Food Prices in Dubai – 2022

From shawarma to restaurant: cuisine and food prices in Dubai

How much does it cost to eat in Dubai?

The Dubai Food Guide: our guide to dining in Dubai in 2022, what to try, what to eat during Ramadan, and alcohol restrictions. We advise you how to save money.

MAKE-TRIP.RU editors’ personal experience. We spent 4 full days in Dubai and spent 300 dirhams ($80) on food for two. That is $10 a day per person. Not much at all! We tried new Middle Eastern dishes, ate delicious Indian and Bangladeshi food, ate shawarma a couple of times (what can you do without it in the East!) and once bought ready-made food in a supermarket. We were happy with everything.

The exchange rate: 1 UAE dirham (AED) ≈ 15 rubles.

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Content:

What to try in Dubai

Emirati cuisine has absorbed the traditions of Middle Eastern, Bedouin, Persian and Asian cooking. If you want to taste the national food, look for establishments labeled emirati cuisine . Al Fanar and Seven Sands are popular with tourists.

We recommend trying it in Dubai:

  • Fried fish with spices.
  • Al madruba – boiled, thickly salted fish.
  • Briqui – Fish, shrimp, and meat patties.
  • Ferid – meat stewed with potatoes and vegetables.
  • Guzi – meat of lamb with nuts and raisins.
  • Biryani – rice with chicken or lamb.
  • Balalit – popular breakfast dish of salty-sweet noodles with scrambled eggs.
  • Cheris – boiled wheat with meat.
  • Chebab – unleavened pancakes with sweet syrup or cheese.
  • Desserts with dates.
  • Baklava made of pistachios.
  • Street food: masala dosa, manakish, barbari.

What to try while eating in Dubai, UAE

Indian pancakes filled with masala dosa. Photo: arundhati.callistainteriors.in / Depositphotos.com.

Food prices in Dubai cafes and restaurants – 2022

Let’s see how much it costs to eat in Dubai.

If you want to save money, go to the restaurants in the Bur Dubai and Deira areas. You can get breakfast there for 15-25 AED per person. Lunch or dinner for two in a non-tourist cafe costs only AED 40-50 per person.

Low prices for food in Dubai in the national restaurants of Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisine. A hearty meal will cost 10-20 AED. Expats recommend Dubai’s Lebanese restaurants because they offer the best combination of quality and price. Main meals cost from 30 AED and drinks from 12 AED. Also inexpensive to eat at a network of budget restaurants Golden fork.

Also, look out for business lunches which cost 15 to 30 AED. A great way to save money!

In regular restaurants the average bill for lunch or dinner for one person is about 80-150 AED. For this money you get an appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee. Here are the prices for food in cafes and restaurants in Dubai in 2022: kebab costs 35-55 AED, al-madruba 17 AED, fried shark 70 AED, briqui 25-32 AED, and coffee or tea 20 AED.

The bill in upscale restaurants starts at 250 AED and goes over 1,000 AED. Read about the best restaurants below.

If you want to try the national cuisine and have an unusual experience, go on a desert safari, where you will be fed dinner by Bedouins. There is an exact same safari with a group. Another unusual option is to have dinner on an Arabian boat and watch the lights of evening Dubai.

See what other cool excursions there are in Dubai:

Food Prices in Dubai

Chebab for breakfast. Photo: unsplash.com / @eilivaceron.

Best Restaurants in Dubai.

Dubai is associated with luxury. If you want to experience the flavor of the fashionable resort, just check out these expensive restaurants.

Al Mahara is one of the most prestigious restaurants in Dubai specializing in seafood. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the famous skyscraper-paradise Burj Al Arab. The restaurant’s specialty is a huge floor-to-ceiling aquarium. For the pleasure of dining here be prepared to pay from 900 AED.

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Gold On 27 bar is also located in the Burj Al Arab. Come here to eat and enjoy the view of the city from the height of the 27th floor. The name of the bar is given for a reason – designer interiors are decorated with gold leaf. The prices are reasonable with cocktails starting from 100 AED.

Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge is an oriental restaurant for those who want to eat with a view of the desert. There is live music and the chefs prepare delicious Lebanese, Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.

At.Mosphere is an iconic restaurant on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. You can see the whole Dubai out of the windows! Book a table in advance and be ready to make a deposit. A pleasant bonus – Russian speaking waiters.

Drinks prices

The most important drink in Dubai is water. It is sold for AED 1 for a bottle of 0.33 liters. Why so expensive? All water in the city is imported. Freshly squeezed juices cost from 21 AED for 0,5 l. The cafes offer a great cappuccino made from selected Arabica beans for 12 AED.

What about alcohol? Muslim tradition prohibits alcoholic beverages. This rule does not apply to tourists, but for drinking alcohol in public places face a hefty fine of 5000 AED. Drinking in Dubai is permitted only at home, in a hotel room or bar.

Hard drinks are expensive and are sold in special stores. Prices for alcohol in Dubai in 2022: 0,5 l of local beer costs 25-45 AED, and 0,33 l of imported – 30-45 AED. A bottle of wine can be bought for 45-100 AED.

Drinks prices in Dubai

Coffee in a cafe in Dubai. Photo: unsplash.com / @eilivaceron.

Grocery prices in Dubai stores – 2022

The most affordable food prices in Dubai are at Coop Union, Shaklan, Carrefour, Safest Way, Organic Foods and Cafe, Lulu Hypermarket and Baqer Mohebi supermarkets. Most of them sell products from local farmers. Shoppers like the Emirates Cooperative Society chain stores, simply called Co-op in the city.

In the markets, the food is slightly cheaper than in the supermarkets. You won’t get a big profit, but it’s worth going to the market. You will feel the colorful atmosphere of the oriental bazaar, bargain and get a vivid impression. By the way, we advise to feel the oriental flavor on this tour of the old city.

If you want to save money on food, watch out for promotions in the major stores in Dubai. Shoppers are offered discounts on products of the day and organize bargain sales on weekends. Keep a close eye on the announcements at the entrance.

Any supermarket has a ready-to-eat section. Prices for such products in Dubai in 2022 are low: bun – 1,4 AED, mini pizza – 2 AED, samosa – 2,4 AED, lamb kebab – from 2,6 AED, soups – from 4,2 AED, boiled rice – 20 AED per 1 kg. Heat it up in the microwave and you’re set for a hearty meal!

Food prices in Dubai, UAE

Hummus. Photo: pexels.com / Sohel Patel.

Fast Food in Dubai

If you want to get to know the national cuisine, start with what is cooked on the streets. Notably, there are almost no Emirati dishes in Dubai fast food. Everything traded in Dubai has Middle Eastern or Levantine roots.

Street food prices in Dubai in 2022 are low. According to tourist reviews, the cheapest, tastiest and most filling meal is shawarma. It costs only AED 5-8. The No. 2 dish is manakish. This is a traditional Arabic flatbread filled with brine cheese, sesame seeds, and spices. It costs 14 AED.

Many people like deep-fried balls of shredded chickpeas – falafel. On the street small balls are sold in pita bread or lettuce leaves with sesame sauce for 25 AED.

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Whole pizzas can be bought for 35-45 AED, and Indian pancakes with toppings – masala dosa – for only 5 AED. Grilled chicken costs 17-22 AED, and a puffed flatbread with sesame barbari is 1.4 AED.

What to try in Dubai

Falafel with appetizers and sauces. Photo: unsplash.com / @eilivaceron.

What you need to know

Almost all of the food cooked in the city is halal. Only in some areas they make dishes with pork especially for foreigners.

There are special rules for traveling to Dubai for Ramadan . This is a Muslim holiday, during which it is forbidden to eat any food from morning until sunset. During the month, all restaurants in the resort are closed during the daytime hours. But in the evening in Dubai begins a real feast.

There is a strict dress code for cafes and restaurants – it is not customary to come to dinner in Dubai in beach wear.

Tip in the UAE is 10-15% of the bill. If the receipt does not specify the charge, give the waiter the required amount in cash.

Food in Dubai: what to try and how much it costs

The city of Dubai is the largest metropolis in the Emirates. It is constantly growing and developing, never ceasing to amaze travelers. It is rightly called the city of records, because it is here where most of the modern wonders of the world are located: the tallest building, the most luxurious hotel, the deepest tunnels, a huge artificial island and much more.

The city has a very rich cultural life, with regular festivals, including gastronomic ones. Do not miss the chance to get acquainted and enjoy the oriental flavor, which you can fully appreciate by trying national dishes.

In the local catering establishments widely represented as the national cuisine and cooking all nations of the world. Here’s a look at what to try in Dubai and what the supermarkets and markets here charge for food.

Contents

Food in UAE, What to try in Dubai

What to try in Dubai

There are quite strict religious laws in the Emirates. They apply to absolutely all areas of life, including cooking. However, despite some restrictions, the local traditional cuisine is very tasty and peculiar. We have prepared a small list of things to try in Dubai from the food:

  • Manakish is an unusual appetizer for a main course. It is a cheese baked in a flatbread.
  • Biryani is a dish similar to pilaf. Cooked from rice, lamb and vegetables.
  • Hummus – snack made of boiled chickpeas and tahini paste. Sometimes it is topped with beans, nuts, lemon juice, garlic or ground beef.
  • Al Haris is a festive Arabic dish. The wheat and lamb are boiled for a long time and then stewed in the oven. Al Haris is served with melted butter.
  • Falafel – crispy chickpea balls. It tastes like a meat patty, although it can be classified as a vegetarian snack.
  • Shawarma is one of the most famous street foods, the Arab national food. Roasted chicken, lamb, or beef is mixed with vegetables and wrapped in pita bread. Sometimes it includes fries, sauces and spices.
  • Fattoush – a traditional bread salad.
  • Briquettes – triangular patties made of thin dough. Fish, shrimp, seafood, or lamb are used for the filling.
  • Al Madruba – the most popular fish dish. Salted fish fillets are cooked with spices and served with sauce.
  • Umm Ali – tender crispy dessert sprinkled with grated almonds, hazelnuts and coconut shavings.

Prices in cafes and restaurants 2022

This is a city of wealth and luxury, so the prices of food in Dubai can not be called low. The only exception is some sales and promotions. Of course, you can find places that will fit any budget.

For example, a dinner at a cheap cafe will cost about 30 dirhams and a standard set at “McDonald’s” – from 22 dirhams. Here are some of the prices:

  • Grilled chicken – 12 dirhams per serving;
  • Sandwich – from 4 dirhams;
  • biryani – 20 dirhams;
  • soup – AED 4.25 per glass;
  • Bun from AED 1.5.
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Relatively inexpensive to eat in Asian or Indian cafes, but you have to move away from the popular tourist routes. In such budget cafes rates are approximately as follows:

  • breakfast – 12-25 dirhams;
  • lunch – 15-30 dirhams;
  • Dinner – from 25 dirhams.

Prices in Dubai cafes near tourist attractions are higher. A meal for one that includes three courses and drinks will cost from 50 dirhams.

A coffee shop offers a variety of desserts and tea or coffee at these prices:

  • dessert, sandwich – from 20 dirhams;
  • Americano coffee from 12 dirhams;
  • Cappuccino from 17 dirhams;
  • tea from 12 dirhams
  • Drinks from AED 6.

Restaurants in Dubai also have different price categories. For example, there is a seven-star restaurant Al Mahara – one of the most expensive in the world. Surely many people are wondering how much it costs to dine at this famous place. If you decide to go for dinner, then prepare about 1 thousand dirhams for one person.

The average prices at five-star establishments are around AED 100 per dish. There are establishments that operate on a buffet system. A meal in such a place costs 270 dirhams.

One of the world's most expensive seven star Al Mahara restaurant in Dubai

Street food and fast food

Seasoned travelers advise to start your acquaintance with Arabic cuisine with the dishes offered by the numerous tents and small outdoor cafes in the streets.

The street food in Dubai is an inseparable part of the Arabian culture. You can taste everything without any fear because the quality of the food is controlled at the state level.

The most popular dishes that are ubiquitously sold on the streets of the city are shawarma, falafel and manakish.

What can be bought and eaten without spending a lot of time and money? How much does street food cost in Dubai? So, let’s share some information:

  • Iranian flatbread – 1.25 dirham;
  • shawarma – from 5 dirhams;
  • Grilled chicken – about 20 dirhams;
  • Manakish – 14 dirhams;
  • falafel – 25 dirhams;
  • Water bottle (0,5 l) – 2 dirhams;
  • ice cream – 10 dirhams.

McDonald’s, Subway and Italian pizzerias are open for those who like the usual European fast food.

Food Prices in Dubai

Almost all of the food in the Emirates is brought from neighboring countries. Numerous stores and supermarkets offer food and various products in a huge range.

In local shopping centers you can buy absolutely everything from potatoes to the latest model car. The prices of products cannot be classified as budget-friendly, but there are often various sales and promotions.

In general, the cost of products is about the same as in the highly developed European countries.

Dubai Mall, Dubai's largest shopping mall

Food Prices in Dubai 2022

Here are the prices of products in Dubai:

Name

Quantity

Price, AED

Coconut, cut into pieces

Corn, Brussels sprouts

Supermarkets, stores, markets.

There are a huge number of stores, malls and supermarkets in the metropolis. Almost all of them are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lunch time is from 13.00 to 16.00. The day off is Friday and Thursday is a short day. Some stores are open on weekends as well, but are closed for the time of day prayers.

Consider the most famous and popular supermarkets in the city.

Union Coop – a shopping chain, stores and supermarkets which are characterized by the most favorable prices. This network operates in the Emirates for about 25 years. Stores regularly hold various promotions.

Carrefour is a famous French retail chain. Carrefour stores can be found everywhere. The cost of goods is comparable with Union Coop.

Geant Hypermarket is a retail chain where citizens prefer to make large purchases. However, the supermarkets are located far from the popular tourist areas, tourists are not very convenient to get there.

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LuLu Hypermarket – a network of supermarkets, which are characterized by a huge selection of various goods, food, and electronics.

Organic Foods and Cafe – a network of supermarkets of organic products. Supermarkets sell products that are produced by local farms.

The tastiest and freshest products you can buy at local markets. A special feature of bazaars is that they close for lunch in the period from 13.00 to 16.00.

Remember that in the market always need to haggle, because the prices in Dubai for tourists are inflated several times.

Let’s dwell on the description of the local markets.

Deira fish market. It sells the freshest seafood in Dubai. Catch is brought twice a day.

Perfume market. In this place you can buy perfumes made according to ancient Arabic recipes, as well as various oils and incense.

Karama Market and Murdish Bazaar . Versatile bazaars selling Arabic and Chinese textiles, leather accessories and souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Bur Dubai . Ancient textile market selling luxurious cashmere, silk and chiffon goods, ethnic items, unusual expensive souvenirs.

Meals in Dubai hotels

The most frequent questions that tourists who are planning their vacation ask is what kind of food system to choose and what kind of food in Dubai hotels? But it is impossible to answer unequivocally, as much depends on your preferences and the purpose of the trip.

Different dining options at hotels in Dubai

For example, if you are traveling with small children and planning only a beach vacation, it is better to stop at the all-inclusive system. Such hotels are not very common in the UAE, but you can still find them in the collection of hotels Kidpassage.

A more common form of food in Dubai hotels is breakfast or half board. Restaurants at hotels usually prepare the usual European food in buffet or open buffet style.

Even if the price of the tour includes only breakfasts, if you want you can always order lunch and dinner at the hotel. But be aware of the fact that food in a hotel will cost more than in a cafe.

Prices in restaurants in Dubai’s central areas are incredibly high. The cost of an extra meal for a week for two is quite comparable to the price of the trip.

When planning a tour also pay special attention to the area where your hotel is located. Often budget hotels are located on the vacant lots. In this case it will be quite a problem to get to various cafes.

Therefore it is advisable to order half board, and if necessary, change dinner for dinner. Just find out in advance if there is an opportunity for such a substitution, because not all hotels are practicing it.

But in hotels, which are located in populated areas with developed infrastructure, you can safely take only breakfast. Outside the hotel you will always find plenty of cafes and stalls with street food.

Half board system implies two meals a day: breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner.

The peculiarity is that drinks are included only at breakfast. But you have to pay extra for them at lunch or dinner.

Some hotels offer a “half board +” system. In this case, drinks are included at all meals.

Baby food in Dubai

As a rule, hotels offer a children’s table, where there is fruit, cereal or muesli. However, this point should be clarified at the stage of selecting a hotel. In budget hotels there may be no special menu or fast food for kids, such as sandwiches, hamburgers or fried potatoes.

In local cafes and restaurants, you can order traditional dishes for little gourmets, but ask not to add a lot of spices. Children usually enjoy Arabian pastries, as well as street food.

Arabian sweets for kids in Dubai

Supermarkets, stores, and pharmacies offer a wide range of baby food from all known manufacturers. For example, we have written out some Carrefour supermarket prices:

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Name

Quantity

Price, AED

Nestle Nan formula

Hero Baby Peach Banana puree

Hipp vegetable puree

Humana Chocolate Pudding 100gx4

Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Drink 85ml x4

Ready to eat Carrefour Baby Vegetable Colin Plate

In supermarkets, it is quite problematic to find canned meat for babies. There are also canned mashed potatoes with unusual combinations, such as pasta with tomato sauce or risotto with vegetable puree. So read the information on the label carefully.

If your child needs special food, it is advisable to make the necessary supplies before you leave, so as not to waste precious vacation time looking for specialized stores or pharmacies.

If you want you can prepare food for children on their own, and in this case probably comes in handy blender. Note that all the fruit, cereals, meat and dairy products in Dubai are of high quality.

Tips for parents

Among tourists are very common fears and concerns associated with visiting countries where standards of behavior dictated by strict religious laws. To make your vacation most comfortable, we’ve put together some helpful tips:

  • Do not take pictures of local residents without their permission. There is a large fine for that.
  • Before entering a mosque and other Muslim shrines you should take off your shoes.
  • If you or your children are offered something to eat, it is considered rude to refuse.
  • When you sit down to rest, you should not point your feet in anyone’s direction, it is considered a very offensive gesture.
  • You should not eat standing up or on the go.
  • It is customary to take food, things, or money with the right hand only.
  • It is forbidden to go out of the hotel grounds wearing too open or beach clothes.
  • You shouldn’t litter. Even if you just miss throwing garbage past the trash can, it entails an impressive fine.
  • Alcohol can be drunk only in special places. It is forbidden to appear in a drunken state on the street.
  • Be sure to make photocopies of documents and take them with you on walks or excursions.
  • During Ramadan it is prohibited to eat or drink in public places from sunrise to sunset.

Best Restaurants in Dubai.

The city, which is the epitome of oriental chic, is home to some of the most luxurious establishments in the world. Let’s tell you a little bit about some of them. So, the best restaurants in Dubai:

Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire is a French restaurant. It is famous for its incredible cuisine, beautiful interior, rich wine list. Almost all dishes are cooked by special author’s recipes of famous chef Pierre Gagnaire.

Buddha-bar is a restaurant serving Indian, Thai and Japanese cuisine. Outwardly it reminds a luxurious palace of fairy caliph. Here you can taste fresh seafood delicacies and some kinds of curry.

Al Hadheerah – is the restaurant of traditional Arabian cuisine. Main courses are cooked by the ancient recipes in the big oven. And in the evening there is an exciting program.

Royal China is one of the most popular Asian restaurants. Here you can taste Peking duck, as well as seafood at quite reasonable prices.

French restaurant in Dubai Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire

If you want an inexpensive and tasty meal, then you can go to the following establishments:

Al Ustad Special Kabab is one of the oldest and most authentic kebab houses in the city. The restaurant has an interesting design and a wide variety of dishes.

Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant. Located in the Mall of the Emirates. It offers dumplings, dumplings and vegetable dishes.

We will be glad if our article helped you to understand the features of national Arabic cuisine, as well as to find out how much approximate it would cost to eat in Dubai. We wish you a good holiday and an unforgettable experience!

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