Having followed various food blogs and Instagram accounts in the lead up to my holiday, I had prepared a list of the places I wanted to visit whilst in Dubai. I was so excited to try new menus and experience what the Middle East had to offer. I wasn’t disappointed. I try not to restrict myself too much whilst on holiday as I like to fully experience new cultures, but luckily for me my taste buds are akin to fresh, unprocessed food so this means I’m always off to a good start when presented with a menu. I also don’t eat meat (just fish occasionally) and I am never tempted by it so this makes my decision slightly easier when choosing a meal!
One of my favourite things about Dubai is that whichever area you are in, there is nearly always a menu to be found that caters for all. Below I have posted the highlights of my trip and how I managed to stay healthy throughout with a few treats along the way! Enjoy
Restaurants and Cafés
A lovely concept store close to the open beach with lots to explore! The café has a really great healthy menu with many vegan and raw options and a comprehensive choice of juices. The set menu changes daily and costs around 90AED (£15) for two courses.
Situated inside Galleries Lafayette in the Dubai Mall, this hidden gem is definitely worth a visit. Relax with a book and a cacao-almond milk smoothie or have lunch with friends at a really reasonable price! All vegan, with kid’s options too!
If you love sushi, this is definitely the place to enjoy really good quality, fresh food! My friend and I went for brunch on a Friday and it was such an amazing experience. The staff were all really helpful with explaining which dishes contained meat. This may not be the best option for vegetarians but there were some delicious options. The variety of fish was definitely the highlight. We chose the non-alcoholic option and were still greeted a complimentary cocktail and supplied with an array of artisan waters, soft drinks and selection of teas and coffees throughout the meal.
Tom & Serg
Perhaps the place with the most ‘London’ vibe in Dubai! Perfect for a coffee meeting in style with a friend or a full meal. I chose to treat myself with spiced banana bread and poached pear as it was my last day in Dubai but there are plenty of healthier options too!
Famous for its carrot cake according to the Lonely Planet guide, this cosy cafe is situated a short walk from the open beach. They offer a wide range of cakes and pastries and also healthy salads and juices. Also a choice of vegan and gluten free options.
Zaatar W Zeit
This lebanese takeaway is a chain, one of which was situated right next to my friend’s apartment. Not all healthy but much more wholesome than most takeaways in the UK! The quinoa tabbouleh is a great quick vegan meal that costs around £3!
Jones The Grocer
I visited two Jones the Grocer stores, one in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. The café serves a range of hot and cold food to suit all tastebuds. There isn’t a huge choice for vegans but they should still be able to find something on the menu! The grocery section is much more suited to the vegan palate, selling quinoa milk and rice ‘cream’ in certain stores, some delicious pasta sauces which contain only pure ingredients, and lots of juices.
Waitrose, Dubai Mall
If you’re from the UK, the Waitrose here is particularly exciting! I managed to find some Australian products I’ve been desperate to try, including five:am yoghurt which did not disappoint! There is also a really good selection of Australian honey and whole foods. Not to mention the local fresh produce such as four slices of watermelon for less than 50p!!
Organic Foods and Café
A short walk from Jameirah open beach and across the road from Lime Tree Café, this is the ultimate place to stock up on your healthy groceries for your trip! This has all the health products you can buy here in the UK and some exciting new products that you may not have seen before! The store also stocks natural beauty products and has a café attached.
There are various fruit and veg markets and spice markets in Dubai. For cheap spices and great fun, try some bartering at the spice shops in the souk! The Dubai fruit and veg market can also offer much cheaper prices than the supermarkets. See the below link for a description and directions.
Health and fitness
Yoga In the Desert!
My friend and I went on a desert safari and enjoyed a spot of yoga at the top of a sand dune as the sun was setting. Not my best posture as the sand wasn’t that stable but it was really fun sinking my feet into the warm, red sand and watching the sun go down!
Jameirah Open Beach
In the week days this beach is really peaceful and clean. The water is clean and warm, perfect for a swim. There is also a running track which makes for great exercise in the cooler months!
I purchased an unlimited ten consecutive day Bikram Yoga pass from Club Stretch for 120 AED (Around £20) which was such a great experience. The club has two locations and lots of classes each day. It is something I hope to continue now I am back in london as I felt so refreshed afterwards!
The below links are great blogs that I found really helpful when navigating healthy Dubai!