Food and Drink in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Because of the visitors from all over of the world and the diversity of their culture, a sophisticated and innovative food and drink culture has been developed in Abu Dhabi with every type of international cuisine available on offer. You can get any type of food in Abu Dhabi from classic European to Pacific Rim. You can eat Mexican, Persian, Italian, Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Indian, Pakistani and French cooking, and more, at some of the best restaurants in the UAE. All of the major international fast food brands have branches in Abu Dhabi and so you don’t have to struggle to find an outlet of McDonalds’s, Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, Hardee’s, Dunkin’ Donut or KFC in Abu Dhabi.
Restaurants in Abu Dhabi’s offer a wide range of Arabic, European, Far-Eastern, Latin and Continental cuisines, served in authentic style and unique ambience. Many international chains of restaurants, such as steak houses, have outlets in Abu Dhabi. While many restaurants serve Multiple cuisines, some restaurants are specialized in certain types of food such as seafood, vegetarian and others. Lebanese and Arabic foods are usually at a low price throughout the city. Indian restaurants in Abu Dhabi are famous for excellent quality food as well as being at a reasonable rate.
Several large supermarkets in Abu Dhabi also keep a stock of international food brands such as British, South African and American foods. Abu Dhabi Co-operative Societies are available at all central districts and some of them are open for 24 hours. Most of the hotels in Abu Dhabi have different internationally themed restaurants to offer a cuisine of top notch standard. If you cannot find anything to suit in that list, small ethnic cafés and corner stalls are plenty. Shisha cafés offer an opportunity to smoke a shisha (hookah pipes) and serve food, coffee, tea and fruit juices and corner stalls serve sharwarmas and different types of sandwiches.
Meat such as lamb and chicken are the most used, with beef and camel used to a lesser degree in Arabic cuisine. Shawarma ( lamb or chicken sliced from a spit and served in pita bread with salad and tahina) and falafel (mashed chickpeas and sesame seeds, rolled into balls and deep fried), mezze (a green salad and pickles) are some of the popular dishes in the menu.
Emirati food combines simplicity and health. The UAE boasts a number of traditional dishes served during different occasions. Emirati cuisine relies heavily on the use of fish, meat and rice. Traditional methods include preserving fish by salt curing or sun drying. The key to Emirati cuisine is a spice mixture of cardamom, ginger, Carmon seeds, cinnamon, black pepper, rose water, saffron and loomy (dried lemon)
Friends and families usually gather around coffee shops during evening hours to have chit chat or watch football matches. Wireless internet connectivity is available in most of the cafes and a range of freshly baked snacks, salads and sandwiches along with a range of hot and cold beverages are available on the menu.
Muslims are prohibited from eating, preparing and even serving pork and so it is not included in Arabic menus. Supermarkets use separate area to sell pork and restaurants have separate fridge and cooking area to serve pork on its menu. Hotels frequently have substitutes such as beef sausages and veal rashers on their breakfast menus. If pork is available, it is clearly labeled as such.
In Abu Dhabi, alcohol is only served in hotel restaurants and bars and can be purchased from liquor shops if you possess a liquor license.
Tipping in Abu Dhabi is not compulsory and it is at the discretion of the individual whether to tip for services. Some people choose not to tip at all and some others offer amount up to10% as tips in restaurants when the service is worth recognizing. Tips in restaurants and bars are often shared with other staff. Many fine dining and high end restaurants may add a service charge (usually around 10%) and a tourism levy of 6% (in hotel restaurants only) to your bill.
If you dream a delicious buffet as part of dining in Abu Dhabi, drive your car to one of the popular locations around the Tourist Club Area, Corniche Road, Breakwater or Sheikh Zayed Street, where you will find some of the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi located in hotel lobbies and shopping malls. Many pubs at hotels also serve a full meal. In the evening, restaurants usually open at 7 pm. Weekends are usually busy; it is therefore advisable to book dining in advance.
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