Thanks to its role as that of a great international crossroads and the truly cosmopolitan nature of its population, Dubai offers cuisine from all over the world. French, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Scandinavian establishments vie with the culinary delights of India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Korea.
Then, of course, there’s true Middle Eastern food, with Moroccan, Lebanese, Iranian, Jordanian and other specialities on offer as well as such local Arabic delights as hareis (succulent slow-cooked lamb with cracked wheat), matchous (highly spiced lamb served over rice), fattayyer (bite-sized pastries stuffed with cream cheese and spinach), mehalabiya (a mouth-watering pudding topped with pistachio nuts and rose petals) and esh asaraya (a cream-topped variation on cheesecake). A good tip: for great value genuine Arabic food, try the long-established citywide chain of restaurants called Automatic.
This is one city where in-house hotel restaurants do extremely well – and offer a vast array of choice. Many hotels have six or more different outlets to provide a culinary tour of the world of fine food – and value often matches that of stand-alone eateries. In what is officially a Muslim city, the entirely cosmopolitan nature of the populace means alcohol is widely available and pork and shellfish find their way onto many menus, too.