Dubai Food Prices: What to Expect

Dubai | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
Thais Kelly

In the food industry, Dubai is known for its luxurious restaurants and chefs with household names. However, eating in this Emirate doesn’t always have to be expensive; there are options for all budgets—delicious options too! This guide will help you ensure that when you visit, you’ll be able to enjoy all the delicious culinary experiences Dubai has to offer.

Cheap eats

There’s a reason why fast-food is so popular: it’s tasty, it’s cheap and it’s fast. When visiting Dubai, trying out the local fast-food scene is a must. Places like Antar Cafeteria and Eat and Drink are favorites among the city’s residents as they offer ridiculously cheap, delicious food. At Antar, burgers cost only AED13 (US$4). However, an essential try is their wraps. A hasan matar (a sandwich with spicy chicken and french fries inside) only costs AED6 (US$2). At Eat and Drink, a traditional shawarma—made famous by Iron Man’s line in the movie Avengers—costs only AED5 (US$1).
Both these fast-food joints offer an interesting twist on the traditional drive-thrus, diners can simply honk their horn and waiters will come outside and take their order. This makes the whole experience extremely practical. In addition to the tasty cheap eats, both Antar and Eat and Drink offer fresh juices, making typically unhealthy food a little more nutritious.

Reasonable choices

Dubai offers an extensive array of reasonably priced food outlets. Foodies should however take this as an opportunity to try the region’s favorites like Reem Al Bawadi and Shakespeare and Co. Reem Al Bawadi offers traditional Middle Eastern food, and a great atmosphere. The restaurant has several chains around Dubai including in Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Downtown. With sensibly priced Arabic delicacies such as hummus, spicy potatoes and vine leaves—all with prices ranging around AED25 (US$7). The best way to order here is to select as many starters a possible to try the many kinds of dishes the Middle East has to offer.
Shakespeare and Co. has an entirely different design, but equally well-priced dishes. The restaurant offers world-wide plates, from an English breakfast for AED57 (US$16) to spring rolls for AED36 (US$10). The decor is old-fashioned and cosy, with an antique British vibe. With 37 branches across the Middle East including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon, Quatar and more, this restaurant has taken the region by storm.

When it comes to luxurious restaurants, Dubai has the best of the best. With some of the most jaw-dropping establishments in the world, this is a city to eat well. A perfect example of this is Bagatelle—a French Mediterranean restaurant located in Downtown. Bagatelle offers spectacular dishes, such as caviar for AED550 (US$150). The restaurant’s main course prices vary between 445 AED (US$121) and AED695 (US$189)—but it’s totally worth it!
For the ultimate Dubai dining, try Al Iwan, a traditional Arabic restaurant in Dubai’s most well-known hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Al Iwan offers a lunch buffet for AED450 (US$123) per person and dinner for AED505 (US$137) per person. This is a great opportunity to see the seven-star hotel from the inside and get an Arabic dining experience like no other. With a Middle Eastern themed interior, this restaurant is one of the best touristic hotspots in town.

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