Six Emirati restaurants in the Michelin Guide

Erth is the first to win a star, but five others in the UAE are also lauded on the culinary list

The seating at Michelin-starred Emirati restaurant Erth is designed to be a modern take on a traditional majlis. Photo: Erth
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Erth recently became the first and only Emirati restaurant to earn a Michelin star.

The announcement came as the Michelin Guide revealed its list for Abu Dhabi on Thursday, with the Qasr Al Hosn venue joining Hakkasan, 99 Sushi Bar and Talea by Antonio Guida as the capital's Michelin-starred restaurants.

The win was monumental for Erth because Emirati cuisine, in general, is “not very well known”, says its chief operating officer Amit Arora. “This achievement elevates Middle Eastern cuisine for other nationalities to come and experience it, because it’s only being discovered,” Arora adds.

While other Emirati restaurants have not (yet) received a Michelin star, the guide has recognised five others on both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi lists.

Al Mrzab, Abu Dhabi

Traditional Emirati and Kuwaiti dishes shine in this hole-in-the-wall venue in the capital. The restaurant was included in the inaugural Michelin Guide announced in November last year as an honourable mention, before clinching a spot in the Bib Gourmand category this year.

“The traditional Emirati and Kuwaiti dishes are packed with flavour, use quality ingredients and offer good value for money,” reads Michelin's website.

On the menu are dishes such as majbous, or mixed rice with meat or fish, and mutaban, or spicy potato wedges and meat. The guide recommends ordering khanfaroush (cardamom and saffron cakes) for dessert.

Daily, 7am-11pm; Airport Road; 02 666 2333

Meylas, Abu Dhabi

“It may be a little hard to find, but this all-day eatery hidden away among the apartment blocks of Al Muneera Island is well worth seeking out,” the guide reads.

Owned and run by two sisters, the restaurant started as a food truck and has now become a thriving eatery that serves authentic Emirati dishes. A selection of traditional rice and meat dishes are on the menu, as well as classics such as harees and chicken regag.

Daily, 8.30am-10.30pm; Al Muneera; 02 444 8884

Yadoo's House, Abu Dhabi

Another hole-in-the-wall venue, Yadoo's House looks exactly like a home with spice racks, a sewing machine and other cosy decorations on site. The guide says: “Emirati cooking is done with care and respect for traditions, and the portions are as big as the prices are low."

The restaurant has dishes that may be more familiar to those who are not used to eating local cuisine. There is a family-style mixed grill with chicken, lamb and beef, as well as a shakshouka. Different majboos options are also available, as well as an assortment of Emirati breads.

Daily, 8am-11pm; Al Nasr Tower 2, Al Aman Street; 02 441 1311

Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant, Dubai

The venue offers a deeper immersion into Emirati culture because of its location. Guests dine under a tree in an air-conditioned courtyard, situated along the alleyways of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Staff wear traditional robes, while cultural musicians set the mood.

On the menu are chebab, Emirati pancakes, meat and seafood platters. The venue is known for its breakfast, which includes beid wa tomat (local-style scrambled eggs), spiced chickpeas, and balaleet (sweetened vermicelli with egg).

The restaurant is part of the Bib Gourmand category in the Dubai edition of the Michelin Guide.

Daily, 8am-11pm; Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood; 055 180 2080

Al Fanar, Dubai

The waterfront restaurant is on the banks of the Dubai Creek and serves dishes with a focus on seafood.

“The interior has a rustic feel, while out on the terrace, diners can watch the fish stalls float by, underlining the freshness of the seafood on their plate,” the guide writes.

Dishes include laham nashef lamb, harees soup, koftat samak fish and biryani.

Daily, noon-11pm; Al Seef; 04 396 6669

Updated: December 11, 2023, 4:24 AM