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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Dishes & Beverages to Try While in Abu Dhabi - A Flavourful Getaway!
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Dishes & Beverages to Try While in Abu Dhabi - A Flavourful Getaway!

Abu Dhabi is host to a number of delicious dishes from all across the UAE; spices play an important role in a majority of these. Let's look at the top dishes and beverages to try.



This is a traditional dish in the UAE and is a favourite during the Ramadan season (Eid al-Fitr) and during festive occasions like weddings. Harees is generally made with wheat and a choice of meat such as chicken or lamb. The dish is made by first soaking wheat berries for some time before slow-cooking them with butter and the precooked meat of choice. The end result is a delicious porridge-like dish that is seasoned with salt, cinnamon and pepper.



Machboos is essentially a one-pot dish quite common in Arabic recipes. The dish is made using ingredients like rice, onions, meat, loomi and various other spices. The addition of loomi adds more depth to this dish, contrasting from the rest of its flavour. Loomi is known as dried limes or black limes in other parts of the world. For the preparation of machboos, the meat is boiled together with the spices and the loomi, and taken out once it achieves a tender texture. With the meat removed, rice is added to cook in the formed stock, and once that is done, the meat is added back to be cooked together for an extra amount of time.



This is a delicacy that has reached people all over the world. So chances are that even if you are not living in or haven't visited the UAE, you've most likely tried this dish. Shawarma is very similar to other dishes like the Greek gyros or even the Turkish doner kebab. These dishes all use meat that is vertically grilled. Shawarma is generally served with an accompaniment of vegetables and fries with flatbread and dressing. Shawarma is available right throughout Abu Dhabi as a street food and is an excellent delicacy to sample some true authentic Middle Eastern flavour.


Drinks in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi also hosts a myriad of options when it comes to beverages. A great meal in Abu Dhabi is elevated simply by pairing it with an amazing beverage. One of the most popular beverages that is a must try is gahwa which is an intense, spiced black coffee. Other drinks include ayran or ayranser, a cold and salted yoghurt drink or Karak chai which is an Indian style tea. Drinks with strawberry and banana blends are an excellent accompaniment while enjoying a shawarma. You'll also find an array of fruit-based drinks like jellab which is made with rose water and grape molasses. Any drink or meal makes for an excellent experience while you spend your time at a Beach Resort. Abu Dhabi has many options available such as the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts for example.



Falafels may not be generally considered a meal; however, they are an excellent and widely popular side dish. They are often considered as the Middle East's version of French fries in popularity. Falafels are popular enough that you can find them around most corners of the world, but you'd be hard-pressed to find an authentic version in such an atmosphere. Falafels are essentially fried balls of herbs and chickpeas which are generally served in a wrap, as a side dish or simply with some form of a dip.