Blog Food Delicious Desert Dining: Savouring Traditional Arabian Cuisine under the Stars

Delicious Desert Dining: Savouring Traditional Arabian Cuisine under the Stars


Dubai is a city that never fails to impress its visitors with its glamour, luxury, and unique experiences. One of the most unforgettable experiences you can have in this stunning city is dining under the stars in the mesmerizing Arabian desert.

The combination of traditional Arabian cuisine and an extraordinary outdoor setting makes for an experience that will tantalize your taste buds, awaken your senses, and leave you feeling enchanted by the magic of Dubai’s desert landscape.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what makes dining in the Dubai desert so special, explore some popular menus from authentic restaurants in Dubai, and provide tips on how to make the most out of your delicious desert dining experience!
Are you ready to savor one of the world’s most memorable culinary journeys? Let’s dive right into it!

Traditional Arabian Cuisine and its History


Traditional Arabian cuisine is known for its rich and exotic flavors that reflect the region’s history and culture. Arabian food has been influenced by various civilizations, including Persians, Ottomans, and Indians.

The use of spices such as cumin, coriander, saffron, cinnamon, and turmeric gives Arabian dishes their unique taste. The traditional cuisine of Arabia includes a variety of meat dishes made with lamb or chicken.

Rice is also an essential part of Arabian cuisine; it is usually cooked with vegetables or meat to create one-pot meals like biryani or mandi. Arabian bread is another staple in the region’s culinary tradition; it comes in different sizes and shapes depending on the country.

For example, Emirati khameer bread baked with dates has a sweet flavor, while Saudi Arabia’s kabsa rice dish goes well with a crispy thin bread called shakshooka. Dairy products are also widely used in Arabian cuisine; yogurt-based marinated meats like kebabs can be found everywhere, from Lebanon to Oman.

Popular desserts include baklava, made from phyllo dough stuffed with nuts coated in honey syrup, Kunafa which consists of cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup flavored rose water, and Qatayef-filled pancakes drizzled with sweet syrup.

Arabian cuisine reflects the diversity of influences present throughout its history. With new fusion restaurants opening up globally showcasing some modern twists on classic Arabic dishes such as falafel burgers or hummus pizza sandwiches, there seems to be no limit to how far this deliciously rich food will go!

Popular Menus from Authentic Dubai Restaurants

popular arabian cuisine


Dubai is known for its luxurious and extravagant lifestyle, and the food scene in this city is no exception. Traditional Arabian cuisine has been given a modern twist by world-renowned chefs who have added their own unique touch to classic dishes.

Al Machboos
This savory rice dish is one of the most popular dishes in Dubai. It’s made by cooking rice with an assortment of spices, onions, and meat (usually chicken or lamb) until it becomes a fragrant and tasty mixture.
The dish is typically garnished with fried onions and served with a side of salad.

This popular street food is a Middle Eastern sandwich made with grilled meat (usually chicken or lamb), vegetables, and tahini sauce. The meat is typically marinated in spices, then grilled on a spit and sliced thin.
The shawarma is then stuffed into a loaf of pita bread along with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Harees is a traditional Emirati dish made by boiling wheat and meat (usually lamb or chicken) until it turns into a porridge-like consistency.
The mixture is then seasoned with salt and pepper and served with ghee (clarified butter) and cinnamon.

Baba Ghanoush
This dip is made from roasted eggplant, tahini (sesame paste), garlic, and lemon juice. The eggplant is first charred over an open flame until the skin is blackened, then the flesh is scooped out and mashed with the other ingredients.
Baba Ghanoush is often served as a dip with pita bread or as a side dish with other Middle Eastern foods.

Grilled Hammour
For seafood lovers, there are plenty of mouth-watering options like grilled hammour served with lemon butter sauce or spicy shrimp curry that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Umm Ali
A visit to Dubai would be incomplete without trying some traditional Arabic sweets such as Umm Ali, a sweet, creamy pastry made from puff pastry sheets soaked in milk, sugar, and nuts.

These sweet, deep-fried dough balls are a popular dessert in Dubai. They’re made by mixing flour, sugar, yeast, milk, and saffron into a dough that is then rolled into small balls and fried until golden brown.
Luqaimat is typically drizzled with syrup or honey and served hot.

This savory dish is made by cooking crushed grains and rice with garlic, onion, tomatoes, yogurt, and seasoning. The mixture is then served with chicken, fish, or lamb. Madrouba is a popular dish across the UAE and is typically eaten with flatbread.

Camel meat
If you’re looking for something more exotic, then camel meat should definitely be on your list! It’s often served as burgers or kebabs accompanied by fresh bread and salad.

For vegetarians visiting Dubai, there are also many authentic Arabic vegetarian dishes available such as Hummus and tabouleh salad made from parsley, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper mixed together.

This vegetarian dish is made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices that are formed into balls and deep-fried until crispy.
Falafel is typically served on pita bread along with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers and topped with tahini sauce.

Machboos Laham
This variation of Al Machboos is made with lamb instead of chicken. It’s just as flavorful and aromatic as the chicken version and is a popular choice among meat lovers in Dubai.

This traditional Emirati dish is made by slow-roasting lamb or goat with spiced rice. It’s often served with a side of salad and yogurt sauce and is a must-try for anyone visiting Dubai.

There’s so much variety when it comes to traditional Arabian cuisine in Dubai that it can be difficult to know where to start! But whether you’re looking for something spicy or sweet, meaty or veggie – rest assured that you won’t go hungry on your trip to this amazing destination.

Different Types of Outdoor Dining Experiences in the Dubai Desert

outdoor dining in desert safari

Dubai is famous for its unique and luxurious outdoor dining experiences in the desert. Here are some different types of outdoor dining experiences you can enjoy in the Dubai desert:

Desert Safari Dinner
One of the most popular outdoor dining experiences in Dubai is the desert safari dinner, where you can enjoy a traditional Arabian meal under the stars. You can choose from various packages that include dune bashing, camel rides, and entertainment such as belly dancing and fire shows.

Private Desert Dining
For a more intimate experience, you can book a private outdoor dining experience in the desert. Many companies offer private tents or cabanas where you can enjoy a romantic dinner with your loved ones.

Hot Air Balloon Breakfast
Another unique outdoor dining experience is the hot air balloon breakfast. You can fly over the desert at sunrise while enjoying a delicious breakfast served onboard the hot air balloon.

Bedouin Camp Dining
Experience the traditional Bedouin way of life by dining at a Bedouin camp in the desert. Enjoy a camel ride, watch a falconry display, and indulge in a delicious buffet-style dinner with traditional Arabic entertainment.

Rooftop Dining
For a city view with a desert touch, you can enjoy rooftop dining in Dubai’s desert-themed restaurants. Some of these restaurants offer outdoor terraces where you can enjoy a meal while taking in panoramic views of the city.

Preparations Required for a Successful Outdoor Dining Trip in the Desert

Before embarking on a desert dining adventure, it’s important to prepare adequately for the trip. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.

Make sure you book your reservation in advance: Desert dining experiences are popular attractions in Dubai and tend to fill up fast. Booking ahead will save you from disappointment and enable you to choose the perfect spot for your dinner.

Check the weather forecast before leaving home: The temperature can drop drastically once the sun sets in the desert, so bring warm clothing such as jackets or shawls to keep yourself comfortable throughout the evening.

Bring Cash or Credit Card: Some desert dining experiences require cash for additional items such as souvenir photos or tips for the staff. Make sure to bring some cash or a credit card, just in case.

Follow Safety Guidelines: Listen to the safety guidelines provided by your hosts and follow them strictly. Avoid wandering alone in the desert and stay within designated areas.


Dubai’s desert dining scene is a must-try for anyone visiting the city. Its unique blend of traditional Arabian cuisine and outdoor dining experiences under the stars offers an unforgettable culinary adventure that cannot be missed.
From camel rides to dune bashing and falconry shows to belly dancing performances, there are endless entertainment options available to make your meal in the desert even more special. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or a family-friendly outing, there is something for everyone here.
So go ahead and book yourself a table at one of Dubai’s many authentic restaurants offering delicious Arabian cuisine or plan an outdoor dining experience in the heart of the desert.