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Experiencing Fujairah Through Food: A Melting Pot of the Past, Present and Future

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With its majestic mountains, breathtaking coastline and a general lack of skyscrapers, the Emirate of Fujairah feels very different from the UAE’s more urban destinations. Fujairah prides itself in preserving its history and culture. This pride extends to its traditional cuisine, which is seeped in lavish meals and openhearted hospitality. As the emirate has evolved, it has become a melting pot of its past, present and future. This fusion reflects in its food, too. Restaurants that serve authentic Emirati food have been joined by places that draw from cuisines from other parts of the region and world.

Reflecting Fujairah’s past, a traditional Emirati meal consists of meat, vegetables, dairy and bread. No meal is complete without a lamb or mutton dish prepared with spices like saffron, turmeric, thyme and cinnamon. The cuisine draws heavily from other Middle Eastern countries. Dips served with pita bread are common, and dates and dried fruit come with pretty much everything — even coffee.

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Al Mugad Traditional Food & Sweets serves an authentic yet humble Emirati experience, in which customers are treated as revered guests. The restaurant offers yogurt and dates as soon as guests seat themselves in the majlis — a dining area with floor cushions. Daal (lentil) soup, fattoush salad and hummus dip served with pita bread are typical appetizers for first-timers. The main course might be thereed (meat gravy mixed with bread), harees (porridge made from wheatberries and cooked with veal) and makboos (a rice dish with meat, vegetables, and dried lemons cooked over low heat).

If eating an elaborate Emirati meal feels overwhelming, tasting a single dish is the way to go. Mandi — a serving of rice and meat — offers a concise introduction to the local food scene. At Fujairah’s main souk, look for Hadramout Mandi. The restaurant takes its name from the Yemeni city where the dish originates and is a favorite among locals. While Mandi is originally a Yemeni dish, its popularity among the locals is such that no neighborhood is complete without a Mandi restaurant .

Fujairah’s growing economy, expat community and tourist industry has brought multicultural cuisines to the table. Oriental Restaurant serves authentic Asian food mainly Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian and Singaporean, which expats from those places claim tastes just like home. The black pepper beef sizzler, nasi goreng kampung (a rice dish with shrimps and chilli sauce), Singaporean rice and beef noodles give a hint of the range of tastes. Elsewhere, you can also sample everything from American (O’Leary’s) and Peruvian (RJJ’s) and French (Dolci Paris) to Persian (Sadaf Restaurant) and Lebanese (Al Meshwar Restaurant), to name a few of the global flavors represented. There’s even an Irish pub (McGettigan’s) that has boosted the emirate’s nightlife scene with live music, quiz nights and screenings of sports events.

One of the most unique of the restaurants serving international cuisine is Bona Roma, an Italian restaurant with a Bosnian chef. While the restaurant originally focused on Italian food, it has evolved into a multicultural restaurant. Now known as Bosnian Kebab, it still serves many of its original Italian dishes along with Bosnian ones. With all the changes the restaurant has gone through, one thing hasn’t changed. Its pizza is still the best in town. As Fujairah continues to evolve into an international destination, it has added more upscale experiences to the mix. Nama at the InterContinental Fujairah Resortcombines a relaxed ambiance with a global menu, while Drift features fire pits, grill stations and a bar right on the beach.

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To discover Fujairah’s traditional past, multicultural present, and worldly future, your adventure starts at the stunning InterContinental Fujairah Resort for a luxurious and unforgettable trip. Situated on the shoreline of the exquisite Al Aqah Beach, beneath the spectacular backdrop of the Hajjar Mountains, consider booking Club InterContinental. A premium end-to-end experience consisting of a private check-in, benefits at the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge and a dedicated room, elevate your stay to a truly memorable one.

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