United Arab Emirates
TourThe UAE is known for its two largest cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which draw millions of tourists each year. Dubai, a regional business hub known for its sleek skyscrapers, is home to the largest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa.s
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How vegan friendly is UAE?
The Middle East and Levantine regions are historically vegan-friendly when it comes to food, with a tradition of plant based foods. Most of the mezze menus are filled with plant-based dishes. Diners across the country and in particular Dubai and turning towards plant based dishes and the chef's are responding by including dedicated menus and fully vegan restaurants are starting to spring up.
Vegan food shopping
The major supermarket chains, such as Spinneys have a large counter with fresh fruit, cereals and hot meals to put together. You willfind a huge selection of vegan milk options. For the warm dishes, which usually change daily, there are often vegan options such as spaghetti in tomato sauce or breaded vegetables.
Buns and breads are made on site and are almost always vegan (except for the sweet things).
Vegan food options
Some suggestions to look out for include
- Dosa: a kind of thin pancake of fermented rice flour and you eat it with chutney (coconut) and sambar (spicy and a sauce of lentils and vegetables), plain or masala (mashed potatoes with spices) – all vegan and very tasty.
- Idli: steamed, small, flat lentil rice cakes. They are also eaten with chutney and sambar.
- Paratha: unleavened Indian flatbread, which is plain or with aloo (potatoes) or gobi (cauliflower). Here, however, you have to pay attention and ask, it’s often made with ghee (butter), but also often made with oil. It is not only eaten for breakfast, but at any time of the day.
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In conversations with people in UAE, I am often told that animal welfare, is a concept that is not understood. However, in recent years there has been massive progress in the recognition of the important of bio diversity and animal protection. A law was passed in 2016 which regulates the possession and trade of predatory, dangerous and semi-dangerous animals. Under this law, only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres would be allowed to keep wild or exotic animals. In addition, dog owners would need to buy a licence for their pets and keep them on a leash at all times when in public.
The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is now promoting animal protection and encourages the public to join voluntary activities related to animal protection.
Arabian Sand Gazelle
Planning a trip
When to go
The United Arab Emirates has an hot desert climate. This means very little rainfall, hot summers and warm winters. Most of the time you will find yourself running from airconditioning to airconditioning. Since winters are mild a lot of tourist will visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi from November until March.