• LOCATION 15 | Tales of the Past: Tracing Dubai’s origins in Deira

    Al Bait Al Qadeem Emirati Heritage Restaurant

    On your right is Al Bait Al Qadeem Emirati Heritage Restaurant. It’s a great place to come back to at the end of the walk. You can sample traditional Emirati cuisine here, while sitting in the atmospheric courtyard. Or you can head inside to take in the historic building, which dates back to 1909. It was built by Mr. Abdulla Bin Jamaan, a wealthy owner of pearl diving boats who also worked as a guardsman for Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

    But for now, keep going straight.

    You might be surprised to learn that dishes like shawarma, hummus, and tabbouleh aren’t part of Emirati cuisine. They originate from the Levant.

    The harsh conditions of the desert led to local cuisine relying considerably on meat, grain and dairy. Lamb and mutton are favoured by Emiratis, though you can also find plenty of beef and fish, and even goat. Machboos and tahta samak, the two dishes I mentioned at the Spice Souk, are great examples of authentic Emirati dishes, but there are lots of other stews and one-pot creations too.

    You’ll also find a lot of breads like regag, khameer, and chebab, served alongside dates, cheese or eggs, and cooked over a hot plate, which Emiratis refer to as mukhbaz. It’s the same type of hot plate that was once used by Bedouin tribes.

    Cooking hasn’t changed much for decades. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, using the same ingredients and techniques.

    Keep going straight.

Tales of the Past: Tracing Dubai’s origins in Deira