One of the greatest perks of living in a multicultural country such as the UAE is access to hundreds of cuisines right at your fingertips. And for the times you want your fill of dolma, kubba and masgouf, these are some of the best Iraqi restaurants across the Emirates:
After a busy day at the beach in La Mer, diners can head to Aghatti, a fine-dining Iraqi spot that features a tree in the middle of the restaurant. The decor is inspired by Mesopotamian history, and the menu includes all sorts of classic dishes you'll find across the region, as well as must-try Iraqi favourites.
Samad Al Iraqi
You’ll often find this restaurant buzzing, as it’s popular with people of all nationalities. That’s why it now has branches across the world, with two in Dubai and others in Oman, Malaysia, England and, of course, Iraq. It’s best known for its fish and seafood dishes and the kitchen team uses a traditional cooking method of grilling fish that dates back to Sumerian and Babylonian times. The resulting dish is known as masgouf and it’s a must-try.
Al Maskoof Al Iraqi
Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah
Rustic wooden furniture, mosaic tiles and red brick walls are key design features at this charming restaurant, which was established in 1999. The menu includes all the favourites, including dolma, kubba, kabsa and, of course, masgouf – and portions are very generous. The concept has done extremely well, and the restaurant has branches in three emirates, as well as in London.
Kabab Erbil Iraqi
There are six types of kubba on the extensive menu at this restaurant, which has three branches across Dubai and started life three decades ago in Kirkuk, Iraq. It offers cold and hot appetisers, traditional Iraqi breakfast dishes, grills, fish and seafood options, pastries, shawarma, mains and desserts. There is also a revolving selection of daily specials that includes maqluba on a Monday and mahshi on a Thursday.
Al Bait Al Baghdadi
This Sharjah stalwart is based in the Al Majaz area, near the amphitheatre, and has a comprehensive menu of authentic Iraqi dishes. This includes breakfast, hot and cold appetisers, charcoal grills, main courses and nearly a dozen fish options. We've been told a branch is expected to open in Dubai within the coming week, too.