak of Europe in their little-explored areas and if you want to reach it, you have to hike and climb your way through Mount Elbrus first. This inactive volcano has been the dream of many ambitious hikers for decades, though more because of the glory of conquering the tallest mountain of the Old Continent. The hike in itself isn’t very difficult, especially because there’s a cable car system that works very well and will take you to 12,500 feet. From there you can take the Standard Route that is quickest and most secure and will take you to the southern slopes of Elbrus, all the way to the top. If you want to explore Elbrus and give it your best to get to the very top, going anytime from May to September is the wisest decision.

6.     Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

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Iceland has been tucked away on the edge of the world map for a very long time, but more and more tourists discover its unexpected and completely unique beauty all the time. Laugavegur Trail is one of the most popular things to in Iceland, which is why hikers from all over the world come here. This scenic trail has it all, including ice caves, hot springs and a lavish waterfall at the end of your hiking experience as a reward. Very few places on Earth have such astounding variety of landscapes on such a small distance, which is why Laugavegur is so attractive even to non-hikers. You can either camp out or book accommodation, which is quite affordable, but no matter what you decide, while you’re exploring Laugavegur Trail, you will feel like you’re in another world.

There are many other iconic hikes to talk about and only a book would suffice to write about them, but this list is a good start. Depending on your preferences and hiking experience, you can pick and choose where you want to go and make memories. The sky is not the limit, and that is never as clear as the moment you get to a mountain’s peak and reach for the clouds. – Tyler Michaelson

 

Tyler is a man of adventure. Loves spending time outside, and “luring” others to do so as well. Besides that, his main hobbies are writing, working out, photography and movie nights. He is also one of the main contributors to prosurvivalist.com.

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Discover Ghana: The Road Less Travelled

First-time travellers to Africa tend to pick the continent’s northern parts for their holiday destination. But if you truly want to experience the spirit of Africa at its finest, Ghana is probably the best place to start your explorations of this wild land. Although its tourism infrastructure is rapidly developing, Ghana has not yet earned a reputation among international globetrotters. Its holiday resorts are marked by few tourist crowds and the prices are much lower than in other more touristy African countries. Still not convinced? Here, take a quick peek at these five arguments in favor of spending your next vacation in the Ghanaian lap: you will never know just how much Africa you are missing until you give this amazing country a go!

1. The culture

Ghana is nowadays home to over 100 different ethnic groups, and the largest communities include Akan, Moshi-Dagbani, Ewe, and Ga people. Though local dialects are highly diversified, the official language in Ghana is English, so you will have no major problems haggling at the markets and finding your way around town. Ghanaians are known for their love of traditional crafts and music, so be prepared for a refreshing audio-visual cultural shock as soon as you land. Markets here are brimming with merchants selling paintings, fresh fruit, wooden statues, masks and handmade clothing, and upbeat tunes, drumming and hip life beats are flooding the streets.

2. The festivals

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Ghanaians are a merry nation and their positive mindset is reflected in the abundance of festivals that span the calendar. In January, the Rice Festival features music, dance, drumming sessions and gastronomic treats and takes place in the Volta Region. Make sure you check it out if you are travelling to the area at the time. If you prefer water-borne thrills, head over to the Elmina Region in July for theBakatue Festival and see local fishermen celebrating the beginning of the fishing season on their bright-coloured boats. Or, book your accommodation in Accra for August via one of real estate portals such as meQasa and attend the Odambea Festival which honours Ghana’s rich cultural heritage and ancient traditions.

3. The beaches

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When in Ghana, make sure you soak in the sun at one of the country’s pristine beaches such as Labadi, Kobrobite and Cocoloco. While Accra’s Labadi is an excellent sunbathing spot for beach sports lovers, Kobrobite is a better option for reggae fans, craft lovers and hippies eager to meet like-minded locals and tourists. Nature lovers should definitely pay a visit to Cocoloco for a dash of Ghanaian wildlife starring sea turtles and numerous wild bird species.

4. National parks

Although it is a relatively small country, Ghana takes pride in as many as 21 protected areas, 7 of which are national parks. Over in Western Ghana, Bia National Park is where you will find 62 different mammals and over 160 bird species. In Mole, north-west Ghana, you can hope to encounter buffaloes, elephants, hippos, crocs, baboons and colobus monkeys. For sightings of large feline predators such as leopards, try Kakum. You’ll also be able to take a daring walk across a shaky 40-meter high canopy bridge in the heart of virgin rain forest.

5. Friendly locals

Ghanaians are known for their whole-hearted hospitality, so you will soon feel like you have found long-lost relatives in this African paradise. Locals greet foreigners by a wide smile and they will do all they can to help you and teach you about their culture and history if you show interest in their ways. Don’t be surprised if you hear the word ‘oberoni’ shouted to you now and again – it means ‘foreigner’, and the person addressing you in the manner does not aim to insult you, they are only trying to strike up a conversation. Ghana is always a great destination to visit with your family.

Ghana is a true Western Africa jewel: with vibrant culture, friendly locals, colourful markets, clean beaches, impressive wildlife and a lively music scene. This country truly has everything it takes to live up to your highest vacationing standards. Are you ready for a first-hand encounter with a wild yet cordial face of Africa?

About the author

Amy Goldsmith is a business assistant from Melbourne. Her job allows her to travel a lot, which also happens to be one of her greatest passions. Find out more about her travels on Twitter.