Dubai
The sweet life http://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/arabic-sweets 20150517T035134 20160717T170956:636043721960985976 Heritage & Culture The sweeter side of Middle Eastern cuisine is the perfect flourish to any meal in Dubai. This is your guide to the desserts that define Dubai in a single bite, from Arabian doughnuts to saffron infused pancakes. Try traditional Middle Eastern desserts in Dubai

Must-try traditional desserts in Dubai


Arabic cuisine’s layered personality has regional influences, it’s roots firm in traditional Bedouin food. The first question to arise after an authentic feast is always, “What’s for dessert?”. From the moreish luqaimat to the nostalgic Assidat al-Boubar, these sweets are no afterthought.



Dessert is served


Flour, dates, spices and honey are essential ingredients of most sweets of Arabia and every Emirati grandmother has a secret recipe that’s been handed down through generations.

Let’s begin with an age old delight, luqaimat. These dumplings drizzled with date molasses (known as dibs) are widely regarded as the official sweet of the Emirates.

Luqaimats-Arabic-Desserts

Next up is the mildly sweet, slightly savoury, Assidat al-Boubar. Served traditionally during Ramadan and Eid, this luscious spiced pumpkin pudding tastes best when it’s still warm.

Chabab

An Emirati take on the pancake, Chebab, finds traditional flavour with cardamom, saffron and dates, and Khabees, a sweet, toasted flour concoction, gets its depth of flavour and aroma from a dash of rosewater infused with saffron.

Khabeesa 1

Eaten for breakfast as well as for dessert, Balaleet, is made with sweetened vermicelli, eggs, and spiced with cardamom and saffron. It is served with plain omelets which are used like bread to scoop up and eat the pasta.

Balaleet

Ranjina a date based baked dessert ends many a traditional Iftar on a sweet note. With a base of fresh peeled dates, the pits replaced with almonds or walnuts, and topped with a dark roux usually decorated with cinnamon and powdered pistachios.

Baklava, the Turkish import, is another local favourite. The paper thin layers of phyllo dough encasing chopped nuts and held together by honey or syrup are the an ideal gift.

Baklava-Arabic-Desserts

Kunafa, is a vermicelli cheese pastry and one of Ramadan’s delicious traditions that means serious sweet business.

Kunafa-Arabic-Desserts-

A simple semolina cake, soaked in syrup and garnished with a blanched almond is the light Basbousa, and pressed into moulds as beautiful as the designs on Islamic architecture, are the spiced date cookies called Maamoul. Both are perfect accompaniments to the fragrant Arabic coffee.

Maamoul-Arabic-Desserts

At the gastronomical core of Arabia lies the dreamy Umm Ali. This deliciously creamy, bread and butter pudding is a festive favourite, and no celebratory meal is complete without it.

Umm-Ali

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding


If you’re wondering where to sample these delicacies, the SMCUU is the place to be. Hosting regular traditional breakfasts for visitors and interested expats, the centre offers an insightful introduction to local culture and tastes, including all things sweet.

SMCUU-Arabic-Desserts



Global Village


The cultures of the world await you at Global Village. Make your cultural exploration sweeter with truly local flavours. Visit the Emirati heritage stalls serving piping fresh luqaimat and you’re sure to be back for more.

1 November 2016 until 8 April 2017



Biker’s Cafe


If you’re looking for a fun place to head to after all the sightseeing, this cafe has a unique take on local classics. Word on the street is that the chebabs and sticky date pudding here are incredible.

Jumeirah



Al Samadi Sweets


Step into this traditional dessert parlor setting, for a mind-boggling variety of the city’s best Arabic sweets. Don’t miss out on the pistachio laden- Esh Al Bulbul (nightingale’s nest).

Al Muraqqabat



Arabesq Sweets


Visit this contemporary sweet boutique and enjoy the unexpected entertainment as musician-scoopers drum away in a dabkeh. Pick your favourite Arabic sweets and don’t leave before trying the organic Syrian pounded ice-cream.

Dubai Mall, Mirdif City center



Halwa wa Gahwa


This outlet in Etihad mall is known among locals for serving the best halwa in the city. The traditional chocolates, and biscuits with Arabic flavours are perfect gifts to share with friends.

Etihad Mall



Al Baba Sweets


This shop has built its reputation on baklava, mammoul and kunufa. Whichever offering you choose, you will be pleasantly surprised by the generous toppings of honey and chopped nuts.

Deira City Centre



Sukar House of Desserts


Blending well-loved Arabic desserts with favourite Western ones, this novelty bakery will make sure you won’t forget your first bite of the Kunafa Cheesecake.

Jumeirah Lake Towers



Milas


This restaurant, is all about elegant hospitality and innovative flavour. The best way to end your sophisticated Emirati meal is with the Milas Kunafa, Dubai’s version of the red velvet cake!

Dubai Mall



Al Samadi Café and Sweet Shop


The selection is vast, and the rows of artisanal delights by this 137-year-old confectionary brand, are sure to tantalise your tastebuds. You’ll be amazed at how many new treats you can try.

Downtown Boulevard



Qbara


The dessert menu at this glamourous Arabesque restaurant will not disappoint. For a whimsical take on a traditional treat, try the baklava Smash. A deconstructed version of the classic topped with camel’s milk ice cream, this dessert dances with flavours of cinnamon and orange blossom.

Wafi City

Baklava-Smash-at-Qbara

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English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
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