Halal Food in Dubai

By Farihah
21 Min Read

Halal Food in Dubai

Halal Food in Dubai

Looking for Halal food in Dubai?

The country has a lot of options to choose from!

As a global country with about 200 different nationalities of multi-faith backgrounds, Islam is still the official and dominant religion of the UAE. Hence, you plenty of Halal cuisine options!

Here are some of the Halal food in Dubai categorized into must-try food and restaurants.


Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links. I receive a small commission AT NO EXTRA cost to you if you use the links. Hope you find this guide helpful!


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What You Should Know About The UAE Halal Certification

Halal UAE certificate
How UAE Halal certificate looks like

As the international center for halal food trading, the United Arab Emirates has strict halal import control. Meat and poultry require original Halal certification recognized by the country’s Islamic Authority.

So, if you’re asking, “is the food in Dubai halal?” 

Yes, in plain English, the poultry and meat in Dubai are halal.

This is because of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum’s vision to push Dubai into becoming the world’s Islamic economy’s global capital since 2013.

Halal Food in Dubai You Must Try

Here is some food that should be on your list when you visit Dubai.

Bajella (Fava beans)

Emirati Bajella Fava Beans

For those who want to try diverse Arabic tastes and local food in Dubai, you must try the Bajella!

Eating bajella (otherwise known as fava beans) can be an acquired taste to the non-Emiratis. The Emiratis usually eat this dish in metal bowls and have it for breakfast.

The way to eat it? Push the beans out of their skin with your fingers!

Shawarma — beloved Dubai Street Food

Shawarma Halal Food Dubai

One of the best local food in Dubai is none other than the Shawarma itself.

Shawarma is a dish of pita bread filled with meat or chicken grilled on a skewer, topped with different ingredients.

Despite it being a dish with no Emirati origins, this is street food so popular here that you can find it sold all over Dubai.

Some shawarmas to try are Chicken shawarma and Omani Chips Shawarma!

You can get Shawarma easily sold at any Pakistani, Indian (mostly in Bur Dubai) & or Levantine restaurant in Dubai. They are usually priced between 4-8 dirhams but can go up to 100 AED in premium dining restaurants.

Machboos – Emirati’s signature rice

Emirati Machboos

Emirati’s most famous rice dish is one of the best food to eat in Dubai!

With a single glance, you’ll think machboos is biryani. But it is different from biryani. Machboos is spiced rice prepared in its own way, with either fish, chicken, or lamb.

Out of all the machboos, lamb machboos are usually the go-to favorite!

Pro-tip: You can try it in SMCCU Dubai for a cultural crash course about the dish. If not, it’s readily available in restaurants specializing in Emirati cuisines.

Karak Chai – Dubai Morning Way of Life

This one needs no introduction.

If there’s one drink representing Dubai’s morning way of life, it is the Karak.

Karak chai is an intensely spiced and creamy caramelized sweet milk tea that is Dubai’s favorite and go-to drink.

You can get them in paper cups at any Karak cafeteria spot by the roadside in Dubai at 1-2AED.

You can find premium Karak sold at about 13-25AED. They’re easily available from Karak House or Project Chaiwala.

Camel Milk Ice Cream

Camel Milk Gelato in Dubai

We all need some Halal desserts in the Dubai desert!

What better dessert to top off your Halal Food in Dubai experience if not with a Camel Milk Ice Cream?

Forget other types of ice cream because camel milk is the real essence of Arabia gelato!

As straightforward as the ice cream’s name, you guessed right— made of camel milk!

Did you know? Studies have shown that camel milk is also a good option for lactose-intolerant people!

They’re readily available in Dubai supermarkets or kiosks selling Camel Milk Ice cream.

Some flavors to try (depending on respective kiosks) are Saffron, Emirati Date, Camel Milk, and Baklava.

Date-covered Chocolate

Date chocolates

When in Dubai, go for their desserts that have dates.

Cafe Bateel in Dubai Mall has some Date pudding that is a delight to your throat!

Besides that, don’t forget to buy some date-covered chocolates as a souvenir to bring back home.

You can get them at any souvenir shops in the souks or at the chocolate section in retail.

More about the best souks in 19 Muslim-Friendly Things To Do in Old Dubai

Harees – UAE Ramadhan dish

A popular Ramadhan dish in the UAE is the Harees.

It is wheat porridge with ghee and meat.

The cultural significance of the fulfilling Harees is that it is usually eaten during Ramadhan, in family gatherings.

Nowadays, you can find Harees on the menu of some Arabic restaurants in Dubai.

Photo credit: Krista via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Where to get it: Al Bawareh Kitchen & Restaurant

Restaurants Selling Halal Food in Dubai

Arabian Tea House – Authentic Emirati Food

One of the best local food in Dubai is one served in the Arabian Tea House. Been around since 1997; here, you get a taste of authentic Emirati food.

Great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, the platters are something to try!

The Emirati Breakfast tray has everything like Balaleet (vermicelli & cardamom, saffron & omelet), dates, molasses, cheddar cheese, and options of traditional bread.

Chebab Bread is great if you’re not into something heavy and are looking for something sweet! It’s my personal favorite, and I’d like to think of Emirati pancakes with date molasses.

Pro-tip: Go for the Arabian Tea House located in Old Dubai (Al Bastakiya) for the traditional dining experience in Emirati Wind Tower house! Keep in mind that the queue can be extended on some days! So reserve in advance if you need to!

  • Address (Bastakiya branch): Bastakiya Opposite Musalla Post Office – Al Fahidi St – Bur Dubai – Al Fahidi – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
  • Operating hours: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm daily
  • Click here for information on other locations.

Five Guys – Halal Burgers in Dubai

Halal Burgers in Dubai

Looking for “halal burgers near me” in Dubai?

Five Guys in Dubai Mall is one to check out! The patty is super juicy and tender!

As the taste and Dubai experience tops it all, you can’t go wrong with a Cheeseburger, their signature fresh boardwalk-style fries, and the milkshake options here.

Famous milkshakes besides vanilla are Oreo Cookie Pieces and Malted Milk!

Pro-tip: This American fast food joint is located right at revolving Door 6 of Dubai Mall, which takes you straight to Souk al Bahar with views of the Dubai Dancing Fountains and Burj Khalifa. So you can opt for dining inside or outside at the terrace facing the fountains.

  • Address: The Dubai Mall, Financial Center Rd., Unit TDG – LG-102 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
  • Operating hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 am (Thu – Sat); 10:00 am – 12:00 am (Sun – Wed)
  • Click here for information on other Five Guys locations in Dubai.

Zaytoni – Lebanese & Armenian cuisines

If you happen to be around Kite Beach in Jumeirah, head on to Zaytoni!

Zaytoni serves a good mix of Lebanese and Armenian cuisines. If you want a bit of both, try the Lebanese & Armenian Breakfast (includes Labneh)!

Besides that, some restaurant favorites here are Kebab Halabi, Armenian Manti, Batata Harra (diced potatoes cooked with spices, Hummus Laham (hummus with lamb), and Mezze (small dishes of appetizers & spreads) selection.

Ras Asfour
I loved the Ras Asfour!

The Levant ambiance adds a great touch to the whole space! Sometimes, there’s even live music!

  • Address: Jumeirah Beach Road – Umm Suqeim – Jumeirah 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
  • Operating hours: 8:00 am – 2:00 am daily

Sardina Seafood Restaurant – Mediterranean Seafood

Looking for a Mediterranean seafood restaurant in Dubai?

Check out Sardina Seafood Restaurant for a delicious, fresh seafood experience in Dubai.

Specializing in Egyptian-style seafood cooking, Sardina has various seafood options like red snappers, clams, sea bass, mussels, etc. You can either have them grilled or steamed with regional sauces like tomato sauce or oil and lemon.

The restaurant comes with seating options inside the mall or outside with views of Burj Al Arab.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to order rice pudding to top off your Dubai seafood experience!

  • Location: Opposite Jumeirah Beach Resort – The Mall, 1st Floor – Jumeirah St – Umm Suqeim 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates (directions)
  • Opening hours: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am daily

Popeye’s – Authentic Louisiana Fried Chicken

Popeye's Dubai

Move over, KFC and McDonald’s! If you’re a fan of fried chicken and fast food, it’s time to try something different in Dubai.

Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Popeye’s is an excellent alternative for that American fried chicken craving.

The broast chickens are crispy and crunchy. There are also tender chicken strips and flaky buttermilk biscuits that are a must-try!

Pro-tip: Get some box offers for a taste of everything. Most of these boxes come with Kabsa rice & Cajun fries!

Available in many branches in Dubai, but my favorite is the one located at gas stations like ENOC simply for the dining experience!

Tim Horton’s – Canada’s Signature Cake and Bake Shop

If you haven’t been to Canada before, you can try the Tim Horton’s branch in Dubai.

Tim Hortons are famous for their signature French Vanilla and the Timbits (mini donut balls)! There’s also an assortment of sandwiches sold if you prefer something more savory and fulfilling.

Tim Hortons Sheikh Zayed Road
Burj Khalifa in the background

The branch on Sheikh Zayed road is absolutely recommended as the cafe comes with a great view of Burj Khalifa. Indoor and outdoor seating available

  • Address: 676F+5FM – Ground floor, Number One Tower Suites, Sheikh Zayed Rd – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates (Google Maps)
  • Operating hours: 24 hours daily
  • Click here for other Tim Horton’s locations in Dubai.

The Cheesecake Factory, Dubai

Who doesn’t know The Cheesecake Factory?

Known for its irresistible signature cheesecakes, this restaurant also has excellent a la carte options like pasta and burgers for brunch and dinner.

Halal Food in Dubai
Pasta Napoletana

Plus, the ambiance is just dreamy! So a dinner experience is totally recommended as it sets the dining mood on a different level.

Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Dulce De Leche Caramel Cheesecake

Cheesecake tip: Besides the original, the Cinnabon is good as well!

The portions are massive as one plate can serve 2-3 people lavishly.

Do note that it can be pretty crowded.

The Cheesecake Factory Locations in Dubai (Click the link for exact location details & operating hours):

Buffalo Wild Wings, Mall of the Emirates – American Glazed Chicken Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

With the endless options of Halal food in Dubai, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choices.

One place to check out in Dubai is Buffalo Wild Wings.

Dubbed as the locals’ best chicken wings place in town, the juicy and flavorful chicken here may leave you wanting more!

The wings come with sauces and seasoning, which you can mix and match (according to your spice level, from mild to wild). Some sauces worth trying are the garlic sauce, buffalo sauce, and honey BBQ!

Pro-tip: If you’re a first-timer, try the traditional and boneless wings combo with French fries and coleslaw.

  • Operation hours: 10:00 – 00:00 daily
  • Location: Level 1, Mall of the Emirates (view on map)

This place is near Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates, so if you’re heading for the Ski experience (video here), Buffalo Wild Wings is worth having afterward to replenish those depleted energies from a half-day ski adventure!

Feras Aldiyafa Sweets – Middle Eastern Delights

Halal Food in Dubai

Thinking of having some Kunafa for desserts? Feras is your go-to in Dubai!

A traditional sweets shop specializing in Middle Eastern delights since 1984, the Oriental delicacies here are to die for!

Did you know? Kunafa is also known as the Queen of Arabic desserts. So, a trip to the Middle East is incomplete without tasting the Kunafa!

Everything served here is exceptional, from Baklava, Mabroomah Cream, and Ma’mul! You can even bring home a box of oriental sweets from Feras.

First Cup at Sheikh Zayed Road

Hummus
Photo credit: First Cup Masaya Restaurant

This is a 24-hour restaurant with great outdoor seating on Sheikh Zayed road.

Here, some Middle Eastern recommendations are fattoush (Levantine salad), Labneh, and Hummus Beiruti. They also have various pizza options that range beyond Middle Eastern choices.

  • Address: Rostamani Tower, Beside Crown Plaza – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
  • Opening hours: 24 hours daily

Zoom Hotdog – UAE Convenience Store Experience

They say the best hotdogs are the ones from the street! And where else to get the best rest-stop foodie experience in Dubai if not from Zoom!

Zoom has been UAE’s homegrown convenience store for over 25 years. The country has over 245 stores alone in the region, most of them found at ENOC and EPPCO service stations, high-street locations, and Dubai Metro.

The star of this store? Its variety of Halal hotdogs! You can get hotdogs of different toppings here.

Ready-to-go meal sold at Zoom

Since Zoom is a convenience store held in a rest stop, there’s also coffee and tea sold here for those needing their caffeine fix before heading to the desert for an adventure like Jebel Jais!

Click here for Zoom Store Dubai locations & its operating hours.

SALT – Dubai’s Homegrown Fast Food

Emerging from a mobile street food trailer, SALT is now known for serving one of the best burgers and sliders in the Emirate!

Not only that, but some desserts make the whole dining experience here a “Happy Salting” experience — as the chain likes to call it.

Some of the locals’ favorites are Classic Original Burger, Wagyu Beef Sliders, and Cheetos fries! These got people returning for their second visit.

And when it comes to desserts, SALT’s Caramel Ice Cream and Lotus Ice Cream are the talk of the town.

SALT Dubai locations (click the links for address details & operating hours):

Bosphorus – Turkish cuisines

Bosphorus The Beach (JBR) with view of Dubai Eye
View of Ain Dubai (Dubai Eye) at Bosphorus, The Beach (JBR) branch

For a bit of Turkish cuisine experience in Dubai, there is none other to go to than the Bosphorus.

Serving customers in the Emirates with the slogan “Your Bridge to Turkey”, Bosphorus is the home of Halal Ottoman cuisines in Dubai.

The Mixed Appetizers Platter has a fine selection of the restaurant’s best mezze for a little bit of everything. The mezze has everything, like the famous Turkish Babaganush, Hummus, and Aci Ezme (Turkish spicy pepper paste with tomato).

Pro-tip: The food here is served in large portions, so if you’re not a big eater, be mindful of what you order!

Did you know? Mezze is a selection of dips served in most West Asia and the Balkans.

Besides that, mixed grill, 1-meter long kebab, Turkish coffee, and Baklava Ice Cream are worth trying! They even have a show while serving you the Baklava, so that’s something nice to see.

Locations (click the links for operating hours & exact locations):

Assalam Restaurant – Halal Chinese cuisines in Dubai

Looking for halal Chinese food near me in Dubai?

Consider Assalam Restaurant, a Halal Chinese restaurant located in China Cluster International City, Dubai!

This restaurant specializes in Xinjiang province’s authentic cuisines that are home to the Uyghur Muslim community.

Some on the menu that are a definite must-try are the chewy Uyghur hand-pulled noodles (Lagman) and the grills—Kao Rao Chun is fantastic!

  • Address: China F10 – International City – China Cluster – Dubai – United Arab Emirates (google maps)
  • Operating hours: 11:00 am – 2:00 am

Conclusion

I hope this Halal Food in Dubai guide has been helpful!

While you’re in Dubai, do check out these articles for some inspiration:

And if you’re planning for a day trip from Dubai, Khor Fakkan and Jebel Jais are worth considering!

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