Tips for Eating Out in Dubai
Dubai is an absolute haven for foodies, and visitors from all over the world flock here for some of the finest restaurants on earth. And with over 200 different nationalities represented, the choice in this truly multicultural destination is often overwhelming.
From world-class food festivals to international food chains, gourmet dining in Dubai Marina Restaurants, and small “mom and pop” restaurants serving authentic cuisine from all around the globe, Dubai really has something to suit all tastes.
The organic movement has also caught on in Dubai, and farmers markets are beginning to pop up across urban centers, with more and more restaurants and cafes focusing on local and organic produce.
Here are tips for eating out in Dubai.
Alcohol is usually only served in hotel bars, and restaurants which are not part of a hotel are prohibited from serving drinks.
There is zero tolerance for drinking or appearing drunk in public, so plan on eating out without the addition of alcohol.
Avoid tap water, as this is generally not drinkable, though mineral water is readily available throughout the whole city and is very affordable. Hotels will usually supply guests with free mineral water, and you’ll find the supply in your room will be replenished daily.
Those with food allergies and special dietary requirements are really well catered to in Dubai, and there is a high awareness of food allergies which especially makes it easy for those traveling with gluten intolerance.
It is a good idea to phone or email the restaurant ahead of time to ensure they can fully cater to your needs, though most establishments are very good with catering to dietary requirements.
Most restaurants throughout Dubai will include a 10% service charge in the total cost of the bill, though it is always nice to leave a little extra if you feel their service has been exemplary.
Do note however that this service charge does not always go directly to the wait staff, and is not actually compulsory. Some people choose to refuse to pay the service charge and give the money directly to the server themselves. If the service has been good, 10-15% of the total bill is an acceptable amount to tip.
Life in Dubai is notably different from the rest of the year during the month of Ramadan, and travelers should consider this when planning their trip.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, a period of religious significance, and Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours of everyday of this month in a complete fast.
During this time it is prohibited to eat, drink, or smoke in public, and as such, most of the city’s public clubs, casinos and restaurants are closed.
Hotel restaurants and international food chains generally stay open for international visitors though, and some independent restaurants obtain a special license to operate during daylight hours.
If there is a specific restaurant you’re dying to try, check their hours ahead of time to make sure they’re open over Ramadan.