Thanks to its shiny, larger-than-life skyscrapers and sprawling sand dunes, Dubai is a popular Middle Eastern hotspot for luxury and adventure travel. But the city is filled with more than just oversized attractions. It also offers an assortment of underrated food options, ranging from experiential dining tours to local hidden gems.
These experiences are easier to access than ever before, with United now offering direct flights from Newark/New York—the only U.S. airline flying nonstop to Dubai. Here, a few top picks to add to your itinerary during your visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Chocolate Factory Tour and Tasting
Making chocolate is a complex process. It requires hand-selecting your cocoa beans and using the right equipment to get the chocolate just right. During a visit to Mirzam Chocolate Factory, visitors view the entire chocolate-making process followed by a delicious tasting of local Emirati-inspired flavors and different chocolate varieties from around the world.
Deep Sea Dining
Dubai is filled with tons of Michelin-starred options, but Ossiano Dubai is arguably one of the most extravagant. The dinner is centered around a large floor-to-ceiling aquarium and highlights different ingredients from around the world with an ever-changing menu. With stingrays, sharks, and fish gliding past the window, you’ll submerge yourself in a Michelin-starred dinner by Gregoire Berger while feeling like you’re diving in the deep sea.
Desert Dining Experience
After a luxe desert ride in a Range Rover, end your evening in a private cabana in the middle of secluded desert dunes with the sunset as your backdrop. During Platinum Heritage’s six-course culinary experience, canapes such as smoked salmon and caviar or grilled zucchini rollups are served followed by a soup, salad, starter, main course, and dessert. After your meal, take in the thousands of stars above in the clear evening sky.
Dinner in the Sky
Take your meal to new heights (literally!) with Dinner in The Sky. Here, a three-course meal is served on a dinner table suspended by a crane more than 160 feet above the ground for 90 minutes. The menu includes a choice of two starters, four main courses, and two different dessert options. The breathtaking backdrop of the glittering city is an additional treat.
Souk Food Tour
A visit through the souk is a true feast for the senses, so why not indulge your taste buds within the expansive open-air market and surrounding areas? Savor a variety of local spices, Arabian tea, and fresh dates within the market itself before heading to the historic area to try local shawarma, mutable, and tabbouleh.