Eating and drinking in Dubai and the Emirates
Dubai’s myriad immigrants have brought with them a huge variety of cuisines to the extent that whether you’re looking for vegetarian-friendly Pakistani food, rich Lebanese dishes, comforting American classics or rustic Italian offerings, you’ll be able to find them easily. Throughout the city there is a huge range of places to go – many hotels even have delicious restaurants in their own right. As with shopping in the city centre, you can spend as much or as little as you like on food. There are incredibly cheap and yet delicious Indian meals available for less than £2 per head. At the other end of the spectrum you’ll find gourmet restaurants serving up sumptuously decadent food at eye-watering prices.
Shawarma and falafel are both very popular and cheap fast-food style meals if you just want to fill up quickly. You’ll also be able to find all the brands you’d expect on a high street – branches of KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks are everywhere.
Drinking and Nightlife
Dubai has a far more relaxed attitude to alcohol than any of the other member states of the United Arab Emirates and indeed almost all of the Middle East. There are many bars and nightclubs and the nightlife can certainly be described as thriving. On any given night you can find sets by world class DJs and overflowing clubs.
Whether you’re looking for quiet, romantic drinks in a friendly place, a swanky bar serving cocktails or somewhere with an all-out party atmosphere, you don’t have to look far. Your hotel will likely have at least one bar/club attached to it. However, given all of this, it’s important to remember that Dubai still runs on conservative Islamic laws. Alcohol is only available on licenced premises, supermarkets do not sell alcohol. Alcohol is not sold on religious holidays or during the day on Ramadan to anyone, including non-Muslims.
Drinking in public is illegal – this is strictly enforced. It’s also worth noting that while drinking and driving anywhere in the world is a terribly bad idea, it is especially so in Dubai. There is a zero tolerance policy regarding people driving while intoxicated. Just being caught will incur a heavy fine and could even result in jail time. If you are involved in an accident while intoxicated you will be fined, serve a prison sentence and then be deported.
During the month of Ramadan (23rd April - 23rd May 2020 and 12th April - 11th May 2021 - subject to change)., locals will fast during the day. As such, there may be some restrictions on drinking outlets and some restaurants may be closed. However, you’ll still have a variety of dining options within your resort – speak to your travel consultant for more information.