Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods in the UAE (Updated)

Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods in the UAE (Updated)

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Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 595
Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 597
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Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

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Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 595
Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 597
Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 599

Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a diversified country renowned for its multicultural background. It is home to individuals worldwide and offers cuisine that may accommodate a wide range of preferences. It’s like having a plate of a country’s heritage and culture; you can feel it in the UAE. You can choose from many different foods because they come from different cultures. Each meal is different and tastes great. Before coming to the UAE, you must explore the Top 10 Must-Visit Cultural Festivals in the UAE (Updated) to make your trip more memorable. The Daily Top 10 is the best resource to find research-based content. In this blog, we will discuss the Top 10 Must-try Street Foods in the UAE.

Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 608
Image Source: Freepik

Street food is becoming more popular every day. It is something that lets you dive right into a country’s history, culture, and traditions, all on a plate or in a warm pita. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is very different and full of life, you must check out the Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Visit in the UAE (Updated).

Let’s explore the world of flavour and the UAE’s Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods.

What is the Must-Try Street Food in the UAE?

Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 610
Image Source: Freepik

In the United Arab Emirates, Bedouins were the pioneers who first brought street food to the UAE. As they lived in the desert and moved around a lot, they needed food that was easy to carry. The major concern was quick and easy-to-make food. They started selling Harees, which is a porridge made of wheat and meat. The second street food was Majboos, a spicy rice dish. Today, the street food culture in the UAE reflects its diverse population, with tastes from all over the world.

In the United Arab Emirates, you can easily grab street food and eat it while wandering the streets. It is also a stunning representation of the country’s extensive cultural history. The United Arab Emirates is home to people from many different countries, and each brings something different. The street food trend in the country is a great example of how diverse the culture is. You can find everything from traditional Emirati recipes to dishes inspired by Asian countries. You can also look at the Top 10 Best and Most Popular Cheap Hotels in the UAE (Updated) if you plan to visit the UAE. Remember that when you eat shawarma or luqaimat, you enjoy the food and the cultural mixture of UAE.

Let’s get ready to try some new and exciting foods. Your taste buds will go on an adventure to enjoy the UAE’s Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods.



Top 10. Knafeh
Image Source: Pear Tree Kitchen

Knafeh is a delicious street food that is commonly found in the UAE. It is considered one of the favourite dishes of UAE people. Kunafeh originates from Nablus, Palestine, in the 10th century. In the Middle East, Arab people also named it ‘Nabulsieh’ because of its origin. Knafeh was a special dessert served to high-profile guests and leaders.

According to Wikipedia, Knafeh is a delicious and sweet dessert made of 2 to 3 layers of shreds of phyllo dough. It is stuffed with cheese or cream and topped with sugar syrup called ‘attar.’ You can find this on almost every corner of the street in the UAE. It is usually served hot. It has an ideal amount of sweetness and the right amount of crispiness. Knafeh is served with the extra topping of pistachio. There are a lot of different kinds of Knafeh. The dough used to make knafeh will be different based. If you like desserts, you have to try Knafeh.



Top 9. Luqaimat
Image Source: Gulf Today

Luqaimat is a famous sweet ball dish called a “sweet dumpling.” This street food is like a traditional recipe used for many years in the UAE. The word “Luqaimat” originates from the Arabic word “lgeimat” which means “bite-sized,”. They taste great and are small so that they can be eaten in a single bite. You can find this everywhere in UAE food streets because it is one the best must-try food items among Arabs.

In UAE, people love to eat luqaimat during the holy month of Ramzan and distribute them during Eid celebrations. It is stated in Unicorns in the Kitchen that these snacks are also famous in Jordan and Lebanon. This classy snack is prepared with dough and then converted into dough balls. These balls are deep fried until the outer crust becomes crispy and the inner core soft and fluffy. They are often served in the UAE with sesame seeds and date syrup poured over them. So, when you eat these fluffy, sweet treats, you’ll follow in the footsteps of people who have loved Luqaimat for a long time.



Top 8. Manakish
Image Source: The Mediterranean Dish

Manakish is also known as Middle East pizza. Its name comes from the Arabic word “n-k-sh,” a term for shape or cut out. This refers to the usual way the dough is made. Manakish has been around since the time of the first Bedouin groups in the Levant, who baked it in large stoves. It was easy and healthy for these early nomad groups to eat because the ingredients were simple.

Manakish is a delicious street food that has made its mark on the UAE’s food streets. Manakish is a pancake from the Levant that is baked and topped with different things. The most common topping is za’atar, a mix of sesame seeds, thyme, and olive oil. There is a lot of variety currently present in the UAE. According to Focus Hidubai, people modified the bread topping with cheese, meat, and vegetables. This street food is great for any time of the day, so many people love it as a quick snack. It is also a favourite because its ingredients are simple and nutritious.



Top 7. Mandi
Image Source: Munaty Cooking

In the United Arab Emirates, mandi is also called Haneeth. According to Wikipedia, it is a famous street food from Hadhramaut, Yemen. The rice and meat are cooked under the ground, which gives the food a unique smoky taste. This tasty and fragrant dish is often sold on the streets of the UAE. It comes with lots of soft meat and seasoned rice.

Mandi was a food offered solely at festivals and big feasts in Yemen. It is made by making a hole in the ground, putting hot coals in, and then preparing a big pot of meat and rice. This method of slow cooking gives the food its real taste and soft structure. Mandi is served with a special red sauce with garlic, tomatoes, and spices. It has a unique taste due to this sauce. As people moved around the Arab world over time, they changed it according to their preferences. Mandi is now a popular street food in many countries. It has become an important part of the food street in the UAE.


Umm Ali

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Image Source: Doha News

Umm Ali has been a favourite in Arab homes for over 700 years. This sweet dessert needs after Iftar during Ramadan and Eid festivities is especially popular. It is a simple dessert with rich flavours and ingredients like sugar, nuts, pastry, and dairy, making it one of the most famous sweets in the Arab world. This is why this delicious dessert is now available on street corners of the UAE. It is served hot and with the topping of dry fruits and nuts.

This dessert has an interesting story. It is stated on Wikipedia that it was first made by the first wife of Shajar al-Durr, who was the last king of Egypt’s Ayyubid dynasty. She took power after he died and became queen. For the occasion of the celebration of her new role, she made this dish. At the time, the original recipe called for dried fruits, nuts, milk, and phyllo dough. Umm Ali is now a famous dessert in Egypt and the UAE. Everyone loves it as a sweet memory of its royal roots. When you eat this delicious food in UAE, you’re having a piece of history fit for a king or queen.


Oman Chips Roll

Top 5. Oman Chips Roll
Image Source: Trip Advisor

In the United Arab Emirates, The Oman chips roll, or “chips oman,” is a popular street food. It originated in Oman. This addictive snack is very simple and delicious. It can be prepared by putting potato chips and spices in a tortilla wrap and rolling it up. People from all over the country love this tasty treat because it is easy to hold and eat on the go. You can find it at every corner of a small shop and store.

The UAE has adopted this Oman-born snack as a popular street food. Its crunch and taste make people addicted to it. The National News stated that many variants have arisen, including cheese, meat, and veggies. The Oman chips roll should not be missed during your food adventure in the UAE.



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Image Source: Time Out Dubai

Dampa is a South Korean street food called “yangnyeom-tongdak,” which means “seasoned chicken.” It was initially made in the 1960s when American soldiers deployed in Korea. Koreans took an already popular dish and gave it a new spin, turning it into a spicy and sweet dish.

According to Filipina Expat, Dampa, with its robust taste and addictive crunch, is now commonly found as a street food in the United Arab Emirates. Dampa is fried chicken marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce. It is sprinkled with sesame seeds and boiled corn before being served with pickled radish. You may get this delicious snack at any food street in the UAE.



Top 3. Hummus
Image Source: Serious Eats

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is just one of several Middle Eastern nations where hummus is a creamy dip prepared with tahini and chickpeas. It has become the most famous and is used as an appetiser. It’s typically served with pita bread or veggies for dipping. It’s a national favourite street food, and you can get your hands on it at various food streets around the country.

According to The Mediterranean Dish, some people believe that Egypt is the first place where hummus was initially created. But some of them believe that its origin is in the Levant. Hummus is rooted in the Arabic word “ummu,” which means “chickpea “. Hummus is the favourite part of  Levantine cuisine and has been appreciated by people for ages. As a result of its widespread popularity and health benefits, hummus has become an international ambassador for Arab food streets.



Top 2. Falafel
Image Source: Downshiftology

The United Arab Emirates is the best place to find delicious falafel on the street. Mashed chickpeas, spices, and herbs are mixed to prepare them. After mixing all the ingredients, these are converted into balls and deep-fried until golden and crunchy. You may have these tasty bites in a pita sandwich or on a tray with additional dips and salads.

According to Wikipedia, several countries claim to be the first ones where falafel first appeared on the culinary scene. Nonetheless, the vast majority of experts feel that Egypt is where this meatless dish was initially developed. The fame of this vegetarian meal quickly extended from the Middle East to the rest of the world. Falafel is a popular dish that can be found at many different types of street food stands across the world.



Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated) 616
Image Source: Licious

When discussing street foods in the United Arab Emirates, shawarma is the first thing that comes to mind. For making the best shawarma, meat is cut thinly, marinated with seasonings, then gently grilled on the rotisserie to create this meal. Thinly sliced soft meat is served in pita bread or tortilla wraps with pickles, salads, and sauces. Shawarma is the most popular street food in the United Arab Emirates.

According to Wikipedia, shawarma originated in Levantine, Middle East. The UAE has adopted the Levantine cuisine shawarma as a staple of the local street food. It was first served in Turkey, named “döner kebab.” This dish eventually became a favourite in many Middle Eastern nations. Every restaurant in the UAE today serves shawarma, and they all claim to provide the greatest.

What are the Must-Try Street Foods in the UAE?

What Are The Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae
Image Source: Freepik

The variety of foods in the United Arab Emirates has made it famous. Their wide range of options evidences the love of trying out new foods. From mandi to shawarma, every dish has its unique history and flavour. Multiple cultures and customs are reflected in the abundance of street food. Every item, from the most basic Hummus to the most addicting Oman Chips Roll, has left a unique and interesting mark on the UAE’s thriving street food culture.

The street food in the UAE is fantastic, especially if you enjoy trying new things. The food will not only satisfy your stomach but your mood as well. The greatest way to get a feel for a place is through its street food. UAE not only provides options for those who love spicy food but also provides great choices for those who love desserts.

Here is the list of Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods in the UAE:

  1. Shawarma
  2. Falafel
  3. Hummus
  4. Dampa
  5. Oman Chips Roll
  6. Umm Ali
  7. Mandi
  8. Manakish
  9. Luqaimat
  10. Knafeh

With food street exploration, you must also explore the Top 10 Oldest and Most Popular Restaurants in the UAE. The United Arab Emirates is also good for different outdoor activities. Check out the Top 10 Best Diving Spots in the UAE (Updated) to make your trip more adventurous. Discovering the streets of the UAE will provide you with culinary experiences you will remember.


Top 10 Must-Try Street Foods In The Uae (Updated)


Saumya M.
Author: Saumya M.

Saumya M. is a passionate content writer known for her impeccable storytelling and research. She has covered topics ranging from travel and lifestyle to entertainment, community, and education. She helps people live their best lives and reach their full potential.

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