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HomeDubai Travel20+ Food Varieties for Enjoying Iftars the Traditional Emirati Way

20+ Food Varieties for Enjoying Iftars the Traditional Emirati Way

Ramadan is a month of prayer and contemplation and a time when you come together with your loved ones and with family. The fast is traditionally broken with dates and water, along with a simple, healthy meal. However, several dishes are prepared mainly only during the holy month of Ramadan and served at Iftar gatherings. Although Muslims worldwide break their fast with water and dates, every place will have unique Ramadan dishes that differ by region. In Dubai, Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant is one of the best destinations where you could explore and experience the authentic taste and flavors of traditional Emirati iftar dishes while breathing in the ambiance and joy of the holy month of Ramadan. Listed here are some of the main Emirati dishes served during traditional Iftar celebrations.


#1 Dates and Milk

Most Arab Muslims in Dubai enjoy sugary dates, honey, and juices after drinking plenty of water. This not only gives you a boost of energy after a fast, but it’s also a significant beginning to the meal because it’s said to be the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite snack.

#2 Malfoof

These bite-size morsels are made up of cabbage leaves wrapped around several fillings – commonly rice or bulgur wheat – and are a smaller version of the stuffed vine leaves seen on Lebanese mezze platters. Some spreads would also go through the trouble of hollowing out a whole cabbage before filling it with treats and having it with a minty sauce.

#3 Harira

Fasting for extended periods allows the stomach to contract, so it’s vital to give it time to relax before diving into the feast. The perfect tool for the job is this Moroccan-style soup with lamb, lentils, and chickpeas. It’s a good source of fiber and calcium, warming the nervous tract and preparing it for operation. This delicious taste will definitely be an added attraction to Ramadan 2021 in UAE.

The Main Course

#1 Lamb Ouzi

During Ramadan, a large portion of meat ends up in the hearty bowl. The animal is traditionally spit-grilled whole after being stuffed with a spiced rice and nut mixture. Ouzi, similar to Indian biryani in form, is often served as the centerpiece of an Iftar feast.

#2 Harees

Boiled wheat and tender, slow-cooked lamb, are a popular traditional Emirati iftar dish that is served on Iftar tables all over the Gulf. Though it’s not much to look at, it’s just the ticket for replacing what fasting sucks out of the diet, offering plenty of protein and slow-release energy to keep the appetite in check.

#3 Sayadia Fish

During Ramadan, dehydration is a much more significant threat than malnutrition, but unnecessarily salty seafood dishes don’t get much table time. This simple staple, which consists of white fish fried with onion rice, is an exception, and the fish is almost always hammour in the UAE.

#4 Kousa Mahshi

While its origins are unknown, we do know one thing about this meat-stuffed courgette dish topped with yogurt: any who stay too long will find this particular dish empty very soon. Depending on when you eat, they’re served whole or halved, with mint, rice, or garlic added to the mix.


#1 Baklava

Turkey’s contribution to the feast comes in the form of rich puff pastry nuggets flavored with chopped nuts and rosewater syrup. You’ve probably had baklava before, but it’s mainly during the traditional Emirati iftar, that the unique content shines.

#2 Knefeh

The Palestinian addition to the Iftar table is this sweet, cheese-based pastry. Though it’s commonly served for breakfast in Levantine countries, it’s generally found in the dessert portion in the UAE, typically accompanied by giddy children wielding ladles of thick syrup. This dish will go well with your Arabic coffee for a final burst of energy.

Even though there’s a lot more to Middle Eastern cuisine than tabbouleh and fattoush, which you can enjoy in Dubai and with extravagant Iftar spreads being served all over the city this month, now is the best time to expand your culinary horizons.

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