Dubai is a destination that has always fascinated me with its excessive extravagance and glamour. Visiting Dubai doesn’t have to break the bank as shown in this guest post by traveller, Liza Wilson, who shares some great tips about where to find delicious and cheap food in Dubai.

Dubai marina

Dubai Marina courtesy of Fabio Achilli, Travel Our Planet

Situated on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is a bustling metropolis and culturally rich destination that has been a firm tourist favourite for the past decade

Although the main lure for visitors has been luxurious holiday resorts, plentiful shopping opportunities as well as a diverse mix of ancient and modern attractions, Dubai has gained notoriety as one of the most affluent capitals of the world.

While some are led to believe that this has pushed up the price of flights, accommodation and activities, affordable Dubai holidays are still readily available. What’s more, dining out doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, as here are some of my favourite spots to eat in Dubai on a budget.

courtesy of Becca Kumar

courtesy of Becca Kumar

2nd of December (formerly the Al Dhiyafah Road)

Location: in Satwa just off Jumeirah road

Al Dhiyafah road is where the local residents come to indulge in cheap cuisine. With eateries and restaurants spilling out on to the pavement, even tourists will enjoy the diverse range of food from Lebanon, Iran and India.

A selection of grilled meat, especially lamb, is on offer all along the road, but if you’re looking for a healthier bite to eat, tasty salads and couscous-based meals are also available.

If you want to go for a safe bet, my suggestion would be to try the fresh seafood from Pars Iranian Kitchen and the spicy curry dishes at the Pakistani Ravi Restaurant.

Recommended for you: Dubai Itinerary, how to spend 7 days in the UAE.


Afghan Kebab House

Location: behind Naif Mosque, off Deira St
Tel: 04 222 3292
Open: 11am to 1.00am

courtesy of Mario Gala

courtesy of Mario Gala

Another great way to find out what it is really like to be a Dubai citizen is to experience an authentic taste of the Middle East. Situated among the maze of Deira’s alleys, patrons at the Afghan Kebab House fill up a naan bread with chicken, lamb or beef and a selection of fresh salad, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and green leaves. If street food is your pick, remember to take some cash as cards are not accepted and be ready to wait among hungry residents looking to feast after a busy day at work.

Curry Leaf

Address: Mussalla Tower Mall, Bur Dubai, Dubai
Tel: 04 397 8940
Open: 8am to 11.30pm

Although diners can choose from a range of world cuisine, the quality of Sri Lankan restaurants is probably unmatched in Dubai: try the national dish of rice flour pancakes with a fried egg and chilli sambol known as hoppers. Even those with a sweet tooth are catered for thanks to the slightly odd but delicious dessert known as watalappan. Coconuts, jaggery, eggs, milk, cardamom and cinnamon are used to make a custard like pudding that is served with ice cream.

Fish Basket

Address: Oud Metha, Dubai
Tel: 04 336 7177
Open: 1pm to 1am

If you like seafood, you’ll love this Lebanese restaurant. Although the ambience and decor leaves a bit to be desired, the squid, hammour (grouper) and shrimp simply must be sampled.

Portion sizes are generous to say the least, so I guarantee you won’t be walking away with an empty stomach.

Author: Liza Wilson has been travelling around the world for the past few years discovering the finest local traditions and culinary delights. While waiting for a book about her adventures to be published later this year, she likes to share her discoveries with some delicious blogging.

Brought to you in association with Deal Checker.

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A guide to dining on a budget in Dubai


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