6 Tips for Vegan Visitors in Dubai

First-time visitors in Dubai can look forward to a lot of things to do, see and experience during their stay. One of these is indulging in great eats and unique dining experiences for all tastes and preferences.

If you’re vegan, be assured that you won’t be disappointed (in fact, you’ll even be amazed) with the vegetarian fare you can sample in this city. From raw coffee to traditional Arabic vegan dishes to a variety of fresh organic produce and more, you will be able to satisfy your cravings for fresh, savory and sweet vegan foods.

To help you stick to your lifestyle and enjoy everything vegan that Dubai has to offer, follow these tips:

1. Do some research before your holiday

You don’t have to spend so much of your precious vacation time looking around for restaurants in Dubai that serve satisfying vegan meals. Do some research ahead of time. An online guide to Dubai’s best restaurants will contain not just restaurant directory listings but also customer reviews and dining tips. Search for vegetarian restaurants or eateries that serve vegan dishes before your flight. Look for ones that are highly rated and recommended.

You should create a list or take note of popular restaurants. Make sure you have their details such as their addresses, contact numbers, email and operating hours so that you won’t have a hard time finding or getting in touch with them.

If you can reserve a table online, do so, especially if a particular restaurant you really want to try attracts large numbers of patrons every day. By doing so, you will be sure you will be accommodated on the day and time you want to eat at the restaurant.

2. Ask for recommendations

Asking someone you know who is currently living in Dubai or has visited the city for their recommendations on fantastic vegan eats is also a good way to know some must-try restaurants and dishes. Get in touch with them before your holiday so that you can include these restaurants on your list.

Once you’re in Dubai, you can also ask some locals for their recommendations. Talk to the hotel concierge or strike up a conversation with locals and other tourists. They may also know some restaurants that serve excellent vegetarian and vegan fare.

Asking locals is still the best way to go since they are most likely to already know numerous restaurants that offer superb, easy-on-the-pocket eats.

3. Try authentic Arabic vegan dishes

Since you’re in Dubai, this is the perfect opportunity for you to try some first-rate authentic Arabic vegan dishes. There are various Arabic local offerings that feature vegetables as the star of the dish, and eating them in this city will ensure that you get to taste the authentic and traditional variant.

Here are some of the best Arabic vegan dishes you have to sample:

  • Tabbouleh
  • Fattoush
  • Ful Medames
  • Thereed
  • Manakeesh
  • Vegetarian Dolma
  • Knafeh Nabulsieh

4. Expand your palate

Dubai is home to thousands of restaurants and numerous cuisines; take advantage of your stay here by trying a cuisine you’ve never tried before. After all, most will have a vegan dish or two that will entice your taste buds. You can also try out their unique salad varieties.

Aside from Arabic cuisines, you will find other global cuisines in this city. You can also explore the vegan side of fusion and haute cuisine in Dubai.

5. Eat like the locals

The city of Dubai is known for its world-class restaurants and over-the-top foods and dining experiences. But this emirate also has its fair share of street foods, food trucks, hole-in-the-walls, small eateries and family-owned restaurants or cafeterias.

Since the city is multicultural, you will have a lot of cuisines to choose from. Aside from Arabic, you will also find Indian, Thai, Ethiopian and other cuisines that have a variety of savory and sweet vegan dishes.

Dining on the street or in a small eatery will allow you to save money while enjoying tasty fare. You’ll also escape the formal, sometimes stuffy atmosphere you often find at expensive restaurants. Lastly, you’ll get to rub elbows with more locals and learn about the local culture.

6. Visit local groceries and farmer’s markets

Lastly, the city also has a number of large chain supermarkets, small groceries, and farmer’s markets where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. You will find all the organic produce and ingredients you need to whip up your own vegan dishes if you want to cook, too.

What’s more, there are some organic grocery stores and stalls at outdoor markets that not only sell fresh produce and vegan supplies, but homemade vegan savory and sweet fares as well. As such, you can load up on your favorite vegan foods such as pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches, soups, cakes, and pastries. You can even bring them back to your hotel so that you won’t have to go out or order room service if you’re hungry.

Although Dubai isn’t known as a vegan’s food paradise yet, give the city a few more years and it will certainly earn this distinction. But even if you have your holiday here now, you can surely satisfy your tummy with the city’s current variety of vegan offerings.

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