A foodie guide to eating out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

If you’re travelling to the UAE on business, you’re in for a real treat. Not only does the area have some of the most fantastic hotels in the world – it also has a cosmopolitan collection of restaurants.

The financial districts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in particular, are packed full of places where you can experience exquisite food and out of this world dining. Before you head over, make sure you take a look at the menus, make a reservation and budget plenty of money for exciting eatery trips. The Travelex site covers up to date currency rates for the countries in the region, take a look here.


In gastronome terms, many of the restaurants in the UAE are fairly new. They draw their influences from Asia, Europe and neighbouring Arabic countries and they offer some of the finest dining in the world. Indeed, in 2012, two restaurants from Dubai charted on the list of the world’s top 100 restaurants.   Contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma came in just out of the top 50 at 58 and French-inspired La Petite Maison snuck in at position 96. Timeout Abu Dhabi also awarded La Petite Maison their ‘best restaurant of 2012’.

Visitors to Zuma can expect to eat their way through some fantastic sushi, sashimi and have the choice of sipping extravagant cocktails or sampling sake in the sake bar. Over at La Petite Maison you’ll find a meat cooked in the French way – including slow cooked duck legs and roast chicken with foie gras and plenty of seafood and indulgent tarts and crème brulee for dessert.   La Petite Maison is also known for its great service, but you can expect to pay for this winning combination – with a three course meal without drinks easily coming in at around 100 USD (or around 330 AED according to the latest exchange rates on Travelex).

Of course, really good restaurants aren’t restricted by location to Dubai only. Places like the new Marco Pierre White steakhouse in Abu Dhabi and established and firm favourite, Hakkasan (both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) is also worth a visit. The Abu Dhabi Hakkasan is ranked number one on Tripadvisor and offers a menu of contemporary Chinese cuisine in opulent, sleek surroundings.  Also worth adding to your ‘to-do’ list is Quest – a Pan Asian restaurant, which makes a great date venue because of the excellent city views. Finally, for those who want to sample something Middle Eastern during their trip, Mezlai in the Emirates Palace Hotel is unrivalled for providing traditional Arabian food in a great setting.

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