The UAE is a melting pot of cultures, more than 200 nationalities call the UAE home and traditional Emirati food is a brilliant representation of that fact, made up of a fantastic infusion of spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and the Middle East.
Is your tummy rumbling?!
Emirati chef Khulood Atiq joined forces with top chefs across Abu Dhabi to create the Emirati Cuisine programme; think updated menus and incredible Emirati dishes for you to try… And these dishes deserve some fanfare! If you have yet to tuck into the beautifully aromatic Harees, which is a meat and wheat dish served in a clay pot, or the boiling meat dish, Machboos you have yet to experience TRUE UAE heritage.
Take notes! Here are 12 restaurants across the capital serving up authentic Emirati cuisine.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi
Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche
If you’re craving Balaleet, Harees and Ghouzi, you’ve come to the right place. The international buffet menu at this central hotel had a refresh by Chef Rohan Patil, for authentic Emirati cooking, look no further!
Centro Al Manhal
Literally drooling thinking of the Machboos here. This may be a business hotel, but the Emirati-inspired menu is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi and a visit to try the cuisine created by Chef Yamen Mouffek Albdera is well worth the journey.
Al Rawda Arjaan
Hello, six new Emirati dishes for you to try! Shout out to the efforts by Chef Yamen Mouffek Albdera who is introducing his own special take on Balaleet and Harees. YUM.
Ayla Grand Hotel
Did you know this hotel restaurant is ranked number ONE on TripAdvisor for restaurants in Al Ain? And for good reason! The reputation at Ayla Grand Hotel speaks for itself and the new Emirati-inspired dishes Chef K B Sailesh come highly recommended.
Do you love Chebab? Then a visit to Ayla hotel is a must! Find it in the glorious Garden City, Al Ain, and look out for Chef Rohan Kularatne who has been reworking the menu to create an authentic Emirati dining experience just for you.
Ayla Bawadi Hotel
After a fun shopping trip at Bawadai Mall, do take the time to visit Sedra Restaurant, Al Ain. The new Machboos Chicken and Machboos Fish dishes, created by Chef Murali Palinchi should be number one on your dishes to try!
Hili Rayhaan by Rotana
Not just a fantastically stylish hotel, the Al Ain hotel is the perfect starting point for historical exploration AND it will give you a proper taste of Emirati culture thanks to the six new dishes expertly created by Chef Maher.
Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport
Authentic Emirati cuisine? Yup! 8 new dishes? YUP! Perfect for people on a business trip, Chef Nitesh Lama has added 8 new dishes at Nuevo, the hotel’s signature restaurant. How good does Leguimat, Chebab or Marguga sound?!
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
Views, authentic Emirati cuisine, the Beach Rotana is ready with open arms to share the exquisite local dishes whipped up by Chef Abu Halab Ahmad Daiekh. They’ve got great veggie options, and the Lamb Ghouzi is like no other.
Royal Rose hotel
This hotel is STUNNING. It looks like a 17th-century Parisian City Palais, featuring ornate embellishments annnddd incredible dishes for you to try! Visit Printania restaurant and ask for the new additions created by Chef Pankaj Kumar. Thank us later!
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi
Visit Khayal for a seriously tempting menu of Emirati classics lovingly created by Chef Sudhanshu Nirmal. The hotel also has a traditional spa with massages inspired by Bedouin desert culture. Weekend plans sorted!
City Seasons Al Hamra
Chef Mohamed Ali at New Season restaurant has added a new selection of Emirati-inspired dishes to the menu. Yaaay! Visit this plush city centre hotel hungry and make sure you order Machboos when you’re there.