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  • During this time it is prohibited to eat, drink, or smoke in public, and as such, most of the city’s public clubs, casinos and restaurants are closed.
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The native meaning of the word “Kebab” is “to roast” and the earliest mention of kebab is said to be seen in Turkish script of Kyssa-i Yusuf dating back to the 1377.  It is believed to have originated when the Turkish soldiers moved from their home turf in Central Asia to conquer Anatolia. They would roast chunks of meat skewered in their swords on open fires in the fields as their primary food for nourishment. Since then, kebabs have come a long way and have literally travelled around the globe, finding followers in almost every country and its cuisine.

Cut to the modern day Dubai and you will find every single variety of kebabs available in its most authentic and aromatic form. From the all-time favourites like the Shish, Shammi, Reshmi, Boti, Chelow, Kakori, Kalmi, Tunde, Doner (Shawarma) and Galouti to the more exotic Orman, Halabi, Hacci Osman, Sut, Khushbashi, Koyun, Kobideh, and Kefenli, Dubai has it all.  While the traditional meat for Kebab still remains the lamb, the modern day kebabs include beef, goat, chicken, fish and other seafood; you even have vegetarian kebabs with cottage cheese and almost every kind of vegetable roasted to the perfect crunchiness on skewers.

Some of the high-end restaurants in Dubai that are known for gourmet kebabs include the Shahrzad at Hyatt, Shabestan at Radisson Blue, Mahec at Le Meridien, Tresind at Nassima Royal Hotel, Kaleidoscope at Atlantis the Palm, Ashiana in Sheraton, Spice Island in Crown Plaza, Indego at Grosvenor,  and the Amala at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. As these restaurants belong to the fine-dining category, you will be paying anywhere between AED 400 – 600 for a couple to enjoy the kebab experience.

If you are looking for mid-range, affordable options, the names that you should have on your list for a kebab tour of Dubai should include Ostadi at Mankhool road, Sultan Bab Iskendar and Samad Al Iraqi in Jumeirah road, Zaytoni and Wafi Gourmet at the Dubai Mall, Iran Zamin in Downtown, Tehran in Umm Suqeim, Turkish Village, Al Damyati in Al Karamah, Absher in Jumeriah beach road, Anar in Souk Madinat, Sarban and Al Hallab in Garhoud and Royal Kebab in Dubai Media City.

The more adventurous, backpacking types that want to try kebabs in true street-food style should head down to Jumeriah - Satwa road and hunt for places like Al Khayal, Arabian Sea Shell, Marzook, Sidra, or the Kebab Kolony and Mystery Restaurant in Karama, or the Afghan Kebab House in Deira. And what is the good news? You would be paying less than AED 50 for the entire treat, making it worth all your efforts in tracking down these little eateries.