Considering all the many colourful cuisines Dubai has to offer, it may come as a surprise to learn that good Emirati food is not so easy to come by. However, slowly but surely, more and more authentic Emirati restaurants are cropping up across town. An enduring favourite is Al Fanar (+971 4 232 9966), located along Canal Walk in Dubai Festival City Mall. You can dine outside on floor cushions in the traditional majlis or at a table in the central courtyard area, which looks like a traditional Emirati home. The dishes on offer include chicken machboos (spiced chicken mixed with rice), grilled shaari fish and jesheed (baby shark cooked with onions and punchy spices).
You’ll find camel on the menu at Aseelah (+971 4 205 7333) in the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, alongside other dishes made using local ingredients, such
as a tender Arabian lobster. For an insight into the country's heritage,
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (+971 4 353 6666) offers interactive ‘cultural meals’ – so named because guests are encouraged to ask questions on anything that relates to the Emirati culture – prepared by local chefs in order to preserve the traditions and customs of the Bedouin people. They offer a cultural breakfast on Mondays and Wednesdays, lunch on Sundays and Tuesdays, brunch every Saturday and dinner every Tuesday. Advance booking is required.