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Arabian dishes become even more popular in Dubai during Ramadan – specifically Arabian sweets. If you haven’t tried at least a few, you are missing out! Below are 10 of our favourite oriental deserts we highly recommend you try after iftar or suhoor.
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Kunafah: This is arguably the most popular Arabic desert. It’s pretty simple: made up of cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup. But it is too good not to try – especially if you’re a fan of cheese. We get ours from Feras Al Deyafa Sweets stores across Dubai. They make a great one.
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Halawet El Jibin: This desert is basically a cheese roll dipped in sugar syrup – and it is delicious. We love the version of Olea restaurant in Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. It’s topped with cotton candy that melts onto the roll once you apply sugar syrup.
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Aish El Saraya: Its name means ‘The bread of mansions’ because it’s considered a high-end Arabian delicacy. I consists of sweetened bread, cream, pistachio and rose water. We recommend Al Baba Sweets for this one.
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Umm Ali: If you’ve lived in Dubai for some time, you’ll definitely be familiar with Umm Ali as it’s served in most Arabic restaurants. It’s very similar to bread pudding, but uses sweetened croissant instead along with raisins, milk and coconut. It is best served hot.
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Shaabiyat: Most Arabic deserts are made with phyllo dough, and so is Shaabiyat. The desert uses layers of the dough filled with butter, semolina and pistachio. This is on the top of our recommendations to try. We love the one at Feras Al Deyafa Sweets.
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Sticky Toffee Pudding: This isn’t exactly an Arabic desert, but we added it to the list because it has dates – and because it’s seriously delicious. Picture this: warm date pudding with butterscotch and yoghurt ice-cream topped with pecan nuts. Only words for this, yum. Find this at Cafe Bateel outlets across the UAE.
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Atayef: Another very popular Arabic desert is Atayef. It is basically a pancake filled with cream and topped with sugar syrup. This is a must-try for sure. We recommend Feras Al Deyafa Sweets for this one as well. They make really good ones.
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Mafroukeh: Made mainly of semolina and pistachios, Mafroukeh is filled with cream and rose water and topped with sugar. If you’re a fan of pistachios, you will like this one. Al Baba sweets make really good Mafroukeh.
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Maamoul: You must have tried Maamoul if you’ve been anywhere in the Middle East. And if you haven’t, you should! It’s a signature regional sweet. Maamoul is basically shortbread filled with either walnuts, pistachio, dates, apricot, or figs. Al Baba Sweets is your go-to place for Maamoul.
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Baklawa: Made from layers of phyllo pastry filled with crushed nuts and topped with sugar syrup, Baklawa is a popular Arabian delicacy. It comes in a large variety with different nuts such as pistachios and pine nuts. We recommend Al Baba Sweets for Baklawa.