Visitors from many parts of the world along with a multi-ethnic
resident community have ensured that a sophisticated and innovative
food culture has developed in the UAE. Almost any type of food
is available, from classic European to Pacific Rim. You can eat
Mexican, Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Indian,
Pakistani, Persian, Italian and French cooking, and more, at some
of the finest restaurants in the Middle East.
International fast-food chains, serving the standard fare of hamburgers,
chips, pizzas etc (McDonaldss, Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, Hardees,
Wimpy, Dunkin Donut) are also located in the larger cities.
Chicken seems to be a particular favourite. International theme
restaurants such as TGI Fridays, Planet Hollywood, Fashion
Café, Hard Rock Café and Henry J Beans are
all represented in the Emirates.
If you cannot
find anything to suit in that list, small ethnic cafés
and corner stalls are ubiquitous. Shisha cafés offer an
opportunity to smoke a shisha (hubble-bubble pipe) and serve food,
coffee, tea and fruit juices and corner stalls serve sharwarmas
and other sandwiches.
Gulf and Middle
Eastern food is also available in a wide variety of venues, from
expensive restaurants to local cafés. Fresh fish from the
Arabian Gulf is always good. Try lobster, crab, shrimp, or grouper,
tuna, kingfish, red snapper, grilled, stuffed, or fried with spices.
But it is
not just a question of variety, make no mistake the food is generally
good and the standard of service is high.
Muslims are prohibited from eating pork so it is not included
in Arabic menus. Hotels frequently have substitutes such as beef
sausages and veal rashers on their breakfast menus. If pork is
available, it is clearly labelled as such.
Alcohol is generally only served in hotel restaurants and bars
(but not in Sharjah).
are some clubs (e.g. golf clubs) and associations. Restaurants
that are not associated with hotels are not permitted to serve