Gluten free dining in the UAE

In Dining to Tell 
Gluten Free

More and more people are finding that they may be gluten intolerant. And some may feel that it is healthier to limit intake of ingredients such as wheat, barley and rye. On the face of it, it is relatively easy to eat gluten free in a restaurant or café- there is usually a salad on the menu and if you order it without croutons or bread, and leave the dressing if you’re not sure what’s in it, that’s gluten free right there. But with the amount of dining out and ordering in most of us do in Dubai, always getting the salad without croutons gets boring quickly. Any fine dining venue should accommodate dietary requirements without question. In addition, more and more non-fine-dining places are catching on and offering gluten free options, or at least indicating on their menus which items contain gluten.

For those new to the diet – the simple things to eliminate are bread, pasta, cakes and anything else made with flour. Corn-based cereals are fine, and there are also gluten free oats, but most mueslis and granola products will not work. Also be aware that a lot of sauces contain flour to thicken, and that a lot of deep fried products are dusted with flour before being fried. Soy sauce contains gluten, but there are substitutes available. Some alcoholic drinks also have gluten, think beer.

Here’s our take on top choices for a gluten free meal (either because they have a separate menu or because they have a lot of clearly dishes on their normal menu) in the UAE.

Gluten-Free

A small tip before you dive in – call ahead and let them know about your dietary requirements. The places listed below and most others that cater to international guests will be happy to prepare special dishes if they know you’re coming.

Dubai

Rhonda Locatelli at Atlantis The Palm

Rhonda Locatelli do gluten free pizzas and pastas if you call ahead. And tasty ones at that. As if it couldn’t get any better, they also have gluten free desserts.

Hakkasan at Jumeirah Emirates Towers

This lovely restaurant has a whole separate gluten free menu available, with all those things you never get to eat, now prepared with rice flour or other substitutes.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House at The Address Marina

Call ahead to let them know you have dietary requirements, and they will make sure to have options available in addition to a tasty steak!

Kambaa at The Address Marina

Isn’t that something – a gluten free high tea!

Zuma

Zuma knows their stuff. An entire dedicated menu, and substitutes for staples like soy sauce.

Pai Thai at Al Qasr

A dedicated, separate menu to keep you happy and full!

La Parrilla at Jumeirah Beach Hotel

This long running favourite has a lot of choices available if you call ahead, and can prepare some of the items on the normal menu especially as well.

Beachcombers at Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Beachcombers have gluten free pasta available, and so can make any of the pasta dishes on the menu especially for you.

Bussola at The Westin

Call ahead and your favourite outdoor dining haunt can make your pasta gluten free!

The Farm Al Barari

It being a healthy kind of place, there is ample choice for dishes.

Sahn Eddar at Burj al Arab

Another divinely decadent option for gluten free afternoon tea – if you call ahead!

Al Fresco at Crowne Plaza

Another place to satisfy your pasta cravings, where they can make most to cater for your requirements.

Gluten Free

Abu Dhabi

CuiScene at Fairmont Bab al Bahr

Always happy to look for solutions, CuiScene’s chef will come out and discuss what is do-able on the menu, or what could be made especially for you (think pancakes!).

Frankie’s at Fairmont Bab al Bahr

Thank god for gluten free pasta being available in Abu Dhabi too!

Hakkasan at Emirates Palace Hotel

Hakkasan in Abu Dhabi, like the sister restaurant in Dubai, has a separate menu available.

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