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

You can look beyond to the

Vegan UAE

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.

Useful Links

Vegans take Dubai

A group in Dubai. For activism and social stuff.

Local vegan food producer that makes vegan cheeses, plant based meat substitutes, spreads and more.

Organic online retailer with a large selection of health related and vegan products, recipes, events and more.

Online health food store with dedicated vegan section offering a large variety of products.

An ethically produced sneaker that only uses components recycled from waste materials. A solution to the problem of the 100 billion plastic bags used each year that use 12 million barrels of oil and kill 100,000 marine animals annually. ​


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.

The United Arab Emirates is home to many protected reserves that are often overlooked by tourists. See here

Arabian Wolf

Arabian Oryx

Arabian Sand Gazelle

Striped Hyena

Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter for stray cats and dogs

Rescues animals after they have been surrendered, abused or neglected and finds them loving, forever homes, all while educating the UAE community about animal welfare.

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.