It’s almost impossible not to eat well in Dubai, whatever your budget. If you’ve got cash to burn, the city offers a superb spread of top-quality restaurants (including an ever-increasing number of places run under the auspices of various international celebrity chefs), with gourmet food served up in some of its most magical locations. There are also plenty of good cheap eats to be had too, from cheap and cheerful curry houses to the plentiful shwarma stands and kebab cafés. Dubai is a particularly fine place to sample the many different types of Middle Eastern (aka “Lebanese”) cuisine, with restaurants across the city offering varying takes on the classic dishes of the region, usually featuring a big range of classic mezze and succulent grilled meats, sometimes with a good selection of shisha (waterpipes) on the side.

As you’d expect given Dubai’s cosmopolitan make-up, a huge variety of other international cuisines are also represented. Italian, Iranian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese are all popular, and Indian food is particularly good, with inexpensive but often surprisingly excellent curry houses scattered all over the city centre catering to Dubai’s large subcontinental population.

Note that only hotel restaurants and a very small number of mall-based establishments have alcohol licences. You won’t find booze at independent restaurants and cafés.

Essentials

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