Following the Palate: Discovering Dubai By Taste

Date Created: 23.09.2014

Home to big buildings, communities and cultures from all around the world, Dubai is the place to be. It’s a truly cosmopolitan city, a place built on oil wealth that continues to flourish through tourism.

But while it’s an inspiring part of the world, it can also be a little bit intimidating. With so much to explore, where do you begin?

If the fastest way to a man’s heart is his stomach, the fastest way to get to know Dubai might just be through its food.

Tradition meets modernity

Dubai brings together historic diving villages, architecture and museums with an epic modern skyline that’s home to the world’s tallest building - and some of the world’s wealthiest people. Part of the city’s charm is the way the very old and the very new sit side by side. The same is true of the city’s food, since Dubai restaurants give you the choice of traditional local cuisine and more contemporary fine dining. So you can grab a shawarma (spit-roasted meat traditionally served in a pitta) in the Bastakia Quarter, or sit down for a complete meal at At.Mosphere on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa.

A city with an international flavor

Dubai is also a rich melting pot of people and communities from all around the world. Many of them are expats, or people who split their time to work in Dubai. So, as you’d expect, Dubai’s menus are uniquely cosmopolitan. In The Dubai Mall alone, you’ll find everything from lunch and café brands that are recognized around the world to Chinese, Indian, Greek, and Italian meals.

Meanwhile, the rest of the city offers an endless choice of international cuisine, particularly around the business district.

Catering to all

In some ways, Dubai reflects the world’s other big cities – although there’s a strong sense of tradition, people from other parts of the world are still catered for at the same time.

Ultimately, it’s that freedom of choice that makes Dubai such a spectacular place: the way that communities from around the world come together… the way history meets absolutely modernity… the surprising results of bringing all these things together in one city.

The food is like the city itself — always varied and never dull. In Dubai, there’s something different in every bite. 

Louise Neville is a food critic who has dined in many of the world’s top restaurants. Naturally, as well as gifting her palate with the cuisine of others she likes to create her own recipes.