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Emirati Cuisine

A reflection of the UAE’s trading heritage, Emirati food is infused with spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and the Middle East. Think cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, nuts, limes and dried fruit.

Emirati dishes are flavourful and aromatic, with some of the most popular dishes including Harees, showcasing meat and wheat slow-cooked in a clay oven or pot and served with ghee (clarified butter), and Machboos, made by boiling meat in spiced water with dried limes.

Being a coastal city, fish is the star of many local dishes, with Madrooba, a mix of salted fish, spices and thick sauce, being one of the most popular. Rice is ever-present and most often served with saffron, nuts and spices.

In order to make authentic Emirati food more accessible to residents and visitors alike, the Emirati Cuisine Programme has been introduced, where acclaimed Emirati chef Khulood Atiq has trained hotel chefs across Abu Dhabi to prepare and serve some of the most iconic dishes from the UAE.

Check out some of the participating hotels below - the Head Chefs at all these establishments have already updated and refreshed their hotel and restaurant menus with an exciting range of authentic Emirati dishes...

Chef Mokhtar Elkholy

Yas Island Rotana

Conveniently located on the spectacular Yas Island, minutes away from world-famous attractions - Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Mall and more, Yas Island Rotana will exceed your expectations. For an unforgettable dining experience, explore an enticing selection of traditional Emirati cuisine prepared by Chef Mokhtar Elkholy. The Lamb Harres and Baby Hamour Mandi is sure to leave a lasting impression -  specially designed to please the palates of every guest!

Chef Oscar Diaz

Crowne Plaza Yas Island

Rediscover a dynamic place to stay, dine, meet and mingle at Crowne Plaza Yas Island, located at the heart of Abu Dhabi's top destination island, lapped by calm waters and beautiful sunsets. Leave your worries at the lobby and indulge in a Fish Machboos (Fogah) or Tahta Shrimp, Chef Oscar Diaz’s latest addition to the Emirati menu.

Chef Rafat Adel Samara

Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Embark on an Emirati culinary journey by Chef Rafat Adel Samara and his team, offering local dishes Fish Majboos and Lamb Mdroba at Assymetri, with an expansive indoor and outdoor seating. The Radisson Blu Hotel Yas Island is ideally situated on Abu Dhabi's sun-drenched coastline, surrounded by the stunning Arabian Gulf, worlds apart from the bustle of city life.

Chef Achref Bousdira

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Rising above their beachside setting, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers sets a benchmark for luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi. The multi award-winning hotel features dining experiences with international cuisines and local dishes. Get a taste of classic Emirati cuisine at Michelin Selected Li Beirut – the Lamb Shank Machboos and Luqaimat with Date Syrup, specially prepared by Chef Achref Bousdira!

Chef Rahul Ranjan Pandey

City Seasons Hotel Al Ain

Located in lush green surroundings, City Seasons Al Ain is your home away from modern day living. Indulge in the warmth of Arabian hospitality and be welcomed by Chef Rahul Ranjan Pandey and his team as they serve up 4 new Emirati recipes on their menu. It’s never too late to begin your culinary journey with a Balaleet, Chebab, Luqaimat or Khmeer!

Chef Mohamed Bouhlal

Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas

Set on Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas is a one-of-a-kind five-star property with a regal presence. Explore dining options that promise authentic flavours and new culinary experiences… introducing local Emirati favourites by Chef Mohamed Bouhlal featuring Harees, Machboos, Luqaimat and Madrooba.

Chef Paul Senguena

Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan

Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan is a retreat in the heart of Abu Dhabi, located minutes away from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Treat yourself to authentic Emirati dishes prepared by Chef Paul Senguena with a traditional Harees, Thareed, Madrooba, Ghouzi, Chicken Machboos, Fish Machboos and more.

Chef Osama Yousif Kronfol

Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi

Make the most of your stay at Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi with an Emirati culinary experience by Chef Osama Yousif Kronfol! Tantalise your taste buds with popular favourites - Machboos and Lamb Ghouzi. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi offers business and leisure travelers dependability, only 15 minutes away from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Chef Saeed Khatab

InterContinental Abu Dhabi

InterContinental Abu Dhabi provides guests an opportunity to travel the world without leaving the resort. The hotel’s Marina Walk boasts six restaurants with stunning terraces overlooking a marina. Each restaurant bids a unique experience, which ensures your return… especially Chef Saeed Khatab’s mouth-watering Fish Sayadiya on the new Emirati menu!

Chef Idin Asmitha

Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi

Ingredients, the all-day dining venue at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, has also now refreshed its menu with a wide range of authentic Emirati dishes. Chef Idin Asmitha has reworked 10 Emirati classics, including Ghouzi, Leguimat and Madrooba, and is excited to share them with visitors to this elegant restaurant.

Chef Rohan Patil

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche

At the eastern tip of Abu Dhabi's Corniche Road, the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche hotel is within walking distance of the seafront and close to the city's business and financial centre - so there's no excuse not to pop in and sample one of the 5 new dishes that Chef Rohan Patil has added to the hotel's international buffet menu. We highly recommend the Balaleet, Harees and Ghouzi.

Chef Yamen Mouffek Albdera

Centro Al Manhal

Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the business hotel is a favourite among our corporate guests and now, thanks to Chef Albdera's new Emirati-inspired menu, there is one more reason to make this your base for any business trip. Visit C.Taste restaurant to sample one of the 6 new dishes, including a tantalising Machboos of both fish and chicken, that have been added to the menu.

Chef Yamen Mouffek Albdera

Al Rawda Arjaan

Chef Yamen Mouffek Albdera has added a taste of Emirati culture to the menu at Al Rawda Arjan with 6 new authentic dishes, including his own special take on Balaleet and Harees. If you're in the Al Wahda area then make sure to pay a visit Al Dar, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant, and check out these tasty new recipes.

Chef K B Sailesh

Ayla Grand Hotel

Ranked number 1 on TripAdvisor for restaurants in Al Ain, Nara at Ayla Grand Hotel is building on its excellent reputation with the introduction of 6 new Emirati-inspired dishes to it's international buffet menu. Chef Sailesh has worked wonders with these authentic recipes, including the new Chicken Machboos and Leguimat dish - highly recommended!

Chef Rohan Kularatne

Ayla Hotel

Centrally located in the Garden City of Al Ain, the Ayla Hotel prides itself on its Arabic warmth... and what better way to show this than through the introduction of 6 tasty new Emirati recipes onto their menu. Thanks to Chef Rohan Kularatne, diners at Ayla Restaurant can now get an authentic taste of Emirati culture with his take on stand out dishes Chicken Machbous and Luqaimat. 

Chef Murali Palinchi

Ayla Bawadi Hotel

Conveniently situated and attached to the luxurious Bawadi Mall, the Ayla Bawadi Hotel is home to Sedra Restaurant, one of the culinary hotspots in the second city of Al Ain. Expertly run by Chef Murali Palinchi and his trusted team, the 6 new recipes that have been added to the menu means that this is a must-visit location for all food lovers. Make sure to try the new Machboos Chicken and Luqaimat dishes.

Chef Maher Aljawabra

Hili Rayhaan by Rotana

This stylish resort in Al Ain's popular Hili district is the perfect places to stay for anyone interested in exploring the nearby historical and archaeological sites. Now if you want to learn even more about Emirati culture, the 6 new dishes on Chef Maher Aljawabra's menu will give you a taste of the Emirate's culture too. Don't miss the delicious Ghouzi!

Chef Nitesh Lama

Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport

If you're staying at the Premier Inn whilst on a business trip to Abu Dhabi, this is a perfect chance to sample some of the emirate's authentic cuisine. Chef Nitesh Lama has added 8 new dishes to the breakfast menu and international buffet menu at Nuevo, the hotel's signature restaurant. How does Leguimat, Chebab or Marguga sound?

Chef Abu Halab Ahmad Daiekh

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Looking to try some local cuisine but also want a stunning view? Then the Beach Rotana could be just the place! Executive Sous Chef Abu Halab Ahmad Daiekh has created some exquisite local dishes including Fish Kedrah, Chicken Machboos and Lamb Ghouzi. Want something a little more healthy? There's a delicious vegetarian Thareed with your name on it... what are you waiting for?

Chef Pankaj Kumar

Royal Rose hotel

Resembling a 17th-century Parisian City Palais, with intricate gold-leaf designs and ornate chandeliers, the five-star Royal Rose Hotel has now added an Emirati twist to its Printania restaurant thanks to the addition of some delectable authentic dishes to its menu by Chef Pankaj Kumar. Bon appetit!

Chef Sudhanshu Nirmal

Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi

Located right in the heart of the Al Forsan International Sports Resort, this hotel is the sportiest in our list. Chef Sudhanshu Nirmal has added a mouth-watering selection of authentic local dishes to the menu at Khayal restaurant. Indulge yourself in the hotel's sumptuous food before relaxing in the traditional spa with massages inspired by the heartfelt generosity of Bedouin desert culture.

Chef Mohamed Ali

City Seasons Al Hamra

This plush hotel in the centre of the city has fully embraced the new Emirati Cuisine programme with a wonderful selection of new dishes inspired by authentic traditional recipes. Don't just take our word for it though, make sure to pay the New Season restaurant a visit to sample some of Chef Mohamed Ali's creations.

Savour authentic flavours
Discover the most popular Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi and indulge in the taste of authentic local delicacies.